Safe speed on forklifts

We often get asked what the speed limit is on a forklift.  The correct answer is “a speed that will allow a controlled stop at all times”.  Or in OSHA’s words:  OSHA standards require the forklift operator to maintain a safe speed at which he will have proper and complete control over the forklift.

Why no official number?  Conditions vary greatly from one  site to the next.  What is a safe speed limit at one company may not be safe  at another.  Even at the same location a safe speed can change  in a moment.  A wet or slippery floor means reducing your speed,  a “hot spot” for pedestrians means reducing your speed, a heavy load means reducing your speed, turning corners means reducing your speed, fog in the yard means reducing your speed – these are just a few examples.

What does this mean in practice?  It means that forklift drivers must constantly be assessing the operating environment.

A proper training program will teach forklift operators to evaluate and recognize hazardous situations and adjust their speed accordingly.