Loading and Unloading using Forklifts or Equipment with a Fork Attachment


Powered industrial trucks, commonly called forklifts, are used primarily to move materials. They can also be used to raise, lower, or remove large objects or smaller objects on pallets, in crates or other containers. At Fiore and Sons we have several different types of forklifts in our yard and warehouses. Only certified and trained operators are allowed to use forklifts.

According to OSHA, earth-moving equipment that has been modified to accept forks or using a fork attachment are not considered powered industrial trucks or forklifts. Fiore and Sons has many pieces of heavy equipment from skid steers to loaders that have and regularly utilize forks. Only those persons evaluated and approved by supervision are authorized operate heavy equipment.


The first and most important rule to follow with forklifts – don’t overload your equipment. You have to know the weight of what you are lifting or risk tip over. If you spill the load it will take you more time to clean it up than to split the load into two picks.

Many injuries to both the operator and co-workers occur because they were not familiar with the specific model and type of forklift. Take the time to walk around and look over the manual. Take the Opportunity to ask others who use that equipment, and practice a bit on the side in the open before jumping right in with a load.

Safe operating procedures depend on the specific type of lift. Not all forklifts work the same. Always perform a written Daily Equipment Inspection before using the machine.

Always remain a safe distance and keep away from the swing area of the forklift. If you are the operator count & know how many grounds men are working with you. Once you are ready to pick the load the OPERATOR is in charge of the work until the load is back on the ground or bed of a truck. Respect this rule.

Never stand on or under the forks of the lift. Never ride on the side of a lift. Never use a forklift to raise or lower people. Both the operator and the rider are subject to company discipline action for these infractions. Using forks on equipment or a forklift is not a game.

Always pay attention to horns and back-up alarms from all heavy equipment, including forklifts. If operating any heavy equipment, always use seatbelts 100% of the time. More often you will sustain more or greater injury from a tip over if not wearing a seatbelt.


Secure the load to the frame and not the forks. Make sure the forks are all the way under the pallet and load before lifting.

Use a spotter to ensure the load is stable and guide you into the rack or atop the truck. Adjust the forks to be a proper width for the item to be lifted; too narrow it can fall off & too wide it can fall through.

Always lift just a few inches to check everything is ok before proceeding. Secure the load with s strap if you have to travel with it or lift it very high up. Whenever a load is on its “Slow–As-You-Go”.

“It is better to prepare and prevent than it is to repair and repent.” Ezra Taft Benson, Former US Secretary of Agriculture

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