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The Safety Brief In our podcasts we give short but valuable overviews
and insights into how contractors and safety managers
can be even more effective in protecting their workers.
In our podcasts we give short but valuable overviews and insights into how contractors and safety managers can be even more effective in protecting their workers.

Top Forklift Safety Violations

Forklift violations can be dangerous to workers, and lead to costly OSHA citations. Listen for some of the top forklift safety violations, and how to avoid them.

Lack of operator training is the most cited forklift violation. Once trained, a worker should be evaluated every three years.

Operators should inspect these powered industrial trucks before every use. They must avoid driving too fast, or with an elevated load. Loading docks are especially dangerous, and in this podcast we discuss the hazards.

Finally, forklifts should never be operated if they are damaged. More details and links are in the transcript below.


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Dan Clark: Forklifts—and all powered industrial trucks—seem easy to operate. But watch out. You could be in violation.

Hi there, I’m Dan Clark of The Safety Brief. This is where we talk about health and safety hazards in today’s demanding industrial and construction worksites.

Since they know how to drive a car, workers often think they can easily run a fork lift. But OSHA cites companies so often, forklift safety violations are always in the annual top 10 list of citations.

Avoid making these common forklift mistakes, and you may save a worker from injury or death:

forklift training by FEMA –
  • Violation: No Training. Haven’t received guidance? Don’t operate a forklift. An evaluation should happen with every worker, every three years.
  • Violation: No pre-operation inspection. Before each use, do a quick visual on forks, tires, fluids, battery, the mirrors, lights. Make sure that everything looks normal.


  • Violation: Driving with an elevated load. The load needs to be as low as possible to stop things from falling and injuring people in the area.
  • Violation: Driving too fast. A warehouse isn’t a highway, even if your flooring has marked traffic lanes. Use caution, slow down at intersections and watch for pedestrians.
  • Violation: Driving too close to platform edges. This is pretty self-explanatory. A crashed forklift can be deadly, so be careful.


  • Violation: Not following procedures around loading docks. Make sure to secure trailers that will be loaded or unloaded. Use wheel chocks. Take weather into consideration, watch out for rain or ice on the driving surface.


  • Violation: Using a defective truck. If you see a problem with the forklift, don’t keep using it. Make sure that maintenance is performed.

That’s it for this episode on the Top Forklift Safety Violations. Come back for more tips and techniques on how to stay safety compliant in today’s ever-changing landscape of safety requirements. I’m Dan Clark of The Safety Brief, sponsored by Creative Safety Supply. See the website at


See the OSHA powered industrial truck eTool.

Forklift safety training image by FEMA/Marilee Caliendo

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