Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety
Symbol of the Government of Canada


How do you maintain control when handling pallets?

Ensure that forks are:

  • Level.
  • High enough to go into the pallet.
  • Proper width to provide even distribution of the weight.
  • All the way under the load, reaching up to at least two-thirds of the load length.

How do you maintain control when lifting, tilting, and stacking a load?

  • Lift the load straight until it is clear, then tilt back.
  • Watch that the load does not catch on adjacent loads or obstructions.
  • Do not raise or lower the forks before you stop the lift truck and set the brakes.
  • Ensure that the forks are free of the load before backing up.

How do you maintain control when traveling?

  • Tilt loads backwards.
  • Travel with forks as low as possible from the floor and tilted back (maximum 10cm/4" above the floor).
  • Match speed to driving, load and workplace conditions.
  • Obey posted traffic signs.
  • Decrease speed at all corners, sound horn and watch the swing of both the rear of the lift truck and the load.
  • Watch for pedestrians.
  • Avoid sudden stops.
Tilt load backwards
  • Travel in reverse when a load blocks your vision and always look in the direction of travel.
  • Check for adequate overhead clearance when entering an area or when raising the forks.
  • Watch out for the following dangers on the floor or roadway: oil spots, wet spots, loose objects, or holes, rough surfaces, people, and other vehicles.
  • Approach at an angle when crossing railroad tracks.
  • Maintain a safe working limit from all overhead power lines.
  • Do not turn on ramps.
  • Do not elevate the load when the forklift truck is on an incline.

How should you steer to maintain control?

  • Have the load carried by the front wheels.
  • Turn with the rear wheels.
  • Do not turn a lift truck steering wheel sharply at fast speeds.
  • Do not overload a lift truck. It can cause a loss of steering control.
  • Do not add extra weight to a counterweight to improve steering.
Steering

How do you maintain control when driving in reverse?

  • Face the rear.
  • Sound horn before moving.
  • Go slowly.
  • Stop when vision is limited or blocked. Sound the horn and go slowly.

How do you maintain control when traveling up or downhill?

  • Keep the forks pointed downhill without a load.
  • Keep the forks pointed uphill with a load.
  • Do not turn until on level ground.

How should you park the forklift truck?

  • Secure lift truck when left unattended.
  • Park in an approved location.
  • Set the brakes.
  • Lower the forks or load to the floor.
  • Neutralize the controls.
  • Turn off the motor switch.
  • Disconnect battery or go through propane shut-down procedures.
Back To Top

Document last updated on June 7, 2013

Copyright ©1997-2014 Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety