6 Most Important Safety Devices on a Forklift

Forklifts are a fundamental part of any material handling operation. But as with any heavy machinery, they can also present workplace safety hazards. That’s why several forklift safety features come standard on all lift trucks. Make sure your operators know how to use each one correctly to prevent accidents, injuries, and fatalities at your facility.


Forklift Brakes

Similar to a motor vehicle, the brakes are one of the most important forklift safety devices. Every pre-shift inspection should include testing the parking brake, regular brakes, and brake lights for proper operation. If anything is amiss, the forklift should not be used until the problem is repaired. Operators should also be in the habit of engaging the parking brake every time they exit the forklift, no matter how briefly.

Forklift Seatbelts

All industrial forklifts manufactured in the last 30 years feature a restraint system or enclosure to help keep operators safe in the event of a tip-over. Since this is the single largest cause of forklift accidents, seatbelts are obviously a life-saving safety feature. Operators should always wear a seatbelt, and if a tip-over becomes imminent, hold on tightly and lean away from the point of impact to reduce injury.

Overhead Guards

The overhead guards on a forklift protect the operator from falling objects. If the guards are dented, missing bolts, improperly welded, or damaged in any other way, the vehicle should be decommissioned and repaired before use. Keep in mind that overhead guards aren’t intended to withstand the impact of a full load, so operators should still wear a hard hat and other appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

Forklift Lights

The lights on a forklift make it easier for the operator to see and communicate important messages to other workers in the vicinity. Here are the lights a forklift may include at the time of purchase or need to be outfitted with:

  • Headlights
  • Brake lights
  • Directional lights
  • Flashing warning lights
  • Blue safety lights

Forklift Horn

In loud work settings, a horn is vital for alerting others of immediate danger. First, OSHA requires that all forklifts have an automatic backup alarm. Then, the operator should have access to a controlled horn, whistle, or gong they can use when turning around blind corners or crossing intersections with limited visibility.

Proximity Detection System

Like the backup sensor in a modern passenger vehicle, many forklifts are outfitted with a proximity detection system. This anti-collision technology alerts the operator when surrounding objects or people come within a certain range. Assessing system functionality should be part of the operator’s daily forklift inspection.


Ring Power Lift Trucks can supply forklift safety devices and other premium parts for all makes and models of forklift trucks. Our goal is to help you create a “safety first” culture at your material handling facility. We also offer forklift rentals, sales, and services to our Florida customers, drawing on over 60 years of experience to ensure your satisfaction. For more information, please contact us at 877-544-5438.


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