Powered Industrial Truck Program/Forklift Program

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This program defines the safety requirements and responsibilities for operating forklifts. Safe use of industrial trucks prevent injuries, property damage, and excessive maintenance. The Forklift Program contains method for complying with Free Geek and regulatory requirements and explains the who, what, when, where, and how of implementing the powered industrial trucks program.

Nameplates and Markings

Maintain all nameplates in legible condition and ensure they are firmly affixed to the powered industrial truck If the powered industrial truck is equipped with front-end attachments, other than factory installed attachments, which is approved by the manufacturer, have the truck marked to identify the attachments and show the approximate weight if the truck and attachment combination

Seat Belts

Equip all vehicles that have rollover bars with seat belts. It is required that seat belts be worn at all times when operating a forklift or powered industrial truck equipped with seat belts.


Inspect the powered industrial truck before placing it into service Do not place the forklift in to service if the inspection shows any condition that could adversely affect the safety of the vehicle Perform an inspection of the forklift at the start of each work shift, note any damage and report to the Recycling Coordinator Document all inspections. Inspect controls, brakes, tires, load-engaging mechanism, lights, horn Keep an inspection and repair log If a repair is needed, label the truck “Out-of-service, do-not-operate”, and safely move the truck out of the way until repaired. Caution: Moving a vehicle with an identified brake problem could be a safety issue.


Train employees expected to operate the forklift on the safe operation of powered industrial trucks. Follow the established training program to train and certify new operators, as well as refresher trainings as needed. Use the Operators Manual provided by the vendor of the forklift.

Forklift Training Checklist

Truck related topics shall include:

  • Operating instructions
  • warnings and precautions for the type of truck used
  • Differences between the truck and an automobile
  • Truck controls and instrumentation, where located and how they work
  • Steering and maneuvering
  • Visibility including restrictions when loaded
  • Fork and attachment adaptation
  • Truck capacity and vehicle stability, including limitations and other instructions peculiar to the vehicle
  • Vehicle inspections and maintenance the operator must perform
  • Charging or recharging batteries
  • Surface conditions where vehicle will be operated
  • Composition and stability of loads to be moved, including load manipulation, stacking and unstacking
  • Pedestrian traffic in the vehicle operating area
  • Ramps, sloped areas, narrow passages and other restricted areas
  • Other unique or hazardous areas of operation

In addition the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.178 must be covered in the training. http://www.rollformedshapes.com/osha.htm

Supervisor training should cover the following

Operator training program Attention to clearances, load restrictions, additional safety factors Reporting of industrial lift truck problems

Evaluate and certify employees upon completion of the training. Provide written training certification that includes the name of operator, the date of training, date of evaluation, and the name(s) of the person performing the training and evaluation.

Refresher Training

Refresher training shall be provided to the operator when: The operator is observed operating in an unsafe manner The operator is observed in an accident or near-miss incident An operator evaluation reveals deficiencies in operating techniques, skills or practice Workplace conditions change so as to affect the safe operation of the forklift

Out of Service Criteria

Take any powered industrial truck out of service that is found to be in need of repair, defective or in any way unsafe, until it has been restored to a safe operating condition. “Out-of-Service” criteria include items affecting the safety of the truck ( for example, non-functioning back-up alarms, broken roll-over bars or worn brakes). Tag the truck out of operation.

General Maintenance

Operator shall ensure the preventative maintenance is done in regular intervals (PM Contract with authorized vendor) If at any time a powered truck is found to be in need of repair, defective or in any way unsafe, take it out of service and label “Out-of-Service' until it has been restored to safe operating condition Ensure that all repairs are made by facility authorized personnel Disconnect the battery before making electrical system repairs to the truck Replace any parts only with parts meeting the safety requirements of the original part Do not provide additional counter weighing of fork trucks unless approved by the manufacturer Keep powered industrial trucks in clean condition, free of dust, excess oil and grease All battery maintenance, excluding acid check and refill, shall be done by an facility authorized vendor

Daily Maintenance

Visually inspect the overall condition of the forklift, note obvious damage that might have been caused by the last shift Check that all capacity, safety and warning plates are attached and legible Check for any leakage around driving axle Check for hydraulic leaks, and loose fittings Check that all safety devices are in good working order Carefully inspect the load forks for cracks, bending, twisting or other obvious wear Ensure that load forks are in locked position Check the upright and lift chains for any obvious wear, and maintenance problems Check wheels for safe mounting and wheel condition Check water level in battery cells, refill as necessary (use provided safety gear)

Weekly and Monthly Maintenance

  • Charging the Battery

When the charge is below 30%, it SHOULD be charged, when the charge is below 20%, it MUST be charged. Always check the water level before charging, even if you checked it that morning.

Deep discharge before charging will prolong battery life & prevent "memory" problems.

How does the charger work? = There is no "ON" switch, just plug it into the battery, & wait about 5 seconds, you'll hear the hum. It will stop by itself.

There is a "STOP" switch if we wanna stop the charge for any reason.

To charge the battery

  1. shut down the forklift completely
  2. tilt the steering wheel up
  3. open up and fold back the seat lid over the battery
  4. unplug the huge cable from the forklift and plug it into the charger
  5. wait 5 seconds, you'll hear a hum when charger is working
  6. the charger will shut down by it self, reconnect big cable to battery, and fold down the seat. Please make sure the cable doesn't get pinched on the left side of the seat and is fully inserted.

Note: charging the battery produces hydrogen gas bubbles coming out of the battery. DO NOT smoke near the battery when the seat lid is up, especially not while charging is going on.

Every 5th charge "EQUALIZE" with the normal charge by pushing the equalize button on the charger. If you're not sure how many charges since last "equalize" check calendar above charger.
Check the water level in each cell AFTER charging, & after the water has cooled a bit - like the morning after the charge. Add tap water if needed.

Preventative Maintenance(PM)

Premier Lift Truck is our PM vendor. They call us every 6 months to schedule a visit. At this time we have a March/September twice-yearly schedule set up. If at any time repairs need to be made, Premier Lift Truck is our vendor also. Always log the date of the visit, and any repairs made besides the regular maintenance in the RT Ticket(5562).