Does Monthly Forklift Use Call For Daily Inspection?

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Today’s Expert: Glenn Demby, Esq., OSHA attorney and editor-in-chief of SafetySmart Compliance


Do we have to inspect our forklifts every single day even though we use them only once or twice a month?

— Name withheld


Probably not.


The OSHA Powered Industrial Truck standard (Sec. 1910.178(q)(7)) requires employers to examine industrial trucks before placing them into service and not place them into service if the examination uncovers a defect affecting the vehicle’s safety. “Such examination shall be made at least daily,” the Standard specifies.

In a 2005 Interpretation Letter, OSHA specified that the important requirement is that powered trucks be examined prior to use. “However,” the Letter notes, if the powered truck is stored or is not used every day, it would not require an examination until it is ready to be placed in service” (emphasis added).

Caveat: While you don’t have to inspect it on the days you don’t use it, the OSHA Letter also makes it clear that if a powered truck has been out of service for a long period, it needs to be examined to determine if it requires service or maintenance before it’s placed back into service. In other words, you need to ensure nothing that could harm its safety has occurred during the period the truck was removed from service.

For More Help

Go to the SafetySmart Compliance Powered Industrial Trucks Compliance Center to prevent forklift accidents and OSHA citations:

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