If you have forklifts in your facility, you know that OSHA requires them to be inspected before use. But what does OSHA really require?

  • Do you have to use a written form?
  • How long do you need to keep inspection sheets? One year? Two years? Who has to hang on to them?
  • And, what about the written safety plan? Should you include this information there as well?

OSHA's requirements for daily inspection of forklifts are in 1910.178(q)(7). But, OSHA does not require that the daily forklift inspections be documented. So it is up to the employer's discretion to determine the duration of powered industrial truck examination record retention. (Reference: 2/7/2000 OSHA Letter of Interpretation)

So, although OSHA does not require it, using forklift inspection checklists, either written or electronic, are a good idea for two reasons:

  • Ensures that all essential features of the vehicle are inspected routinely, and
  • Provides evidence to an OSHA inspector that the vehicles are being inspected as required.

You can find a lot of useful forklift information on KellerOnline. The Powered Industrial Trucks topic in the KOL Topic Index provides you with links to the regulations and to OSHA supporting documents. Within the topic, you'll find links to Letters of Interpretation, Standard Directives and Compliance Directives. You'll also find information on written plans and on safety training.

Within the Interactive Forms area, KOL offers several sample daily inspection sheets, including one in Spanish, which you can find here. Because daily inspection sheets are not required by OSHA, you should keep them according to whichever system works best in your company. Also, it is a good idea to write, as part of your forklift program, a company policy which indicates the time period that the inspection forms will be kept.

For more information, visit the J.J. Keller & Associates Web site at www.jjkeller.com