What not to do on a Forklift

What not to do on a forklift

When it comes to forklift operation, safety should always be number one. Operating material handling equipment, especially in places like warehouses, comes with a lot of responsibility. Sometimes you can become too comfortable in the day-to-day action and activity, and forget how to practice forklift safety. The Forklift Pro is here to remind you what not to do on a forklift in an effort to keep everyone safe.

Bad habits to avoid when operating a forklift

If you’re a forklift operator or warehouse manager in charge of forklift operators, there are tendencies and practices that should be abstained from in order to protect the operator and those working around them. These habits include:

Skipping inspections

Each day before operation, forklifts should be inspected. Two safety inspections should be performed: visual and operational. A supervisor or operator should visually look over the forklift before operating to check for obstructions, safety devices, safety harnesses, or anything else that could cause safety issues. Operators should also perform an operational inspection, checking the brakes, cargo handling, cockpit controls, as well as lights and alarms. Some operators may skip these checks to save time, but this could endanger the operator as well as other employees in the warehouse or surrounding area.


Oftentimes, seasoned forklift operators become too comfortable in their environment or try to get a job done quickly and tend to drive the forklift too fast. Speeding in a forklift, especially with a cargo load, can be dangerous. High speeds can lead to accidents, including forklifts turning over or flipping.

Disregard of situational awareness

In addition to speeding, complacent forklift operators often shrug off basic safety steps like checking their surroundings before backing up or signaling before turning. In these situations, the safety of other employees is at stake because they may not be aware of the forklift coming toward them.


One of the most reckless habits that should be avoided while operating a forklift is horseplay. Rowdiness and fooling around on forklifts can lead to safety violations like standing on the fork or riding on the back of a forklift. These violations should not be tolerated and stopped immediately.

Talk to the experts

If you’re worried about forklift safety and proper operation, contact The Forklift Pro for tips.