The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends that forklift operators perform a daily inspection to ensure the machine's safe operation. According to OSHA, employers must "provide training to truck operators on a variety of topics. Among these topics are vehicle inspection and maintenance that the operator will be required to perform." OSHA encourages owners and operators consult the equipment documentation to ensure that the inspections apply to the machine.
OSHA recommends each forklift's inspection sheet have the identifying information for the forklift on the sheet. The forklift's company, model and serial numbers should be on the sheet. Indicate whether the forklift uses fuel or is an electric model and the hour meter reading for every lift that you inspect.
Engine Off Checks
With the engine off, the operator should check for leaks and evaluate the condition of the tires and the forks. Include a check all parts of the engine for wear and low fluid. The driver should also examine all of the safety equipment, such as the finger guards and seat belt, to make sure that they are in place and working correctly.
Engine On Checks
After completing the recommended checks with the engine off, the driver should crank the forklift and test all of the controls. These controls include the accelerator, brakes and fork controls. If the lift has any attachments, make sure they operate correctly. The driver should check the horns and lights to ensure they are working and look at all of the gauges to ensure they are functioning.