Posted June 7, 2019

OSHA: Tips for protecting workers operating and working near forklifts

Tips and resources support National Forklift Safety Day, June 11.

Forklifts are an essential piece of equipment in many workplaces, especially in warehousing and manufacturing. Although these vehicles make work more efficient, they can pose serious hazards to those operating or working near them. OSHA reminds employers and workers that these hazards can be prevented by following safe practices and ensuring that workers are properly trained.

Taking the following steps can protect workers from forklift hazards.

  • Always wear seatbelts when operating a forklift.
  • Never exceed the rated load, and ensure loads are balanced.
  • Make sure you have enough clearance when raising and loading materials.
  • Watch for pedestrians and observe speed limits.
  • Keep a safe distance from platform and ramp edges.

For more information on ways to keep workers safe while working with or around forklifts, visit OSHA’s Powered Industrial Trucks – Forklifts page.

On June 11, 2019, OSHA will be joining manufacturers across the country in emphasizing safe practices and the importance of operator training for National Forklift Safety Day.

OSHA's On-Site Consultation Program offers no-cost and confidential occupational safety and health compliance assistance to small- and medium-sized businesses. Consultation services are separate from enforcement and do not result in penalties or citations. The OSHA Training Institute Education Centers offer courses for workers, employers, and managers on hazard recognition and abatement at convenient locations nationwide.