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Are electric forklifts safer to operate than other types of forklifts?

Electric forklifts offer the advantage of improved safety when compared to other types of forklifts. At TAG Forklifts, we believe in providing customers with an industrial lifting solution that not only meets their needs, but does so safely. There are a number of reasons why electric forklifts offer an added layer of safety for operators. 

Here at TAG Forklifts, our electric forklifts provide more visibility and maneuverability than other types of forklifts. 

Understanding Electric Forklift Safety Features

Electric forklifts are equipped with a range of safety features designed to enhance the overall safety of the operator and those working nearby. Here are some of the key safety features of electric forklifts:

Safety Feature


Operator Visibility

Electric forklifts come with clear sightlines to help the operator see their surroundings and avoid collisions. The visibility-enhancing features include overhead guards, rear-view mirrors, and high-visibility masts.

Stability Systems

Electric forklifts typically come with stability systems designed to prevent tipping and improve overall stability. These systems include automatic speed reduction when turning, automatic tilt lock, and weight sensors that alert the operator when the load is unevenly distributed.

Speed Control

Electric forklifts have speed controls built into the machine to prevent them from going too fast. This is particularly useful when navigating tight spaces, such as aisles in warehouses. Additionally, speed controllers also help prevent overloading and tip overs.

Ergonomic Design

Electric forklifts are designed with the operator’s comfort and safety in mind. These features include adjustable seats, tilt steering wheels, and ergonomic controls that are intuitive and easy to operate. This helps to reduce operator fatigue, which can increase the risk of accidents.

When operating an electric forklift, it is essential to follow safety guidelines to minimize the risk of accidents. Here are some important safety guidelines to follow:

  • Always wear the appropriate personal protective equipment, including hard hats, safety shoes, and high visibility clothing.
  • Regularly inspect the electric forklift before use, following a pre-operation checklist.
  • Ensure proper loading and unloading techniques are followed, and never exceed the weight limit of the machine.
  • Avoid sudden movements or lifting, which can cause the forklift to tip over.
  • Keep a safe distance from other people and objects, and maintain a clear line of sight.
  • Communicate with pedestrians and other workers in the area, using signals or verbal cues.
  • Never use a mobile phone or other electronic device while operating a forklift.
  • Be alert and pay attention to potential hazards, such as uneven surfaces or slippery floors.

By following these safety guidelines and utilizing the safety features of electric forklifts, operators can help prevent accidents and maintain a safe working environment.

Preventing Forklift Accidents with Electric Forklifts

While electric forklifts are safer to operate compared to other types of forklifts, accidents can still occur if proper safety measures are not followed. Here are some best practices to prevent forklift accidents:

  1. Proper Load Handling: Always ensure that the load is within the forklift’s capacity and properly secured before lifting or moving. Avoid overloading the forklift as it can cause instability and tip over.
  2. Avoiding Collisions: Always maintain a safe distance from other vehicles, objects or pedestrians. Use horns, warning lights or other signals to alert people and always check for obstructions or hazards in the way before moving.
  3. Conducting Regular Inspections: Regularly inspect electric forklifts before each use to check for damaged or broken parts. Follow manufacturer guidelines for maintenance and repair, and conduct thorough inspections at least once a week or more if needed.

By following these best practices, you can significantly reduce the risk of forklift accidents in the workplace. However, it is equally important to ensure operators are trained and certified to operate electric forklifts safely.

Maintaining Electric Forklifts for Optimal Safety

Regular maintenance is critical to ensuring the safety and longevity of electric forklifts. Proper maintenance can help prevent accidents and costly breakdowns, while also extending the life of the equipment. Here are some essential maintenance tasks that operators and maintenance personnel should perform:



Battery care

Check and charge battery daily

Brake inspections

Inspect brakes every 250 hours or as recommended by the manufacturer

Tire maintenance

Check tire pressure and wear regularly

Fluid levels

Check all fluid levels regularly and top up as needed


Keep the forklift clean and free of debris to prevent damage and improve visibility


Conduct regular inspections to identify potential issues before they become safety hazards

It’s also important to have a forklift safety checklist that covers all the critical components of the equipment and the safety measures that should be taken before and during operation. This checklist should be completed before each shift to ensure that the forklift is in safe working order.

Regular maintenance and inspection, along with adherence to the safety checklist, can greatly reduce the risk of accidents and keep electric forklifts operating at optimal safety levels. Don’t neglect these important tasks!

Best Practices for Electric Forklift Operators

Operating an electric forklift requires skill and attention to detail. By following best practices, operators can help ensure maximum safety in the workplace. Here are some key guidelines to follow:

  • Before operating the forklift, complete a pre-operation inspection to check for any potential hazards or mechanical issues.
  • Ensure that the load is properly balanced and secured to prevent tipping or shifting during transport.
  • Always use the seat belt to prevent ejection in the event of a collision or tip-over.
  • When driving the forklift, keep a safe distance from other vehicles, pedestrians and objects.
  • Avoid sudden stops and starts to maintain control and stability of the forklift.
  • Always pay attention to surroundings, watch for obstacles, uneven surfaces, and other hazards.
  • Do not exceed the weight limit of the forklift or lift loads beyond the maximum height specified.
  • When parking the forklift, make sure the brakes are fully engaged, and the forks are lowered to the ground.

By following these guidelines, operators can maintain a safe work environment and reduce the risk of accidents or injuries.

Forklift Safety Regulations and Compliance

Ensuring compliance with safety regulations is crucial to avoiding accidents when operating electric forklifts. There are several regulations and standards that businesses must adhere to when it comes to forklift safety.



PUWER 1998

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations require that all forklifts are safe for use and properly maintained.

LOLER 1998

The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations stipulate that all forklift operators must undergo proper training and certification before using the equipment.

ISO 3691-1:2011

The International Organization for Standardization provides guidelines for the safe operation of forklifts, including electric forklifts.

Adhering to these regulations and standards can help prevent accidents and ensure a safe working environment for all employees.

Training and Certification

Proper training and certification of forklift operators is a key requirement for forklift safety compliance. Operators must undergo training that covers all aspects of forklift operation, including safety regulations, proper load handling, manoeuvring, and maintenance procedures. Refresher training should also be provided periodically to ensure that operators remain up-to-date with any changes in regulations or technology.

Certification is another important aspect of forklift safety compliance. Operators must obtain a certification that verifies their knowledge and competence in operating electric forklifts. This certification should be obtained through a reputable training provider and should be renewed periodically.

Training Programs for Electric Forklift Safety

Proper training is crucial for the safe operation of electric forklifts in the workplace. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recommends that all operators receive training and be certified before they are allowed to operate a forklift.

Training programs cover a range of topics that ensure operators are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to operate electric forklifts safely. These topics include:

  • Understanding the hazards associated with operating forklifts
  • Pre-operation checks and inspections
  • Basic forklift operation and maneuvering
  • Advanced forklift handling techniques
  • Safe loading and unloading of materials
  • Safe use of attachments and accessories
  • Proper communication with pedestrians and other workers
  • Emergency procedures and protocols

It is important for employers to choose a comprehensive training program that covers all necessary topics and conforms to regulatory standards. The trainers should be experienced and competent in all aspects of electric forklift operation and safety.

Refresher courses are also recommended to keep operators up-to-date on the latest safety guidelines and best practices. These courses can be held annually, bi-annually, or as frequently as needed to ensure that safety standards are maintained.

Investing in proper training and certification programs for electric forklift operators can have many benefits for businesses. These benefits include:

  • Reduced risk of accidents and injuries in the workplace
  • Improved efficiency and productivity by ensuring operators have the skills to handle forklifts safely and effectively
  • Compliance with regulatory standards and guidelines
  • Increased employee satisfaction and morale by demonstrating a commitment to safety

By prioritizing electric forklift safety training, companies can create a safer and more productive workplace for everyone.

For Electric Forklifts You Can Rely On, Call TAG Forklifts Today

At TAG Forklifts, we understand the importance of safety and compliance in the workplace. Electric forklifts require proper training and certification processes to ensure that operators are able to safely and effectively use them. Investing in electric forklift safety training can have many benefits, from increased productivity to improved employee morale.

Our experienced instructors will provide your employees with the knowledge and skills needed to operate these machines safely and efficiently. Contact us today to learn more about our electric forklift safety training courses!

Frequently Asked Questions about Electric Forklift Safety

Operating an electric forklift can be a safe and efficient way to handle materials in the workplace. However, it’s important to have a good understanding of electric forklift safety to ensure that accidents are prevented. Here are some frequently asked questions about electric forklift safety.

Q: Do I need a special license to operate an electric forklift?

A: Yes, you do. Operating an electric forklift requires a Forklift Operator’s Licence, which can only be obtained after completing a formal training course and passing an assessment. This licence ensures that operators are properly trained to handle an electric forklift safely.

Q: Can an electric forklift be used outdoors?

A: Yes, electric forklifts can be used outdoors, but precautions must be taken to protect the forklift and the operator from adverse weather conditions. It’s important to ensure that the forklift is rated for outdoor use and that the tires are suitable for outdoor surfaces.

Q: Is it safe to use an electric forklift to lift people?

A: No, it’s not safe to use an electric forklift to lift people. Electric forklifts are not designed for this purpose and lifting people is a serious safety hazard. Instead, workers should use an elevated work platform or a scissor lift that is specifically designed for lifting people.

Q: Can I alter an electric forklift’s safety features to improve its performance?

A: No, it’s not recommended to alter an electric forklift’s safety features, as they are in place to protect the operator and other workers in the workplace. Any alterations can compromise the safety of the electric forklift and increase the risk of an accident.

Q: What should I do if an electric forklift breaks down during operation?

A: If an electric forklift breaks down during operation, the first step is to ensure that the area is clear of workers and any potential hazards. The operator should then turn off the forklift and report the breakdown to their supervisor immediately. The forklift should not be operated again until it has been inspected and repaired by a qualified technician.

Q: Are there any restrictions on the use of electric forklifts in confined spaces?

A: Yes, there are restrictions on the use of electric forklifts in confined spaces. It’s important to ensure that the electric forklift is rated for use in confined spaces and that the operator is properly trained to operate it in these conditions. Additionally, workers should follow all safety guidelines for operating an electric forklift in confined spaces, such as ensuring proper ventilation and avoiding overcrowding.

Remember, safety is crucial when operating an electric forklift. By following best practices and ensuring proper training and maintenance, accidents can be prevented and workers can remain safe on the job.