To answer the question above, a forklift should be inspected daily. This blog will discuss why exactly daily forklift inspection is so important, what it entails, as well as the need for a yearly Thorough Examination.
Why Should You Regularly Inspect Forklifts?
Employers and employees have general health and safety duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Forklift operator daily checks very much fall under this as they are an essential part of creating a safe workplace. Ultimately, it is the employer’s legal responsibility to take steps that will ensure the health and safety of their employees, and so it is up to them to have the correct protocols and safeguards in place.
Daily forklift inspection (before every shift) should be mandatory so that issues can be spotted early on and fixed before they turn into major problems that can cause serious and unnecessary accidents. On average, one person is killed every 6 weeks in an accident involving a forklift in the UK.
Beyond its vital importance for health and safety reasons, maintaining your forklift properly can also help increase its life expectancy. For instance, making sure that all the moving parts in your forklift truck are well lubricated will help avoid the harmful effects of friction. Such actions will slow the rate at which you will need to replace your forklifts and, in turn, save your company money!
What Should Be Inspected During a Forklift Truck Inspection?
The details of a daily pre-use check should be clearly mapped out in a company’s forklift maintenance program. A forklift inspection should involve assessments of:
- Forklift equipment: including forks, fork pads, mast, attachment points etc., checking for signs of wear, cracking/splitting, and any other damage.
- Forklift tires for uneven tread wear throughout the tire or excessive dry rotting around the outer edge (the side not in contact with the ground), as well as tire pressure.
- Brakes (including parking brakes).
- The steering system: to check that steering is responsive. Very loose steering can be a sign of a serious problem (at the same time, it might just need some tightening).
- Fluid leaks: you will need to check for any leakage or discolouration of hydraulic oil or other forklift fluids.
Thorough Examination (LOLER)
Just like an MOT, a Thorough Examination is a legal requirement that your forklift needs to undergo at least once a year. In short, it is a mandatory check to ensure the mechanical parts of your forklift are in safe working order.
Forklifts are extremely important machines in warehouses, so it is essential to always look after them. Daily forklift inspections, on top of a yearly Thorough Examination, will ensure that your forklifts are both safe and efficient. Even if you have really looked after your forklift trucks over the years, however, there will always be a time when they need replacing.