Mount using the 3 Points of Contact
Tilt Back into Travelling Position
Put into Appropriate Gear
Observation – Look over Both Shoulders & directly behind when reversing
Parking Brake off
Right Foot onto Accelerator
Right Foot off Accelerator
Parking Brake on
In Neutral Gear
Check Wheels are Straight
(Heels as low as possible with tips touching)
Dismount using the 3 Points of Contact
Approach loads and stacks square and central
Lower loads as soon as they are clear of the stack
Before moving, ensure forks are fully engaged into pallet and tilted back
Never turn with the forks raised
Tilt the load level before lowering onto racks
Never carry unstable or insecure loads
Carry loads as near to ground as practical
Always apply the parking brake when the truck is at a standstill and when using
Position load on heels of fork (Heel-up)
Be aware of the load behind the one you’re lifting (Undercutting)
Be aware of overhead obstructions
Never exceed the rated capacity of the truck
Lateral Stability (Sideways)
More fork lift stability accidents happen when trucks tip over in a sideways direction than
when they tip forwards.
The golden rule is STAY ON THE TRUCK AND DON'T JUMP!
Nowadays seatbelts are fitted to most trucks, If a truck is fitted with a seatbelt it makes
good sense to use it.
To make sure a truck doesn't overturn, operators should observe the following rules:
Avoid turning at excessive speed and note that it's worse when unladen!
Do not turn with an elevated load.
(If the job can't be done properly, a risk assessment should be carried out)
Drive across obstructions such as railway Lines, gullies, etc, diagonally at about 45
degrees and very slowly
Check tyres at the start of every shift.
(Pneumatic tyre deflating can cause serious lateral stability problems)
Do not elevate a load with full rear tilt applied
Watch out for potholes, rubbish on the floor and other floor obstructions
Take care not to turn sideways on a slope or loading ramp.
Watch out for live loads
Make sure that loads, sideshifts and forks are all centralised
Longitudinal Stability (Lengthways)
Forward Tilting a raised load
Crossing parallel lines, such as railway Lines and gullies
Rough use of controls
Harsh acceleration or braking
Travelling with load to high
Burst or damaged tyres
Rough or uneven ground
Theory Study Notes
Enforcement of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 is the responsibility of the Health & Safety
Executive and Local Authorities.
Health & Safety legislation places responsibility for safety at work on everyone on the premises.
An Approved Code of Practice, gives advice to duty holders on how to comply with legislation.
Prior to operating a lift truck in the working environment the operator must have written
authorisation issued by the employer.
The operator is responsible for checking that the lift truck is in good working order before using it.
Travel at a speed consistent with the type of load and the general working conditions.
When sounding the horn always give several short sharp blasts (2-3).
Do not park an industrial lift truck near doorways, switches and electricity boards, fire fighting
equipment, blind corners, on inclines, on soft ground, middle of an aisle, fire exits or walk ways.
In normal circumstances if the load on the forks obscures your view you should travel in reverse,
looking in the direction of travel (except when travelling up an incline, then get someone to guide
When following another truck keep a minimum distance of three truck lengths.
Before moving off with a lift truck in any direction the last thing the operator must do is to release
the parking brake.
The term "Laden" means with a load, the term "Unladen" means without a load.
When travelling on an incline and laden, the load must face uphill at all times. Unladen, the forks
must face down hill.
When driving an unladen truck the forks must be positioned as low as practicable and tilted back.
To comply with the manufacture's stated lifting capacity the truck's mast must be in the vertical
position with the truck on level ground.
Net weight = the weight of the load.
Gross weight = the weight of the load and packaging.
In winter months loads stacked outside may be covered in ice and snow, the effect of this will
increase the weight of the load.
When using the hydraulic controls always apply the handbrake and select neutral.
Apply sufficient tilt to cater for the type of load and ground conditions.
The meaning of "free lift" in connection with lift trucks is the distance the forks can be raised before
the mast begins to extend.
When carrying a load on level ground, the correct position of the forks is 100-150mm (4-6 Inches)
off the ground and tilted back sufficiently to stabilise the load.
When loading a lorry it is important that loaded pallets are placed tight to one another and against
the headboard to reduce load movement in transit especially when the lorry is braking and to ensure
the lorry will take a full load.
Lorry must have: Engine off, key out of ignition, hand brake on and wheels chocked (wedged) if
Open Questions 1-21
Q1 - Name 4 main safety checks you would make before loading/unloading a flat bed or
1. Engine Off. 2. Parking (Hand) Brake Applied.
3. Ignition Keys Removed. 4. Wheels Chocked (Wedged) in Necessary.
5. Condition of lorry bed 6. Enough space to load safely
Q2 - Give 3 reasons why it is important to carry loads up to the heel of the forks.
To keep the load centre as far back as possible to Keep the truck and its load as short as possible for
1. maintain truck stability. 2. confined spaces.
Maintain load stability against the fork arms and
Q3 - Give 4 reasons why a lift truck can tip over sideways – lateral instability.
1. Turning To Fast. 2. Unbalanced/Off set/Uneven load.
3. Turning With Raised Forks/Mast. 4. Hitting A Pavement Kerb or Pothole.
5. Turning on a Hill/Slope/Incline. 6. Forks not evenly spaced.
7. Turning on a Loading Bay/Ramp. 8. Live Load.
9. Sideshift not centred. 10. Side sloping ground
Q4 - A trucks rated capacity is 1800kg at 500mm load centre (LC).
You have a load of 33 bags weighing 50kg each and a pallet weighing 30kg. The pallet measures
1200x1000mm. Can you safely handle this pallet heeled up in either direction?
1. 500mm – Yes. 2. 600mm – No.
Total load = 1650 +30=1680kg at 500mm load centre. The truck can lift the load at 500mm load centre, but taking into
account the additional 100mm load centre, the truck cannot handle the pallet at that longer load centre.
Q5 - Give 4 examples where it is not recommended to park an industrial truck.
1. Fire Exits 7. On A Slope, Ramp, Incline.
2. Fire Extinguishers/Fire fighting equipment 8. Workways
3. Blind Corners 9. Pedestrian Walkways (Yellow Brick Roads)
4. Middle Of Aisle 10. Doorways
5. Loading Bay 11. Electricity Boards/Switches
6. Station: First Aid, Eye Wash etc. 12. Generally, In The Way Of Others
13. Ground surface: wet, muddy or soft.
Q6 - What changes in ground surfaces can you expect to find, and, what can you do about it?
1a Spillage: Oil, Grease, Paint, ect. 1b Cover with sand/sawdust.
2a Pot Holes. 2b Place cone on to warn others.
3a Railway Lines/ Drainage Gullies, etc. 3b Drive over slowly and diagonally.
4a Rubbish. 4b Clean-up.
5a Ground Surface: Wet, Dry, Icy, Etc. 5b Drive over slowly and watch for changes.
Q7 - Give 4 examples which could cause a lift truck to tip forwards – longitudinal instability.
1. Too much weight. 2. Heavy braking.
3. Extended load centre. 4. Jerky hydraulics.
5. Load not heeled-up. 6.. Too much forward tilt at height.
7. Live load. 8. Hard acceleration in reverse with a load.
9. Forks under adjacent load. 10. Forks facing wrong way on a slope loaded.
Q8 - In relation to a truck’s capacity, which 3 items of information must be printed on a truck’s
Maximum stacking height in millimetres.
1. Maximum weight in kilograms. 2. (Imperial units are acceptable).
Load centre in millimetres.
3. (Imperial units are acceptable).
Q9 - What 4 Checks Must You Make To A Load Before Picking It Up?
1. Weight 2. Live Load (Liquid, Sand, etc.)
3. Load Centre 4. Pallet Condition
5. Evenly Balanced 6. Safely Secured
7. Height Picking up/Placing.
Q10 – State 8 pre-use checks you must make to a lift truck before commencing work.
1. Fork arms/Carriage plate/Back rest extension 2. Mast/Mast rollers & slides
3. Lift chains & pulleys 4. Hydraulics
5. Wheels & Tyres 6. External condition
7. Operating position & seat 8. Starting Procedure: Gas/Engine/Electric
9. Electrics: Lights, Horn, Gauges, etc. !0. Hydraulics
11. Driving, Braking & steering.
Q11 - The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, gives 4 responsibilities/duties of operators
and employees. What are they?
1. Duty of safety to themselves. 2. Duty of safety to others.
Not to interfere, misuse, abuse, be reckless or
3. modify anything provided for health and safety or 4. Cooperate with management on aspects of safety.
Q12 – Name 4 precautions to be considered by an operator prior to fitting an attachment to a lift
1. The effect on the rated capacity 2. Are the truck & attachment compatible.
3. Condition of attachment. 4. Operator training
5. Fitting: Electrics and/or hydraulics
Q13 – Give 2 reasons why it is advisable to stop a short distance from the stack.
Discourage pedestrians from walking between forks &
1. Assist with accuracy & Reduce damage 2. load.
Q14 – What precautions must you take while refuelling or recharging a lift truck?
1. Wear correct PPE 2. No naked flames or smoking
3. Follow procedures: Manufacturers & Organisations
Q15 – If in an emergency, you had to park a lift truck on an incline, how would you leave it?
1. Parked correctly: Fork tips touching ground. 2. Gear in neutral
3. Engine switched off & keys removed 4. Parking brake applied.
5. Wheels chocked (wedged)
Q16 – Why must you never drive or operate a truck across an incline?
1. Trucks are not designed to operate on side slopes and there is a strong possibility it will overturn.
Q17 – What precautions must you take if a manned platform is to be fitted to a truck.
Secured to Forks/Carriage Plate, so as not to come
2. Platform meets HSE requirements.
3. Safe method of use agreed, before used. 4. Authorised persons only on platform.
Q18 - Why is it important that loaded pallets are placed tight to one another and against the
headboard when loading a lorry?
To ensure the full load does not move during
1. transport, especially when braking. 2. So that the lorry can carry a full load.
Q19 - What checks should an operator carryout when using a truck fitted with a side shift?
1. Is the rated capacity reduced? 2. Centred before travelling.
3. Is the attachment securely fitted to the truck?
Q20 - How must you approach and negotiate blind corners?
1. Decrease speed. 2. Sound horn, several sort blasts.
3. Drive wide to increase visibility. 4. Drive/Manoeuvre steadily.
Q21 - Why do we always recommend the parking brake must be applied when using any
To ensure the lift truck is stable during the operation The operator can concentrate on the stacking/de-
1. of the controls.
2. stacking operation.
Can use engine speed when controlling the rate of
Multiple Choice Questions (Safety) 1-16
No Question Answer
Who is responsible for checking that the lift truck is in
1. good working order before using?
What position should a lift truck’s mast be in to comply
2. with the manufacturer’s stated lifting capacity?
Vertical with the truck on level ground
Load net weight: is the weight of the load only.
What is the difference between the load net weight
3. and load gross weight? Load gross weight: is the weight of the load plus its
packaging, pallet, etc
What is meant by the term “load centre” as it applies It is the measurement given forward from the front face
4. to lift trucks? of the fork arms to the centre of gravity of the load
The truck’s maximum carrying capacity will be
5. reduced when:
The load centre is increased
Prior to operating a lift truck in the working
6. environment, the operator must have “written The employer
authorisation” issued by:
Enforcement of the Health and Safety at Work Act etc
7. 1974, is the responsibility of:
The Health and Safety Executive and local authorities
The lift truck’s “rated capacity” applies with the mast in
Whose responsibility is it to ensure the safety of
9. pedestrians while operating a lift truck?
The lift truck operator
When driving an unladen truck how should the forks
10. be set?
As low as practicable and tilted back
When sounding the lift truck’s horn at a blind corner
11. you should?
Make several short blasts
Health and Safety legislation places responsibility for
12. safety at work on:
Employees and employers
13. An approved code of practice is: Advice to duty holders on how to comply with legislation
Lift trucks are more likely to turn over sideways when
14. they are:
Unladen and turning sharply
The forks are longer than the pallet and the pallet is
15. Undercutting is used when: adjacent to a wall or another pallet or the pallet cannot
be heeled up immediately
How must the forks be positioned when handling As wide as possible to prevent the load slipping
16. metal stillages? sideways
Multiple Choice Questions (Operational) 1-21
No Question Answer
Stop not more than 150mm (6 inches) from the stack:
What is the recommended way to approach a stack to
1. place or retrieve a load?
apply the parking brake: select neutral, adjust tilt and
raise the forks
In normal circumstances, if the load on the forks
2. obscures your view, you should:
Travel in reverse, looking in the direction of travel
When parking a lift truck, how should the forks be The heels as low as possible with the tips touching the
3. positioned? ground
How much back tilt is required when transporting a Sufficient back tilt to cater for the type of load and
4. palletised load? ground conditions
Before starting to load a rigid flatbed lorry or trailer The lorry engine has stopped, ignition key is removed,
5. from the ground level, the lift truck operator must the parking brake applied and the wheels chocked if
check that: necessary
A lift truck must always be driven across railway lines,
6. drainage gullies, etc:
Slowly, and, if possible, diagonally
When driving a laden truck up an incline the forks
7. should be:
When an unladen truck is being driven on a gradient,
8. the forks/attachment should face downhill. This is to Stability, traction and adhesion
When tilting a load forward at height, why is there an
9. increased risk of the truck tipping?
The load centre will increase
In winter months, loads stacked outside maybe
10. covered in ice and snow, the effect of this is to:
Increase the weight of the load
While operating a lift truck what would you do if you
11. saw some rubbish/dunnage lying in a gangway or Park the truck in a safe place & remove obstruction.
When travelling on slopes where should the load be
12. carried on the forks?
With the load facing uphill and tilted back
Why do you stop the truck approximately 150-200mm To assist with accuracy and discourage people walking
13. (6-8 inches) from the stack before raising the forks? between the forks and the stack
When following another lift truck down an aisle, how
14. many truck lengths clearance do you leave?
The brakes on the truck you are operating seem to be
15. faulty. What are you going to do?
Stop immediately and seek assistance
As a general rule, how should the forks be positioned
16. on the carriage to take a loaded pallet?
Spread so as to take an equal weight on each fork
The safe use of the hydraulic controls requires the
Parking brake applied and transmission in neutral
18. When the load centre is increased: The load carrying capacity is reduced
What is the meaning of “free lift” in connection with lift The distance the forks can be raised before the mast
19. trucks? begins to extend
Transmission engaged, look over both shoulders, hand
20. When preparing to move off the safest procedure is:
brake off, move off slowly.
When carrying a load on level ground, the correct With the forks 100-150mm (4-6inches) off the ground
21. position of the forks is: and tilted back sufficiently to stabilise the load
Forklift Truck Batteries. Charging and Precautions
Why should you follow safety precautions when charging batteries?
Lead-acid batteries contain sulphuric acid and only trained and authorized personnel should handle them.
When talking about lead-acid batteries, people usually call sulphuric acid "battery acid" or the "electrolyte".
An electrolyte is general term used to describe a non-metallic substance like acids like sulphuric acid or salts
that can conduct electricity when dissolved in water.
Lead-acid batteries can produce explosive mixtures of hydrogen and oxygen gases when they are being
Charge batteries only in approved, ventilated battery-charging areas.
Install a safety shower and an eyewash station in a battery-charging area.
Wear splash-proof goggles and protective clothing (gloves and aprons). A face shield may also be
necessary when handling sulphuric acid in an open system.
Do not store acid in hot locations or in direct sunlight.
Pour concentrated acid slowly into water: do not add water into acid. Use non-metallic containers
and funnels. (Important: You DO add water to acid when simply topping up batteries).
Use extreme care to avoid spilling or splashing the sulphuric acid solution. It can destroy clothing
and burn the eyes and skin.
Use an eyewash station if the sulphuric acid solution is splashed into the eye.
Neutralize spilled or splashed sulphuric acid solution with a baking soda solution, and rinse the spill
area with clean water.
What do I do if someone gets sulphuric acid on their skin?
Avoid direct contact. Wear chemical-resistant protective clothing, if necessary.
As quickly as possible, flush the contaminated area with lukewarm, gently flowing water for at least
20-30 minutes, by the clock.
If irritation persists, repeat flushing. DO NOT INTERRUPT FLUSHING. If necessary, keep
emergency vehicle waiting.
Under running water, remove contaminated clothing, shoes and other leather goods (e.g.,
Transport the victim to an emergency care facility immediately.
Discard contaminated clothing, shoes and leather goods
What do I do if someone gets sulphuric acid in their eyes?
Avoid direct contact. Wear chemical-resistant gloves, if necessary.
Immediately flush the contaminated eye(s) with lukewarm, gently flowing water for at least 20-30
minutes, by the clock, while holding the eyelid(s) open. Neutral saline solution may be used as soon
as it is available.
DO NOT INTERRUPT FLUSHING. If necessary, keep the emergency vehicle waiting.
Take care not to rinse contaminated water into the unaffected eye or onto the face.
If irritation persists, repeat flushing.
Quickly transport the victim to an emergency care facility.
Why is there a danger of exploding batteries?
The charging of lead-acid batteries can be hazardous. When batteries are being recharged, they generate
hydrogen gas that is explosive in certain concentrations in air (the flammability or explosive limits are 4.1% to
72% hydrogen in air). The spark-retarding vents help slow the rate of release of hydrogen, but the escaping
hydrogen may form an explosive atmosphere around the battery if ventilation is poor. The ventilation system
should be designed to provide an adequate amount of fresh air for the number of batteries being charged.
This is essential to prevent an explosion.
Always keep sparks, flames, burning cigarettes, and other sources of ignition away from the battery
Wear protective eye wear when working near batteries.
Do not break "live" circuits at the terminals of batteries.
What should I do when charging batteries?
Check the electrolyte level before recharging. If the battery has been outside in cold weather, make
sure that the battery is not frozen before recharging it.
If the electrolyte is covering the top of the plates, do not add more water. Recheck the fluid level after
the battery has been recharged. If water is added, use distilled water, not tap water.
When vent plugs may need adjustment, follow manufacturers' instructions carefully.
If the battery has sealed vents, do not recharge the battery with a current greater than 25 amps.
To reduce the possibility of explosions, follow the recommendations of the recharger manufacturer
for attaching and removing cables and for operating the equipment properly. Generally, this includes
unplugging or turning off the charger before connecting or disconnecting the clamp connections.
Carefully attach the clamps to the battery with the proper polarity (positive [+] clamp, usually red, to
the positive terminal and negative (-) clamp, usually black, to the negative terminal).
Ensure that area is ventilated when the batteries are being charged.
If the battery becomes hot or if the electrolyte spits out from the vent, turn off the recharger
temporarily. Resume recharging using a lower current or charging rate.
What should I do when servicing batteries?
Keep metal tools and jewellery away from the battery.
Inspect for defective cables, loose connections, corroded cable connectors or battery terminals,
cracked cases or covers, loose hold-down clamps and deformed or loose terminal posts.
Replace worn or unserviceable parts.
Check the state of charge of non-sealed and sealed batteries with an accurate digital voltmeter while
the engine is not running and lights and other electrically-powered equipment are turned off. Also
check the electrolyte levels and specific gravity in each cell of non-sealed batteries. Follow the
battery manufacturer's recommendations about when to recharge or replace batteries.
Tighten cable clamp nuts with the proper size wrench. Avoid subjecting battery terminals to
excessive twisting forces.
Use a cable puller to remove a cable clamp from the battery terminal.
Remove corrosion on the terminal posts, hold-down tray and hold-down parts.
Use a tapered brush to clean battery terminals and the cable clamps.
Wash and clean the battery, battery terminals, and case or tray with water. The corrosive acid can
be neutralized by brushing on some baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) solution. If the solution does
not bubble, the acid is probably neutralized. Rinse the battery with water to remove the baking soda
To prevent electric shocks, never touch or come in contact with both terminals at the same time. If
baking soda solution is applied with a cloth, remember that these solutions can conduct electricity.
When battery cables are removed, ensure that they are clearly marked "positive" and "negative" so
that they are reconnected with the correct polarity.
Use a battery carrier to lift a battery, or place hands at opposite corners. Remember, batteries can
weigh 30 to 60 lb (about 14 to 27 kg) so practice safe lifting and carrying procedures to prevent back
Use self-levelling filler that automatically fills the battery to a predetermined level. Never fill battery
cells above the level indicator.
Do not squeeze the syringe so hard that the water splashes acid from the cell opening.
As a fork lift operator or instructor you would not normally be involved in maintaining batteries to the
extent that is listed on this page. The information is for reference only. If in doubt, leave it to a
qualified battery service engineer. Batteries are DANGEROUS when misused.
Battery Care Questionnaire
No Question Answer
1. How many cells make up the battery? Usually 24.
2 volts per cell, therefore 2 times above, gives you
2. What Voltage is the Battery?
Do we charge with the cell lids up or
3. Down, they have ventilation slits built in.
4. Why, above? To prevent spillages.
Name the gases that are produced during
5. Hydrogen and Oxygen.
6. Why are these gases so dangerous? Potentially explosive.
Well ventilated, No naked flames, Fire
What precautions to the area and truck are
7. extinguishers, Eye wash station, Wear PPE, Health
made during charging?
& Safety signs, Emergency electrical cut-off switch.
Acid, No Naked Flames, Wear Gloves/Apron, Wash
What safety signs should be displayed in Hands, Risk Of Corrosion, Electrical Hazard, Eye
charging area? Protection must be worn, Emergency Resuscitation,
Eye Wash Station.
What liquid do you top the battery cells up
9. Water in Scotland, distilled Water elsewhere.
During charging, what chemical is Electrolyte. (Is a mixture of Distilled Water and
produced in the cells? sulphuric acid).
What volume of gas to air do we need to
11. have the right atmosphere for an 4% to 75%
What instrument do you use, to take a
reading of the charge in an individual cell?
What does S.G. mean when taking a cell
13. Specific Gravity
reading with above?
What Personal Protective Equipment should
14. be worn when topping up etc. battery Apron, Gloves and Goggles.
What should happen to used cloths, paper
15. towels etc., used to clean up battery Put in Contaminated Waste Bins.
16. What are the high and low S.G. readings? Full Charge 1.26 to 1.28. Flat Battery 1.15
Where should you place the battery lead Off the ground, to prevent damage, being run over
from the charger when not in use? by Fork lift truck or water therefore rust.
Trickle, usually over night (recommended method)
18. What types of charge are used?
Full or Equalise for a quick boost
How often should the Fork lift truck be
19. Every Day
charged, if it usually does a full day’s work?
How often should a battery be checked for
20. Daily or monthly depending on usage.
faults and charge level?
Week Commencing: / / Make:
Truck Type: Serial No.:
Model: Motive Power:
FLUID CHECKS Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Chains and Chain Pulleys
Hydraulic rams, pipes and pulleys
External Condition (body, glass, etc.)
Wheels and tyres
Overhead guard and load guard
Battery covers /Engine cover
Seat security and belt condition
Electrics (Horn, lights, beacon, etc.)
ALL hydraulic operations
Defect Details: Repaired by:
IF IN YOUR OPINION THE TRUCK IS FAULTY, DO NOT USE IT
ISOLATE THE TRUCK, REMOVE THE KEY, PLACE AN OUT OF SERVICE NOTICE ON THE TRUCK
AND REPORT ALL FAULTS IMMEDIATELY TO YOUR SUPERVISOR/MANAGER.
Tick box if item ok. X Cross in box if defective. N/A if not applicable.
1 Point Disqualification
Excessive use of hydraulic controls Dismounts unnecessarily
Fails to release parking brake Does not complete pre-use check
Incorrect set down at vertical face Exceeds maximum time
Rides foot brake Operating dangerously
Shunts in chicane Unsafe stacking
Shunts when stacking/destacking Violent collision
3 Points 5 Points
Brakes harshly/erratically Fails to apply parking brake/engage neutral
Fails to apply forward tilt Fails to hold steering wheel when moving
Fails to check all round Fails to look in direction of travel
Fails to lower fork arms Fails to use appropriate warning device
Fails to switch off/remove key Fork arm/load too high when travelling
Fork arm/load too low when travelling Fork arms not fully inserted
Fork arms not central under load Limbs/body outside confines of truck
Fork tips touch stack/load Operates hydraulic controls when moving
Incorrect tilt when travelling Unintentionally travels in wrong direction
Load incorrectly stacked *Lowers load onto reach legs
Load/fork arms not level *Travels with reach extended
Mast base touches stack/load *Reach Only
Rough use of hydraulic controls
Selects wrong hydraulic control