Forklifts - Frequently asked questions

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This page contains frequently asked questions on forklifts.

Do I always have to wear the seat belt when operating a forklift truck?

Yes.  Regulation 4.44 of the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 states that an employer must ensure that the operator of the forklift uses the seat belt.  If an employee was injured because he/she was not wearing the seat belt, then the company could be prosecuted. 

Should all forklift trucks be equipped with reversing beepers?

No.  Some older models were manufactured without them.  An assessment should be conducted to establish if reversing beepers are a necessary requirement depending on the particular working environment.

Should all forklift trucks be equipped with flashing lights?

No.  Some older models were manufactured without them.  An assessment should be conducted to establish if flashing lights are a necessary requirement depending on the particular working environment.

Can a forklift truck be used to push a load or any other object?

No.  Forklift trucks should only be used for the purpose for which they are designed.

Should a forklift truck be refuelled while the engine is running?

No.  The running engine could ignite the fuel.

What direction must the load face when travelling up a ramp?

The forklift must travel up the ramp forwards; therefore the load must face uphill.

When travelling, at what height should the load and forks arms be?

Approximately axle height or a reasonable minimum distance from the operating surface.

What is the most suitable type of forklift truck to use in a confined space?

A battery powered forklift truck.

Should a load be raised or lowered near or over people?

No, not under any circumstances. Loads must never be passed over people.

Is it permissible to carry passengers on the bare fork arms or load?

No, not under any circumstances.

By what means can people be raised on a forklift truck?

By use of a correctly secured Safety cage (Forklift Truck Work Platform).

What is meant by the term 'rated capacity' in relation to a forklift truck?

It is the maximum load that a forklift truck is designed to carry at a specified load elevation at a specific load centre distance.

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