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How often does a forklift need to be inspected?

By Jessica Barrett | Last updated: November 7, 2018
Presented by Ideal Warehouse Innovations

Forklifts are dangerous, heavy machines. While they only account for about one percent of all warehouse or factory accidents, they make up a full 10 percent of physical injuries incurred in those workplaces (learn about 4 Major Forklift Hazards Near Loading Docks).

One way to help prevent incidents is to thoroughly inspect forklifts prior to using them. And that isn’t just good practice – it’s mandated by OSHA.


OSHA Standard 1910.178 outlines requirements for forklifts of all types, and it gives employers and workers guidance about how often they must inspect forklifts.

The standard states that the trucks must be examined before being placed in service and must not be placed in service if there are any conditions that may adversely affect the safety of the vehicle. This inspection should take place at least once daily. Trucks used round the clock must be inspected after each shift so that any damage or defects can be reported and addressed.

The forklift inspection must include both visual and operational checks to ensure the lift truck is in good working condition. The details of the inspection should be recorded and retained as per the company's policy, generally for a year.

Keeping a log book with standardized checklists is a great way to ensure that nothing is missed and that the daily inspections are carried out efficiently.

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Written by Jessica Barrett

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Jessica is a freelance writer and editor from Toronto, Canada. She specializes in creating content for nonprofits and has written for organizations working in human rights, conservation, education, and health care. She loves traveling and food, speaks Spanish, and has two dogs, one of whom she rescued while living in Mexico.

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