2018 Guide to Forklift Inspection 

According to Ontario's Ministry of Labour, Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) you are required by law to carry out a regular forklift inspection on all of your powered lifting devices. Following the guidelines below will help you to ensure compliance with the law. If you require a competent person to carry out a forklift inspection for you, contact the professionals at Wayco.


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forklift inspections

Employers are responsible to make sure regular inspections take place



What Are The Inspectors Looking For During a Forklift Inspection?

There are two main categories that a forklift inspection will cover: the forklift's load-handling capacity and its general safety and maintenance.

Load-Handling Capacity

The load-handling capacity inspection will determine whether or not a lifting device is capable of handling its maximum rated load.

General Safety Inspection and Maintenance

The government does not give specific, detailed requirements for the general safety and maintenance of powered lift trucks. Instead, they give a very general statement that an employer must make sure that "any equipment is maintained in good condition." They also state that a lifting device needs to be "constructed and equipped in a way to adequately ensure the safety of all workers."

The sections listed in the following checklists should all be examined during a forklift inspection. Items not on the list may also be inspected. the examination should be carried out according to the truck manufacturer's specifications. For a more detailed checklist, click here.



forklifts outside

The inspection should be carried out according to the truck manufacturer's specifications

Load-Handling Capacity

Checklist A: The Load-Handling Device
1. Manufacturer's Specification Plates
2. Forks
3. Attachments
4. Movement

Checklist B: The Elevating Section
1. Lift Chains
2. Mast
3. Hydraulic System
4. Welds and Fasteners

Checklist C: The Propulsion System
1. Brakes
2. Tires
3. Battery
4. Counterweight


General Safety Inspection and Maintenance

Checklist D: The General Safety of the Powered Lift Truck
1. Transmission
2. Tires
3. Steering
4. Overhead Guard
5. Propane Equipment
6. Other


The following video produced by the Ontario Ministry of Labour outlines what a government inspector is looking for in one of their inspections.




Who Is Responsible to Make Sure the Inspections Take Place?

It is the employer's responsibility, as the owner of the forklift, to make sure that periodic examinations of the lifting device takes place. As an employer, you should establish procedures that cover the regular inspection and repair of lift trucks in your workplace and make sure that they are carried out.

How Often Do You Need to Perform a Forklift Inspection?

Initial Inspections

The Load-handling capacity of a lifting device needs to be inspected by a "competent" person, before it is used "for the first time" and at least annually after that. "For the first time" means that any new equipment that you purchase must be examined before you use it to make sure that its lifting capacity is what the manufacturer says it is.

Purchased New & Used Lift Trucks: Please note that the responsibility lies with the purchaser (or employer) and not the seller to ensure that this inspection takes place. This is because a forklift dealer could potentially make modifications to the equipment and thereby alter the manufacturer's specifications invalid. The inspection must also be carried out after the purchase of used vehicles as well.

Leased Lift Trucks: The company supplying the leased lift truck, however, has the responsibility of inspecting it before the first use. The ongoing inspections are the responsibility of the user of the vehicle.


forklift load capacity

The purchaser of a lifting device must make sure it is inspected before its first use


On-going Inspections

Clause 51(1)(b) states that after the initial inspection, your lift truck should be examined "as often as necessary but not less frequently than recommended by the manufacturer and in any case at least once a year." If you have your vehicle examined after every 2,000 hours of use, you will generally meet this requirement. If your vehicle, however, is used more often than 12 months of single shifts, or if it is operated in severe environmental conditions such as extremely hot or corrosive environments, then the inspections should happen more often.

What Type of Machines Need to Be Inspected?

According to Ontario's Ministry of Labour, Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), a powered lift truck is defined as "a mobile, power-propelled, self-loading truck equipped with a load carriage and attachments for lifting, transporting and stacking material". The OHSA requires all such lifting devices to be inspected. Forklift trucks, cranes, hoists, lifts, elevating platforms are some examples of lifting devices. Lifting devices are widely used in many different workplaces for various purposed, from lifting a worker to lowering a load of skids. Lifting devices can cause serious worker injury or even death so it is very important that they comply with the legislation that will protect the safety of your employees and your business.

Reach Forklift

All powered lifting devices such as forklift trucks, cranes, hoists, lifts, and elevating platforms need to be inspected


Who Performs the Inspection?

A forklift inspection which will determine whether or not the forklift has the proper lifting capacity needs to be performed by a "competent" person. The OHSA requires a "competent" person to have "knowledge, training, and experience to organize the work and its performance" The following knowledge and skills for maintenance technicians and truck operators, should qualify you to carry out these inspections:

  • Having a knowledge of the personal safety practices required to carry out routine and periodic inspections of lift trucks currently in use;
  • Having a familiarity with the terms used by the Ontario Ministry of Labour's Guideline, of the documents mentioned in the Guideline, as well as industry terminology;
  • Being able to understand lift truck manuals, manufacturer's specifications, drawings, and their parts lists;
  • Knowing the purpose and function of all the devices, accessories, and components usually found on powered lift trucks and being able to inspect them to determine whether or not they are working properly;
  • Having a working knowledge of electrical and electronic control circuit principles
  • Having a working knowledge of mechanical principles of structures, machines, mechanisms, etc.
  • Having, where applicable, a working knowledge of pneumatic principles

Note: You could usually acquire these qualifications after 5 years of experience in field service work.


forklift inspection by a competent person

A forklift inspection needs to be performed by a "competent" person



Why Wayco Is the Best Choice for Forklift Inspections

At Wayco we have competent people on staff who are qualified to perform the annual lifting device inspection for you as required by the Ministry of Labour. During our full vehicle inspection, we will carefully examine all of the sections required to make sure that your devices are running properly and safely. Once your vehicles have been thoroughly inspected and found to be in proper working order, we can certify your equipment for you. You should keep this safety documentation organized and readily available for when a government inspector shows up. Contact Wayco today to schedule your lifting equipment inspection.


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Contact Wayco For the Best Forklift Training Available

Wayco's intense and comprehensive forklift safety training program will provide you and your employees with the best safety training at the best price. We offer national coverage and local service with a 98% pass rate. We can train individuals or groups at our facility or yours - you choose.

Our Safe Operation of a Lift Truck/Forklift Program is an excellent way for you to ensure forklift safety in your workplace. With our training you will experience:

  • Innovative training practices
  • Affordable pricing
  • Flexible and professional trainers
  • Comprehensive in-class and practical experience

Contact Wayco today to book your next session.



"Our company shopped around for the most competitively priced lift equipment repairs and rental services in the KW region and found Waco Multi Lift Inc. Their repair rates were lower than the other companies out there and the service is prompt and professional for our in-house lift trucks. With one phone call, a tech arrives within a couple hours. We are also renting a 3-year-old lift truck from them in new condition, they found just the right truck for our needs. Their repair Techs are knowledgeable and friendly and get the job done no matter what the problem is. Just want to thank Steve P, Chris and Rob for their help the past few months for keeping our production and shipping rolling. " - CanadianBakeInn

Read more testimonials here.

If you are looking for top quality forklifts, contact Wayco. We sell the best forklifts you can buy and our knowledgeable staff will be able to help you choose the perfect model that will best suit your particular applications. We will be happy to answer all of your questions and we can even provide top-notch safety training for your operators. Contact Wayco today for all of your forklift needs.