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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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