Using a Standard Counterbalance lift truck
1 Prior to using the machinery, perform a pre-shift check. Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines do state that pre-shift checklists need to be performed every day or every shift. Each different equipment and its attachments has its own checklist listing steering, brakes, emergency brakes, lights, horn, controls and safety features.
2 When starting up the machinery and check the controls, it is important to make certain that the seatbelt is fixed firmly and the seat has been adjusted for your maximum comfort. Look under the machine after you move it for any signs of leaks. The operation of each kind of lift truck is different.
3 Don't forget differences in the basics of forklift operation as opposed to a regular vehicle. The rear end swing of the forklift happens because of the fact that the truck steers with its rear wheels. Disregarding this detail is a main cause of injuries and accidents to employees. The nearly 90-degree turn from the front wheels must be made with great care. These top-heavy machinery have a high center of gravity even without a load. When lifting or transporting a load this top-heaviness is exacerbated.
4 Keep forks close to the floor when traveling. Use care when approaching loads. Be sure the forks line up correctly with the pallet. Lift the load just as high as is required, tilting it back to help stabilize the equipment. Only drive backwards if the load is so big that it obstructs driver vision.
5 Prior to unloading and loading, check the wheels on trucks/trailers. When carrying a load, it is not advised to travel on slopes. The machine is prone to tip-overs on an incline. When driving on an incline is unavoidable, always drive up the slope and back down. The load must be kept on the uphill side of the truck.
6 The lift truck driver should always be in firm control all the time. Tipping over is the main reason for operator injuries. The driver should never try to jump out of the truck in the event of a tip-over. The safest approach is to lean away from the direction of fall while gripping the steering wheel and bracing your feet.