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Forklift Operator Safety Checklist

This is a comprehensive evaluation checklist that can be used by managers to audit the competency of the forklift operator and lifting gear and ensure the overall safe operation of the forklift. Begin by assessing the operator’s competency by checking for a valid certificate of training and that they are in compliance with LOLER regulations. Next, proceed with observing how the operator controls the forklift and maneuvers in different directions. Check if the operator matches the load with the truck’s capacity and stability, and how the operator stacks the load. Lastly, provide an overall evaluation of the operator’s performance and add some recommendations to improve competency and safety. Confirm the evaluation by including both the operator’s and the evaluator’s name and signature. Lumiform templates can be edited to fit the needs of your workplace.

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Forklift Operator Safety Checklist


Plant Vehicle

Type of equipment?

Other type

Operator Details

If an operator has no proof of training held on record, they must not operate a forklift truck until proof of training competency has been proven

Has the operator a valid certificate of training that has been passed or refreshed within the last three years?

Date of test or refresher course?

Has the operator an up to date authorisation to operate, signed and renewable annually?

Date of signed authorization operate the plant vehicle

Daily Safety Inspection

The operator completes the safety Pre-shift safety inspection correctly

The operator fully understands the capacity information plate?

The operator understands the correct fault reporting procedures?

If a fault has been found, the lift truck must be parked up in a safe place and the key removed. The fault must be made to a member of the management team.

Operator Safety & Observation

The operator:

Mounts / dismounts correctly

Uses the seat belt correctly

Keeps body parts within the confines of the vehicle

Looks in the direction of travel

Use the horn appropriately

Follows the correct procedures for an "unattended" vehicle?

Was good all round safety observation

Steering & Operating Controls

The operator:

Starts and stops smoothly

Uses assistor correctly

Travels unintentionally in the wrong direction

Brakes harshly / erratically

Releases the parking brake prior to moving off

Rides the foot brake

Operates the hydraulic controls when the lift truck is in motion

Operates and understands the controls

Competency In Load Capacity

The operator:

Matches load with the truck's capacity

Checks the load for stability

Maneuvering & Transportation

The operator:

Forks to high when traveling

Forks to low when traveling

Operates in reverse, looking in the direction of travel to the correct ratio

Operates at a speed consistent with the type of load and working conditions?

Performs safe maneuvering with the lift truck and load

Stacking & de-stacking

The operator:

Applies the park brake when operating the hydraulics

Applies neutral when operating the hydraulics

Forks arm central under the load

Fork arms not rubbing (entry / withdrawal)

Fork tips touch the stack / load

Forks / load not level

Stacked load correctly

Fork arms not fully inserted (undercut)

It is some times necessary to undercut a load due to the nature of where it is to be located. It must remain within the limits of the capacity plate.


The operator:

Correctly applies the park brake

Sets the direction lever to the neutral position

Correctly apples forward tilt

Correctly lowers the fork arms

Maneuvers wheels are in the straight position

Switches off and removes the key

Assessment Recommendations & Evaluations

Overall Evalution of the Operator



Full Name and Signature of Operator

Full Name and Signature of Evaluator

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