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What safety procedures should you follow when servicing a forklift truck?

  • Permit only qualified persons to service and maintain equipment.
  • Wear proper personal protective equipment. Wear goggles when grinding. Wear face shields (with safety goggles), aprons, gloves and rubber boots when handling lead-acid batteries or working around battery-charging equipment. Wear leather gloves when changing LPG fuel tanks.
  • Disconnect all batteries before doing any work.
  • Before servicing LPG forklifts:
    1. Shut off the tank fuel valve.
    2. Run the engine until it stops.
    3. Disconnect the tank from the hose.
  • Block the forklift securely when removing wheels.
  • Support the forklift hood in upright position or remove to do work.
  • Keep the work area clean and well lit.
  • Clean spilled oil or hydraulic fluid immediately.
  • Check all tools before using.
  • Remove all tools and parts before starting the engine.
  • Handle batteries with care.
  • Avoid contact with battery terminals with hoisting chains, tools and metal objects.
  • Cover the battery top with some insulating material.
  • Attach a chain hoist to the counterweight before removing it from a forklift.
  • Check the bolts holding the counterweight to the body and replace any worn or missing bolts.
  • Find out why a forklift is in for repairs before starting or driving it.
  • Check the operator's daily checklist before making repairs.
  • Inspect by magnetic particle testing the main mast welds and forks annually or when cracks appear.
  • Inspect by magnetic particle testing all hoses, couplings, fittings and connections to the cylinders in the main mast assembly and the tilt control system.
  • Inspect forks for distorted, twisted or bent sections. If defects are found, test the area of concern.

What should you not do when servicing a forklift truck?

  • Do not leave parts, creepers, cans, tools or other obstacles around.
  • Do not lift beyond your capacity. Use hoist or leverage tools to lift or move heavy parts or equipment.
  • Do not smoke, weld or light a match around refueling and battery-charging areas.
  • Do not start a forklift if it is on a lift hoist or wheel stands.
  • Do not work on forklift attachments unless you are familiar with their operation.
  • Do not work beneath elevated forklift trucks or forks unless they are securely supported by approved blocks.
  • Do not run LPG, gas or diesel forklifts in unventilated areas.

Support with blocks

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Document last updated on October 2, 2013

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