forklift safety tips workplace

Top Forklift Safety Tips for your Workplace

If you need some forklift safety tips for your workplace, then keep on reading!

A Forklift is extremely useful in the workplace, just as long as they are used with safety in mind and by trained operators.

You may not be aware, but 25% of injuries at work are accounted for by forklifts and most of those involve people being hit or run over.

Injuries resulting from those can be series, so limiting them is important.

In this blog we’ll share our Top 5 Forklift Safety Tips for your Workplace. We also have compiled or most important dos and don’ts for safe forklift operating too!

Or, you might enjoy our Blog on the 5 Benefits to Forklift Rental & Hire?

Check them out below.


forklift safety tips workplace

Forklift Safety Top Tips for your Workplace

1 Get your Forklift Examined – it’s the law!

Forklifts are subject to statutory examination by a competent person once every 12 months in accordance with S.I. 299 of 2007 (Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007).This period becomes 6 months if the forklift is used to lift persons.

Pus, if you own, lease, hire or borrow a forklift for work purposes, it is your obligation it is fit for purpose.

So, always make sure it has got its check-up!

2 Prevention is better than a Cure

You may not be aware, but under health and safety legislation, a vehicle is a place of work! That means you are legally required to keep your forklift in a safe condition, just like you would your workshop.

If the driver can’t get in and out of the vehicle safely then it is not fit for purpose.

Forklifts are also classed as work equipment, so employers must make operators familiar with the vehicle and provided the proper training, instruction and information.

3 Keep your Horn working!

Pre-checks are really, really important to carry out on your forklift.

One of the MOST important features that must be working on your forklift before you drive is the horn!

The vast majority of forklift accidents at work are from people being run over, typically when the forklift is reversing or coming around a corner.

So ensure all operators sound the horn several times when approaching corners, exits, entrances and reversing!

forklift safety tips workplace

4 Material Handling Equipment is also a forklift

Pallet trucks, pump trucks and all electric material handling equipment are considered forklifts.

So that means all the above rules and laws around training and the machine being fit for purpose apply to your pallet truck too.

Don’t forget, pallet trucks can be equally as dangerous when operated in correctly.

5 Swing low sweet forklift!

You would be amazed at the amount of people who drive their forklift with the forks at a dangerous level.

An accident with forks anywhere above knee height can be absolutely catastrophic, yet operators often forget to keep them low!

Operators should ALWAYS travel with their forks lowered, but just clear of the ground!

Forklift Safety Operation Tips in your Workplace, Dos and Don’ts


  • Wear your appropriate PPE
  • Carry out the pre-shift check of your forklift
  • Immediately report defects to your supervisor
  • Travel at speeds suitable for the location and load
  • Avoid sudden stops and violent braking


  • Operate a forklift unless you are trained
  • Use a forklift you know is not working properly
  • Make abrupt or quick turns
  • Try to carry out repairs unless you are a qualified maintenance engineer
  • Use mobile phones when you’re driving!

forklift safety tips workplace

Carrying Loads Dos and Don’ts


  • Assess the load before lifting
  • Make sure the pallet is in good condition
  • Observe the floor loading limits
  • Check the Safe Working Load of the racking before placing loads onto it
  • Drive in reverse if the load is obstructing your view


  • Lift loads greater than the capacity of the forklift
  • Move an unstable load, including a damaged pallet
  • Travel with a raised load
  • Leave the vehicle with the load raised

Operating on Slopes – Dos and Don’ts


  • Travel slowly when going down slopes
  • Ensure the forks face uphill when travelling up or down slopes with a load
  • Ensure the forks face downhill when travelling up or down slopes without a load
  • Adjust the tilt (where fitted) to suit the gradient and raise the forks to clear the ground


  • Turn the vehicle around on or travel across a ramp or a slope
  • Leave a forklift on a slope, except in an emergency. In case of emergency always chock the wheels

Operating when Carrying People – Dos and Don’t


  • Use a safe work method when using working platforms
  • Remain in control of the forklift while workers are on the platform
  • Watch out for pedestrians
  • Use spotters when operating in congested areas


  • Lift a person on the forks or on a pallet, or similar, balanced on the forks
  • Move travel or turn with a person lifted at height
  • Carry passengers, unless the forklift is designed for this and has a designated seat and seat belt
  • Allow people to walk under raised forks or loads

For a more comprehensive read on forklift safety, check out the HSA’s Vehicle at Work Forklift Guide HERE. 


Forklift safety should be absolutely paramount in your workplace and we hope this blog can give you some tips that will make it a safer place.

Our forklift training and accreditation is RTITB Certified – the GOLD standard.

We can come to your workplace and make the training as smooth as possible.

So give us a shout or check out below for more information.

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