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Forklift maintenance

Forklift trucks must be inspected frequently and maintained according to standards and manufacturer's instructions.

Where a forklift truck has been flameproofed, maintenance programs should include the flameproofing features.

Procedures should be in place for reporting and investigating dangerous occurrences or any variations from normal operation.

What to do

  • Use only a trained, qualified person to inspect, maintain or repair forklift trucks. Use only licensed gas fitters to repair and/or replace parts on LP gas-powered forklift trucks.
  • Use only qualified tyre fitters to remove and fit tyres. To prevent injury should the assembly fail, a safety cage should be used when inflating and/or fitting tyres on split rim wheel assemblies. The hose for the compressed air should be fitted with a clip-on chuck so the fitter does not have to be in front of the wheel rim while inflating the tyre.
  • Keep forklift trucks clean so it is easier to detect worn or defective parts. Clean with water, not flammable liquids.
  • Keep detailed records of every inspection, service, maintenance, repair and modification carried out on a forklift truck. Record dates, names of authorised people involved, meter readings.
  • Establish a procedure for dealing with unsafe or damaged forklift trucks. The procedure should include isolating and tagging the vehicle, and reporting the problem to the appropriate person.
  • Use only a qualified person to inspect and assess damage, and do not use an unsafe or damaged forklift truck until the qualified person has rendered it safe and removed the tags.
  • Document full details of damage (e.g. cause, nature, the repairs required, and assessment of the vehicle's safety). A copy of this should form part of the inspection and maintenance records.
  • Establish and maintain procedures to ensure that the spark arrestor tank on the exhaust line of a diesel forklift is maintained in accordance with the recommendations of the flameproofing company.