Today’s lesson learned from the Wile E. Coyote school of safety where they constantly defy the laws of physics, perverse the rules of nature, and live in animated immortality. But in our world reality always wins.
Lesson two – Daily inspections and checklist. Yea, yea. They’re a pain, every day the same thing, what a waste of time said one employee as he picked up a forklift checklist and just marked everything off right down the list as ok without even looking at the forklift. When I challenged him on it he asked does anybody really look at them? Yes, I do, I replied. Not only did I look at them and keep them on file but when items are indicated that need maintenance or repair I always attach the repair technician’s report of repairs so there is one easy continuous paper trail available if you were to ever have an OSHA audit.
However, what is more, important than the completed checklist is the actual conduction of the inspection. That’s right, the checklist is not there just to torture you but to remind you what to look at and for during that preshift inspection so the forklift or other powered vehicle is safe to operate for the full shift. An inspection report is a tool for communicating needed maintenance and a legal document that must be properly completed.
However, don’t wait to report serious conditions only on the inspection report, go directly to your supervisor and point out that puddle under the vehicle, (brake fluid or hydraulic fluid, either is a red tag) that horn not working, or the bald tires. Those observations make inspections critical to your safety. Don’t assume the last person to operate the equipment had no problems or that the warehouse fairy did repairs overnight. If the horn stops working or the brakes are pulling during your shift again don’t wait to report the problem on the next inspection. Stop and report immediately! Take a few minutes to do a proper inspection, complete the checklist and have a productive and safe day at work.