You are on page 1of 11



SOP 2.8: Powered Industrial

Trucks (Forklifts)


1. Introduction..............................................................................1
2. Regulatory and contractual requirements.................................1
3. Training..1
4. Program administration............................................................2
5. Maintenance Procedures...........................................................3
6. Recordkeeping...4
A. Written test for forklift operators.5
B. Operator's Daily Checklist (gas, LPG, diesel).........................7
C. Operator's Daily Checklist (electric)......................................8

1. Introduction
This Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Program shall ensure safe operation of forklifts in compliance
with OSHA requirements. Powered Industrial Trucks (referred to as forklifts in this SOP) are used for
material handling. These may include fork, platform, and motorized hand trucks, as well as other
specialized units powered by electric motors or internal combustion engines.

2. Regulatory and contractual requirements

HHW program and state agency contract (Exhibit A, parts A and B), Federal and Minnesota OSHA 29
CFR, 1910.178, 5205.0116 and 1910.178(l). Forklift operations shall meet ANSI B56.1 standards.

3. Training
3.1 The Facility Manager is the designated staff responsible for coordinating all equipment training.
Only trained staff shall be authorized to operate forklifts and shall be trained in the following:

Forklift-related topics (e.g., characteristics, operation, vehicle limitations)

Workplace-related topics or hazards due to the characteristics of the workplace (e.g., surface
conditions, proper loading, pedestrian traffic)

Specific to each piece of equipment

3.2 Training shall consist of:

Classroom training including a written test; see Attachment A of this SOP.

Hands-on training

2 . 8 P o w e r e d I n d u s t r i a l Tru c k s ( F o r k l i f t s )

Evaluation of the trainees practical skill

3.3 Initial training shall be conducted prior to operating forklifts. Operators practical skills shall be reevaluated once every three years. Refresher training shall be provided whenever the:

operator has been observed to operate in an unsafe manner

operator has been involved in an accident or near-miss incident

operator has received an evaluation regarding unsafe actions

operator is assigned to a different type of forklift

conditions in the workplace change in a manner that could affect safe forklift operation

3.4 Training shall be performed by persons who have the knowledge, qualifications, and experience to
Instruct operators and evaluate their competence. Operator certifications may be revoked due to
unsafe actions. Designated staff is responsible for:

coordinating training

maintaining the knowledge, skills, and expertise to present effective training

assessing the skills and knowledge of forklift operators

certifying only skilled and knowledgeable operators

revoking operator certification if it becomes apparent that the operator seriously endangers
him/herself, other staff and/or property

certifying that each operator has been trained and has passed a written test and a practical

4. Program administration
4.1 Written policy. Designated staff shall be responsible for:

maintaining records (e.g., training, operator certification, maintenance checklists)

periodically reviewing policy and revise as necessary

ensuring preventative maintenance and repair of forklifts; see SOP 5.1 Equipment Maintenance

ensuring safety deficiencies of forklifts are remedied promptly

4.2 Forklift operator responsibilities

The Facility equipment operator shall be responsible for:

inspecting forklifts; once per shift and reporting unsafe conditions

following OSHA and HHW facility forklift operating rules

consistently demonstrating safe driving habits

immediate reporting of all accidents and near misses to designated staff

2 . 8 P o w e r e d I n d u s t r i a l Tru c k s ( F o r k l i f t s )

removing unsafe forklifts from operation

being aware of pedestrian hazards

constantly being aware of other forklift traffic hazards

5. Maintenance procedures
5.1 Forklift inspection and maintenance
Each forklift shall be inspected by the first operator prior to starting a new shift. Completed
inspection checklists shall be reviewed by designated staff and kept on file for at least six months. If
deficiencies are noted that prevent safe operation, the forklift shall be taken out of service until the
repairs have been completed. Check with the equipment manufacturer for additional
recommendations and/or inspection checklists. To view an example inspection checklist (or use an
equivalent form); see Attachments B & C of this SOP.

5.2 Changing and charging forklift batteries

Forklift battery maintenance and operation practices shall include:

prohibiting smoking in battery charging areas

preventing ignition sources in battery charging areas

ensuring metallic objects (tools) are kept away from battery terminals and unguarded

following specific battery charger manufacturer recommended procedures

ensuring an eyewash station is positioned nearby if there is a risk of acid splashing in the
battery charging area

carefully managing any spilled acid

ensuring only trained and authorized staff remove batteries from forklifts

5.3 Control of emissions from internal combustion engines

Carbon monoxide levels shall be monitored where forklifts are propelled by internal combustion
engines, while operated indoors. Minnesota OSHAs 8-hour time-weighted average exposure limit
for carbon monoxide is 35 parts per million (ppm) with a ceiling limit of 100 ppm. Monitoring

be conducted quarterly

ensure tail-pipe exhaust gases do not contain more than one percent carbon monoxide
(measured at idle and at three-fourths throttle during final engine tuning in a regular
maintenance program)

have results posted for staff information and kept on file

2 . 8 P o w e r e d I n d u s t r i a l Tru c k s ( F o r k l i f t s )

5.4 Preparation for loading or unloading

Before forklifts enter the back of a truck or trailer to load or unload, the brakes shall be set and
wheels chocked. If trailers are not attached to tractors, fixed jacks may be necessary to support the
trailer and prevent it from upending. See SOP 4.12 Waste Staging for Shipment.

5.5 Loading trucks

Only loads within the rated capacity of the forklift may be handled safely. Loads shall be:

stable and safely arranged

kept as close as possible to the forklift with the forks tilted back slightly

monitored for safe clearance through aisles and doorways

kept safe by using dock boards (bridge plates) constructed with sufficient strength, when
loading or unloading operations are taking place between vehicles and docks

5.6 Forklift operations

Only trained, authorized persons are allowed to operate forklifts. Forklift operating guidelines include:

no riders are allowed

when left unattended, the forks shall be lowered, the power shall be shut off, and the parking
brakes shall be engaged

no driving in areas where potential flammable gases or vapors may be present, unless the
forklift is especially designed for that purpose

while parked: do not block exits, accesses to stairways, eyewash stations, electrical panels, or
fire equipment

operating at speeds that will permit a quick and safe stop

driving slowly while turning

maintaining a safe distance between forklift and other moving objects

operating under control at all times

driving slowly and sounding horn when passing through areas with an obstructed view

looking in the direction of travel

traversing ramps slowly and with caution

preventing stunt driving and horseplay as such behavior shall be subject to disciplinary action

avoiding objects in the roadway

ensuring provisions are made to assure no one will be passing directly under hoisted or
suspended loads

6. Recordkeeping
6.1 Designated staff shall maintain the following records:

2 . 8 P o w e r e d I n d u s t r i a l Tru c k s ( F o r k l i f t s )

Certification of training which includes the name of operator, date of training, evaluation, and
name of trainer.

Pre-operation inspection checklists (6 months). See Attachment B or C of this SOP.

2 . 8 P o w e r e d I n d u s t r i a l Tru c k s ( F o r k l i f t s )

Attachment A: Written Test for Forklift Operators

Name: ___________________________________________ Date: ________________ Score:_____
Answer the following questions by filling in the blank, circling True or False, or circling the letter of the correct choice.
1. A lift truck training program helps to:
a. Reduce maintenance costs
b. Increase efficiency
c. Reduce accidents
d. All of the above.
2. The maximum allowable load should be indicated on the
a. True
b. False
3. Equipment dataplates and decals must be in legible
a. True
b. False
4. The ____________ is a safety device designed to protect
the driver from falling objects.
5. A raised load stabilizes the truck.
a. True
b. False

6. What is the general weight ratio of truck to capacity load?

a. 1:1
b. 2:1
c. 3:1
d. 4:1
7. The rear-end steering of lift trucks:
a. causes the rear end to swing more than an auto
b. is about the same as an auto
c. swings less than an auto
d. allows the truck to take sharp turns at high speeds
8. Lift trucks with four wheels are supported at four points:
a. True
b. False
9. When traveling with a load, the forks should be off the
a. 18 inches
b. 6 8 inches
c. 2 feet
d. At stacking height
10. Equipment modifications and additions which affect
capacity should not be made without the manufacturers
prior approval.
a. True
b. False

2 . 8 P o w e r e d I n d u s t r i a l Tru c k s ( F o r k l i f t s )

11. A truck traveling at 8.7 miles-per-hour is traveling

9 feet per second
11 feet per second
13 feet per second
16 feet per second
12. Staff is responsible for reading the Operators Manual
for any type truck operated:
a. True
b. False
13. The load backrest extension is connected to the:
a. Mast


Lift cylinder
14. Loads should be carried with the mast tilted forward.
a. True
b. False
15. Data plates provide information on the trucks:
a. Height and width dimensions
b. Type of liquid fuel
c. Maximum lift height
d. Required safety equipment
16. OSHA requires that employers offer operator training.
a. True
b. False

17. It is not the responsibility of lift truck operators to protect

pedestrians in the work area.
a. True
b. False
18. The fulcrum point is a vertical line through the middle of:
a. Drive wheel hub
b. Center of gravity
c. Operator compartment
d. Counterweight

1. D
2. T
3. T
4. Cage
5. F
6. B

7. A
8. F
9. B
10. T
11. C
12. T
13. A

14. F
15. C
16. A
17. F
18. A

2 . 8 P o w e r e d I n d u s t r i a l Tru c k s ( F o r k l i f t s )

Attachment B

Operator's Daily Checklist: Internal Combustion Engine

Industrial ForkliftGas/LPG/Diesel Forklift
Forklift number: ______________________

Visual checks:

Operational checks

Fluid levels (coolant, oil, hydraulic, brake)


Fuel level

Service and/or parking brakes

Obvious damage and/or leaks

Seat belt and/or lap bar

Tire condition

Hydraulic controls

Head, tail and warning lights

Temperature gauge

Hour meter


Other gauges and instruments


Unit cleanliness












For additional comments on circled items, see back of this sheet.

Attachment C

Operator's Daily Checklist: Electric Industrial Forklift

Forklift number: ______________________

Visual checks:

Operational checks:

Obvious damage or leaks


Tire condition


Battery plug connection

Note: Be sure battery plug connection is tight.

Service and/or parking brakes

Head, tail, and warning lights

Seat belt and/or lap bar

Fluid levels (oil, hydraulic, brake)

Hydraulic controls

Hour meter


Other gauges and instruments

Battery charge indicator level












For additional comments on circled items, see back of this sheet.