Check Your Forks or Risk an Over $7,000 OSHA Fine… You decide!

Check Your Forks Daily

Each day hundreds of Forklifts lift thousands of pounds of material each shift during production. A key component of a forklift is their forks. Forks (also known as tines or blades) carry the load. They have a heel where they curve upward and an upright shank where they are attached to the carriage. When there is too much wear tear on a fork and it’s not properly checked, it could cause a fork to break. This is why it is important to check your forks on a daily basis. If neglected and potential harm is caused, OSHA will inspect the situation and could fine you.

When forks are unchecked on a daily basis, there is a higher chance of forks breaking. When a fork breaks it could cause the load to crash to the ground, thus causing severe damage to property, or even the death of an employee. That is one reason why OSHA requires a daily inspection of each lift truck while in operation. Check out some potential hazards to be aware of for your forks.

Potential Hazards

A fork that shows any of the following defects shall be withdrawn form service and discarded or properly repaired:

  • Surface Cracks
  • Blade or shank are not straight
  • Fork angle from blade to shank is not straight
  • Difference in height of fork tips
  • Positioning lock not in working order
  • Blade or shank wear
  • Hooks wear
  • Fork marking not legible

To prevent your forks from wearing they need to be daily maintained. Below is a checklist for inspection to ensure your forks operational:

Fork Checklist

  • Rated Load Capacity – Are the forks rated to carry the loads they are handling?
  • Surface Cracks – Inspect each fork top and bottom for surface cracks. Pay close attention to the heel area and the welds to the areas that attach the forks to the lift truck. These areas are most likely to develop cracks. If a crack is found, the fork must be replaced before the lift truck is put back into service. OSHA does not permit a damaged fork to be repaired.
  • Straightness of the Blade & Shank – If either the shank or the blade has any sort of bend, the fork must be replaced before the lift truck is put back into service.
  • Excessive Angle – If the shank and blade angle exceed 93 degrees, the fork must be replaced before the lift truck is put back into service.
  • Fork Tip Height Variances -If the fork tips exceed 3% of the length of the blade, the forks need to be replaced before the lift truck is put back into service.
  • Positioning Lock – If the positioning lock is inoperable, it must be replaced before the fork is put back into service on the lift truck.
  • Normal Wear – Use calipers to measure the heel and the blade for wear. These are the areas that wear most quickly. Once wear reaches 10%, the fork must be replaced. 10% wear results in a 20% decrease in rated fork capacity and increases the odds of an accident.

If there is damage or a replacement needed for your forks, we will do our best to provide you the most affordable solution for your business. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to inspect your forks.


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