How to operate a forklift safely, according to regulatory standards:


On the surface, a forklift seems like an easy vehicle to use, however, not everything that appears to be, really is.

These machines were developed to help the logistics sector, being able to carry tons of products and materials without great human effort. In addition to loading, they also perform the function of stacking and tacking goods.

Despite becoming more common in recent years, forklifts are still expensive tools, also having a high maintenance cost for companies. For Forklift Repair Consult here

In addition to being a very present subject within corporate environments, the mention of forklifts is also made in Regulatory Norms, as we will see below.

The regulatory standard nº 11, deals with the transport, movement, storage and handling of materials. It accurately describes the procedures for the correct use of forklifts.

In the same way, the regulatory norm nº 12, which discusses measures so that the driving of machines such as forklifts is done in a safe way.

13 important protocols of regarding the training of forklift operators:

Workers responsible for handling forklifts must be trained, both for their own safety and for the safety of others around them.

Following the requirements listed in the regulatory standards preserves the integrity of the employees and the company as a whole.

According to NR 11 and NR 12, the handling of forklifts must follow some protocols, let’s see:

  • The operator must gain exclusive training, given by the employer, to perform his/her function with forklifts;
  • Training must be provided by workers or professionals qualified for this purpose;
  • Refresher training should always occur when there is any change in the function to be performed or in the machinery used by the employer;
  • The operator must always be aware of the conditions of the machine, always checking that everything is working perfectly;
  • All machines must have manuals provided by the manufacturer or importer, containing information regarding safety at all stages of use;
  • Every operator must receive an identification plate;
  • Forklifts must have an audible warning signal (horn);
  • Machines must be serviced frequently, in order to keep them in perfect working order;
  • The weight of the stored material cannot exceed the load capacity calculated for the factory floor;
  • The stored material must be arranged avoiding obstruction of doors, fire equipment, emergency exits, etc.;
  • The operator must be instructed to obey all safety signs and notices;
  • The operator must respect the traffic rules of the machines within the establishment where he performs his function;
  • The training of forklift operators must last at least 20 hours, with the application of theoretical and practical classes – a period sufficient to enable an employer to operate the machine.
  • It is worth remembering that both men and women can handle forklifts, as long as they are qualified to meet the requirements described above.

It can also be said that there is no pre-established number of hours for the forklift operator to work. The usual eight-hour shift is the most common within companies, emphasizing that anything that goes beyond that counts as overtime, and the operator must be paid more.


Prevention is always better than cure. Rules define that it is the employer’s obligation to take measures for the protected use of machinery and equipment. These measures focus on the training of the forklift operator, preventing him from getting involved in accidents.

These regulatory standards have the main objective of guaranteeing the safety of workers within companies, in addition, ensuring good visibility to organizations that comply with it, making it legally correct.

In this way, keeping your employee qualified, well-trained to operate machines safely, can significantly reduce expenses and ensure assertive risk management. Despite this, not thinking about effective risk management is neglecting the health and safety of employees and running the risk of paying very high fines, as well as losing reliability in the increasingly competitive market.

It is possible to see that investing in occupational safety is essential to ensure stability, growth and profit for organizations. Therefore, it is worth having a consultancy for the proper application of the law in your business.

We have all the necessary support your company needs to meet any type of labor legislation. So, if your company wants to have a better management of legal requirements, count. Learn more about Legal Requirements Management Software and schedule an exclusive demo for your business.

By Master James

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