4 Common Forklift Mistakes to Avoid

Operating a forklift can be a difficult and unnerving task for untrained personnel. Given the capacity at which these machines operate, even experienced operators can sometimes make mistakes. Thus, we are here to help identify these mistakes to help forklift operators avoid these occurrences and take the necessary steps to prevent these instances. Of course, in order to operate a forklift legally and safely in Australia, you must first achieve your relevant High Risk Work Licence for Forklift. At Nationwide Training, we provide Forklift LF and Order Picker LO courses designed to offer safety-first, efficient processes that instil knowledge and skill onto each training candidate.

The following are just some of the most common mistakes that we have recognised forklift operators make during the movement of loads in workplace. In order to receive the most comprehensive and market proven practices, book your course now with Nationwide Training.

  1. Poor Communication 

One of the biggest mistakes we have found in forklift operations resides in the lack of communication before, during and after the movement of a load by forklift operators. Considering the weight, structure, and speed by which forklifts move and the weight of their load, carefully planning a safe route and advising all fellow personnel is vital.

To eliminate the risk of forklift incidents, communication may come in many forms, eye contact, signalling and of course verbal. Always consider your previous learnings from forklift training courses and always communicate responsibly.

  1. Overloading

Overloading has become one of the most dangerous mistakes forklift operators make. Although forklifts are heavy industrial machines, they too have a stated lifting capacity (Safe Working Load or Working Load Limit). Although when moving of a load it may be tempting to add an extra load on the forklift, please recognise the substantial consequences such actions can have. These include tipping the forklift over and/or dropping the load from the forklift.

Before operating a forklift to move a load, please always reference the load capacity of the forklift (the forklift data plate), assess the weight, size, shape, contents and location of the load. As the forklift operator, you are solely responsible for the machine, the load, and the safety of both when in motion. Overloading a forklift can be detrimental for the machine and surrounding workers and pedestrians.

  1. Speeding

Speeding while operating a forklift whether carrying a load or not increases the risk of an incident resulting in damage to the forklift, loads, structures and other machines and equipment can be very costly. Injuries to people can be fatal.

  1. Lack of pre start check forklift inspections

By conducting daily pre start inspections and recording the forklift checks, it will reduce the risk of a variety of accidents and machine failures. We recommend checking over the whole forklift before operating, monitoring the forklift during operation and visually checking the forklift after parking and shutting the forklift.

All faults must be reported to the owner of the forklift and tagged out of use when a safety fault is identified.


To book your Forklift Training Course with Nationwide Training, contact our team today.