Sec Y Best Practices BP 1

Farm Health and Safety Manual

Subject: Best Practices - Forklifts - Industrial Lift Trucks / Date Prepared: Feb, 2011
Revision Date:

Legislation: Occupational Health and Safety Act 1996,Chapter 7.

Occupational Safety General Regulations Part 7 Hoists and Mobile Equipment Sec.55 - 83

Purpose: A forklift is a convenient tool for moving things from one place to another, as with any other tool recognize the dangers and practice safety precautions. Employers shall ensure that forklifts are inspected at the beginning of each shift in which it is to be used to ensure a safe working condition. Employers must ensure that forklifts are inspected on annual basis and has a properly dated inspection tag affixed. Properly maintained and operated forklifts make handling loads easier and more efficient. When the forklift or operator limitations are exceeded both conditions present hazards at the workplace. Best work practices can greatly reduce the risk of personal injury and property damage.

Best Practices:

  • Forklifts, as with all farm equipment, must only be used for the purposes for which they

were designed. Extra riders are not permitted and the forks are not to be used to lift farm

personnel. Properly engineered and designed man lift cages are acceptable when proper

safety procedures are inplace.

  • In Nova Scotia forklifts and other hoists are required under the Regulations to be

inspected on a yearly basis.

  • Forklift operators must drive safely at all times. The operator must ensure the forklift can

be brought to a safe stop at any time, taking into account the load, the operating surface

and any other potential hazard in the work areas.

  • Operators are to use seat belts when provided and appropriate personal protective equipment at all times during operation.
  • Forkliftsare to be operated by competent employees.
  • Report all incidents and near misses immediately to your supervisor.
  • Know the manufacturer’s manual. Never exceed manufacturer’s load rating.Do not

overload the forklift, and do not tilt forward when the load is elevated as doing so can

cause the forklift to tip over.

  • The operator is in charge of his/her own vehicle.Inspect the forklift before use. Before beginning work for the day operators should perform a check of the forklift to confirm the safety features and the forklift are operating properly.
  • Inspect all components prior to use.Check for and report any leaks, including hydraulic fluid leaks. Also check the fire extinguisher, horn, lights, backup alarm and brakes to make sure they are all working properly.
  • Keep forks, attachments and speed low at all times when the forklift is in transit.
  • When parked, always place forks and attachments flat on the ground. Ensure forks are fully seated and square when lifting.
  • Drive in reverse when moving bulky items to avoid blind spots.
  • Always inspect the load before attempting to move it. Do not move damaged or improperly secured loads.
  • No riders. Forklifts are not designed to carry passengers. Do not allow any person to walk underneath elevated forks.
  • Never leave a machine unattended with an elevated load.
  • Horseplay is prohibited.
  • Be alert for wet and slippery surfaces while driving.
  • Be aware of the headroom and clearance forthe mast when travelling under pipes,through doorways, and in other obstructedareas.
  • Never block emergency exits, passageways or equipment with the truck and never deposit a load that would block access to these.

Society of Farm Safety Nova Scotia

322 Willow Street, Truro, NS

B2N 5A5

Phone: (902) 893-2293

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