Pre-use checks should be carried out on forklift trucks at the beginning of each shift; these checks must cover:
- Tyre pressures.
- Parking brakes and service brakes.
- Fuel, oil and water systems for levels and leaks (in a combustion engine truck).
- Batteries, to ensure they are charged, leak-free, chargers are off and leads are stored and that the battery retention device is secured.
- Lifting and tilting systems (including hydraulics) are working, are leak-free and hydraulic fluid levels are correct.
- Audible warning.
- Any defects should be reported to the supervisor for immediate rectification.
Since there are very few instances where automated vehicles can be used in a workplace, vehicles are usually under the control of a driver. It is essential that the driver is carefully selected, trained and supervised.
Drivers should be:
- Competent to drive the vehicle – proof of qualification (e.g. driver’s license) may be necessary, or the driver may have to be trained and assessed to achieve the qualification. Refresher training and re-certification may be required. In certain situations, the driving license may have to be checked periodically to ensure that the driver does not have undisclosed penalties or disqualification for road traffic offenses.
- Medically fit to drive – a medical examination to assess the driver’s health and fitness may be required. This should take place at the selection and may have to be repeated periodically.
- Provided with specific information, instruction, and training – appropriate to the workplace and site where they will be driving. Driver-specific site induction training may have to be provided.
- Supervised – to ensure that they follow safe systems of work, obey site rules and do not lapse into bad practices.
There are usually legal standards and local codes of practice relating to these matters.