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Based on: 29 CFR 1910.178: Powered Industrial Trucks Recognized industry best practices Content contribution by Frederick "Rick" Heath: industry expert on material handling equipment, Principal of Heath & Associates

Languages: Available in 14 languages

Sample Transcript

Forklift Safety

Training Time: 44 minutes

Give your forklift safety a boost. This course covers basic forklift operating procedures intended to increase safety and help prevent the most common forklift accidents. This course includes important information required by OSHA’s general industry standards (29 CFR 1910.178) as well as best practices on operating powered industrial trucks. This course can be used as an introduction to forklift safety and operation or as a refresher on forklift basics. This training video provides information on the most common types of forklifts used in general industry and warehouse environments; it doesn’t cover rough terrain forklifts, aerial work platforms, or forklifts with extendable booms.

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Expertly Designed For Maximum Retention
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Training Content + Interactive Quizzes


“This is by far the best visualization and explanation of forklift load shift that I have ever seen. Because the people you are training are visual and verbal learners, this should go a long way.”- Eric M. - Philadelphia, PA

forklift load capacity & load center

Pay attention to a forklift's load capacity and load center

forklift stability triangle

The stability triangle

forklift counterbalance diagram

The weight of the forklift counterbalances the weight of the load

Learning Objectives

  • Differentiate between handling a forklift and an average automobile (rear-wheel steering, weight)
  • Identify the most common forklift accidents
  • Describe steps for refueling
  • Describe steps for recharging batteries
  • Describe the center of gravity and stability triangle
  • Describe load capacity and load center
  • Describe forklift pre-operation inspections
  • Identify safety guidelines and best practices for forklift operation
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Are there any forklift-specific OSHA regs?
Check out this Powered Industrial Trucks Safety and Health Topic page.

Will I be a qualified forklift operator after watching this forklift safety video?
No. This video is full of helpful information that will get you on your way, but you must receive additional training and your employer must determine that you’re "competent" before you can operate a forklift at work.

What are some unique aspects of forklifts that can make them hazardous to operate?
They are very heavy, they can be unstable, they have rear-wheel steering (unlike a car’s front-wheel steering), they have forks or other attachments, they may use potentially dangerous fuel/power sources, and they carry loads.

Can any forklift work safely in any environment?
No. Check the forklift’s hazardous location designation to see if it can be operated in atmospheres that are flammable, combustible, or poisonous.

Why is it important to pay attention to the forklift’s center of gravity?
Knowing where the center of gravity is, and keeping it where it should be, can help prevent instability and accidents.

Why is it important to pay attention to the forklift’s center of gravity?
Knowing where the center of gravity is, and keeping it where it should be, can help prevent instability and accidents.

What is the "stability triangle?"
A way to think of the forklift’s center of gravity and forklift stability. If the forklift’s center of gravity is kept within the stability triangle, the lift and its load will be stable (and not prone to tip).

What are some factors that influence the stability of a forklift and its stability triangle?
Load weight, load balance, load height, inclined or uneven surfaces, and momentum.

Is it necessary to perform an inspection before operating a forklift?
Yes, also perform inspections, with the engine off and with the engine on.

What should a forklift operator do if the forklift is rolling over or if items are falling onto the forklift?
The forklift’s rollover guard is built to withstand heavy impacts, so it’s best to stay in the cab and not to jump out.

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