2019 Guide to Forklift Inspection

Remember, you are required by law to carry out a regular forklift inspection on all your power lifting devices, from fork trucks to pallet jacks; whether they are gas, electric, propane or diesel, to ensure their safety. Book your inspection today with Wayco's competent inspection personnel.


If You Own a Forklift, You Must Get It Inspected

As a forklift or lifting device owner, it is your responsibility to make sure that you get all of the inspections done that are required by law. Lifting devices include equipment such as forklift trucks, cranes, hoists, lifts, and elevating platforms.

It is a good idea to establish procedures that will ensure the regular inspection and repair of your lift trucks, and make sure that these inspections get carried out in a timely fashion.

There Are Two Types of Forklift Inspections: Load-Handling Capacity & General Safety and Maintenance

Load-Handling Capacity Inspections

The load-handling capacity inspection is done to find out whether or not your lifting device is capable of handling its maximum rated load. For example, if a device has a maximum load capacity of 3,000 lbs., then the inspector will determine if that piece of equipment is indeed capable of safely lifting 3,000 lbs.

The following is a forklift inspection checklist of all the areas that should be examined during a load-handling capacity inspection:

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Load-handling capacity inspections determine if your lifting device is capable of handling its maximum rated load

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

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The government provides a checklist of areas that need to be checked during a forklift inspection

General Safety and Maintenance Inspections

The guidelines set out by the government of Ontario for the general safety and maintenance of lifting devices are fairly general.

They require that "any equipment is maintained in good condition" as well it needs to be "constructed and equipped in a way to adequately ensure the safety of all workers."

They do, however, provide a checklist of areas that should be examined as part of a general safety and maintenance forklift inspection:

Checklist D: The General Safety of the Powered Lift Truck

  1. Transmission

  2. Tires

  3. Steering

  4. Overhead Guard

  5. Propane Equipment

  6. Other


You need to do an initial inspection before you use your forklift for the first time


An Initial Forklift Inspection Must Be Done When You Purchase a Forklift

You are required to have your lifting devices inspected by a "competent" person before you use it for the first time. You need to make sure that its lifting capacity is what the manufacturer says it is.

New Lifting Devices: Any new forklift equipment that you purchase needs to be examined before you use it for the first time.

The purchaser - not the seller - is responsible to make sure that this takes place. this is because a forklift dealer could make modifications to the forklift that alter the manufacturer's specifications and make them invalid.

Used Lifting Devices: When you purchase a used forklift device, you also have to make sure that the lifting capacity matches the manufacturer's specifications. You have to have this done by a "competent" person before you use it for the first time.

Leased Lifting Devices: Unlike new and used purchases, it is the responsibility of the company supplying the leased lift truck to carry out the initial inspection of the load capacity. You, the purchaser, are responsible for any ongoing inspections.

Ongoing Inspections Must Be Done at Least Annually

According to clause 51(1)(b) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, you need to do a forklift inspection "as often as necessary but not less frequently than recommended by the manufacturer and in any case at least once a year."

If you use your forklift for single shifts, which equals about 2,000 hours, then once a year will meet this requirement. If you use your forklift more often than this, then you should have it inspected after every 2,000 hours of use.

You should also have it examined more often if you are operating your devices in severe environmental conditions, such as in areas that are extremely hot or in corrosive environments.

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You should have it inspected after every 2,000 hours of use.


A Pre Shift Inspection Must Be Done Before Each Use

A pre shift inspection must be carried out before you operate your forklift every time. At the beginning of each shift you need to carefully inspect your lifting device.

During your daily maintenance check, you should take a careful look at the following:

  • Forks - look for weld breaks, raise and lower the forks with and without a load

  • Tires - check to see if there are any chunks of rubber missing

  • Piston - check to make sure there are no leaks or drips

  • Hydraulic hoses - look for any punctures or cuts in the hoses

  • Chain - make sure that the tension on the chain is tight

  • Carriage - look for any weld breaks

  • Seat belt - make sure it is in good repair

  • Propane tank (if it has one) - make sure it isn't loose

  • Radiator - make sure that there isn't any debris or trash caught in it

  • Emergency brake and accelerator - make sure that they are functioning properly

  • Controls - ensure that they are all in good repair

  • Safety lights, battery, alarms, & horn - make sure they are all functioning properly

  • Fluid levels - check your engine oil, fuel, radiator water, and hydraulic fluid levels

If you find that during your inspection any of the above items are unsafe or needing to be repaired, your forklift needs to be taken out of service, red tagged, and repaired before you use it again. The following video will demonstrate how to effectively carry out a pre-shift inspection.


Find out how to perform a pre shift inspection


Here's What to Expect When You Have a Government Inspection

From time to time, your lifting devices may be inspected by a government forklift safety inspector.

If you follow the recommended guidelines for having your equipment inspected annually and you perform all of the required maintenance and service, then your inspection should go well.

The following video produced by the Ontario Ministry of Labour will give you a good idea about how a government inspection is carried out and what areas they will be looking at.


Follow the recommended guidelines for having your equipment inspected annually and perform all of the required maintenance and service, and your government inspection should go well


A Forklift Inspection Needs to Be Done By a "Competent" Person

You will need to get someone who is considered "competent" by the OHSA (Ontario Health and Safety Association) According to the OHSA a "competent" person is one who has "knowledge, training, and experience to organize the work and its performance." If you have the following knowledge and skills, you should be qualified to carry out these inspections:

  • A knowledge of the personal safety practices required to carry out routine and periodic inspections of lift trucks currently in use

  • 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

  • The ability to understand lift truck manuals, manufacturer's specifications, drawings, and their parts lists

  • A good knowledge of 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

  • A working knowledge of electrical and electronic control circuit principles

  • A working knowledge of mechanical principles of structures, machines, mechanisms, etc.

  • A working knowledge, if applicable, of pneumatic principles

Please Note: It usually takes about 5 years of experience in field service work to acquire these qualifications.


Wayco can do your inspections for you

Wayco Has Competent Personnel to Perform Your Necessary Forklift Inspections for You

At Wayco, we have competent technicians on staff who are fully qualified and experienced in performing the annual and initial lifting device inspections 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.

Trust Your Forklift Inspections and Maintenance to Wayco

Wayco will help you make sure that your forklifts are well maintained. They will track and pre-schedule all maintenance work for you so that they are properly serviced. This will help you avoid expensive downtime and you won't have to remember to schedule or book your service work. We'll do it for you.

Wayco also has an incredibly fast response time so you won't have to wait to get your lift trucks back in operation. We can usually have our service tech at your location within 2 to 3 hours and we also guarantee same day.

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Wayco Offers Top Quality Service on All Forklift Makes and Models

If you are looking for top quality forklift maintenance and service, contact Wayco. Our fully equipped service and parts department is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Our qualified technicians are capable of properly performing maintenance services and inspections of all types. Our knowledgeable staff can keep your equipment in top working condition which means lower repair costs and higher machine efficiency. Contact Wayco today for all of your forklift maintenance and repair needs.

"Wayco takes care of all our forklift repairs and they provide excellent customer service and very competitive pricing. We have used them for over a decade and I would highly recommend them to anyone."


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