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Pedestrian operated forklifts (POFs)

Pedestrian operated forklifts (POFs) differ from forklift trucks because they are not intended to be controlled by an operator riding on the vehicle. While similar safe operating and maintenance procedures apply to all types of forklifts, the following control measures relate specifically to POFs.

A licence/certificate is not required to operate POFs.

How to operate POFs safely

  • Only trained operators may operate a POF.
  • Make pre-operational and post-operational safety checks.
  • Ensure the POF is suitable for the grades intended to be travelled.
  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment, such as high visibility vest and steel capped footwear.
  • Do not operate a POF if hands or footwear are greasy.
  • Check the work area for damaged flooring, overhead obstructions, ramps and docks. Do not work too close to the edges of ramps or docks.
  • When travelling in reverse take care not to bump into objects, run over loose objects or trip over objects. Do not use a POF in an unauthorised area or explosive atmospheres.
  • Keep arms, hands, legs and feet away from the lifting mechanism and wheels.
  • Sound the horn when approaching intersecting aisles or blind corners.
  • When operating a POF on grades, ramps or inclines, face the load uphill, do not make turns. If it is necessary to park the POF on an incline, make sure the wheels are securely chocked.
  • Do not ride on the POF, or allow another person to ride on it.
  • Do not exceed the safe lift limit of the POF when handling a load. These limits are specified on the data plate.
  • The forklift arm blades (tynes) should be a sufficient length to support at least 75% of the load (see figure below).
  • The load should be stable and evenly distributed on both fork arms prior to lifting and when travelling. Fork arms should be sufficient distance apart to ensure the stability of the load.
  • Tilt the POF forward only when it is over a stack, rack or vehicle. Tilt the POF backwards only enough to stabilise the load.
  • Secure attachments as per the manufacturer's instructions, and remember that attachments may affect the load centre of gravity.
  • When parking:
    • use the handbrake
    • lower forks to the ground
    • tilt forward if possible
    • do not leave key in the ignition if unattended.

Handling and placing loads

Figure: Reference - Australian Standard 2359.2-2013. Part 3.7 - 'Handling and placing loads'

Last updated
04 April 2017

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