OSH Answers Fact Sheets

Easy-to-read, question-and-answer fact sheets covering a wide range of workplace health and safety topics, from hazards to diseases to ergonomics to workplace promotion. MORE ABOUT >

Download the free OSH Answers app
Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play

Search all fact sheets:

Type a word, a phrase, or ask a question

Forklift Trucks - Maintenance

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

Document last updated on October 2, 2013

Add a badge to your website or intranet so your workers can quickly find answers to their health and safety questions.


Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy, currency and completeness of the information, CCOHS does not guarantee, warrant, represent or undertake that the information provided is correct, accurate or current. CCOHS is not liable for any loss, claim, or demand arising directly or indirectly from any use or reliance upon the information.