20 Jan, 23

What is involved in a Forklift Licence?

Connection Group AustraliaHigh Risk Work LicenceNo Comments

A forklift truck means a powered industrial truck equipped with lifting media made up of a mast and an elevating load carriage to which is attached a pair of fork arms or other attachments that can be raised 900 mm or more above the ground, but does not include a pedestrian-operated truck or a pallet truck.

A person performing this work is required to hold a forklift truck High Risk Work Licence (HRWL).

Assessment requirements

Forklift Pre-Start Checks

Carrying out pre-start checks, including visual inspection which must include:

  • battery charge as required by manufacturer requirements.
  • checking and interpreting data plate/s are relevant to the attachment and the forklift truck.
  • checking for signs of paint separation and stressed welds indicating potential structural weakness
  • document evidence of damage
  • engine / mechanical fluid level checks including fuel as required by manufacturer requirements.
  • ensuring availability of correct forklift truck logbook and updating records as required
  • ensuring forklift truck tynes or another attachment/s are securely fitted
  • ensuring seat and mirrors are adjusted appropriately and seat belt is functional.
  • fluid leaks
  • lights are working effectively.
  • safety equipment checks.
  • signage and labels to ensure they are visible and legible.
  • wheels and tyres for damage/correct inflation if applicable

Risks & Control

  • Ensuring risk control measures within the work area are effective as per workplace procedures.
  • identifying, isolating and tagging out defective equipment and reporting to authorised person/s
  • interpreting and confirming relevant documentation, workplace instructions, safety information, emergency procedures for the work task and relevant area
  • interpreting workplace procedures in relation to various environmental conditions

Conducting and applying risk and hazard assessment strategies including:

  • insufficient lighting
  • other specific hazards including dangerous goods
  • overhead hazards and fixed structures, roof beams and doorways
  • restricted and poorly ventilated areas
  • surface suitability based on forklift truck and task requirements
  • the risk of collision with people, moving plant and fixed structures
  • weather conditions

Applying safe operating procedures for a forklift truck including:

  • maintaining safe operating speed
  • travelling with load lowered to an appropriate height for the terrain, operating surface and visibility in relation to direction of travel.

Applying relevant forklift truck manufacturer requirements and data plate information and approved modifications to attachments fitted are in accordance with manufacturer requirements.

Complying with Commonwealth, State and Territory Work Health and Safety (WHS)/Occupational Health and Safety (OHS)/Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) legislation, regulations safe work and workplace procedures

Forklift Operational Checks

Conducting operational checks, which must ensure:

  • all controls are located, identified and tested for functionality
  • all hydraulic functions operated to maximum extension and ensuring attachment (if fitted) movements and control functions are smooth and comply with operating requirements
  • hazard warning systems (e.g. reversing beepers, lights and horns) are functional
  • recording and maintaining accurate information relating to forklift truck operations
  • safety devices as fitted
  • start-up is in accordance with manufacturer requirements
  • steering, transmission and brake functions comply with operating requirements
  • there are no unusual noises.

Confirming and following traffic management plan procedures relevant to their role in the work area.

Conducting relevant procedures for refuelling and isolating fuel/power source as per manufacturer requirements using appropriate PPE.

Different Lifting Attachments of a forklift

Determining relevant lifting attachment to perform work/task &determining lift requirements including:

  • positioning of unusually balanced/shaped loads
  • centre of gravity
  • dynamic nature of load
  • tyne/attachment positioning
  • weight

Communication while operating and on site.

Maintaining communication with other workplace personnel through using worksite procedures including:

  • audible and visual warning devices
  • signage
  • two-way radio
  • verbal instructions
  • written instructions
  • maintaining three points of contact whilst accessing and egressing forklift truck and ensuring rungs / steps are free of hazards

Operations of a forklift

Operating and monitoring safe forklift truck operations using minimum 250kg dynamic and non-dynamic loads that include:

  • aligning tynes/attachment to load
  • carrying out a lift to 75% of the maximum height
  • conducting trial lift to ensure forklift truck and load are stable, and load is safe to move
  • correctly using horns and mirrors in workplace
  • correctly positioning and using an observer to assist when operating with a load that may restrict vision or be placed out of vision of the operator
  • driving applicable to conditions and moving loads safely
  • driving a forklift truck safely with load in forward and reverse, while maintaining visibility through an obstacle course including:
  • an ‘S’ bend with a minimum 90 degrees left and right turn
  • ensuring load/s remains stable through pick up, transport and placement
  • forklift truck speed is appropriate to load and surroundings
  • lowering dynamic and non-dynamic loads to appropriate height for travel in forward and reverse
  • picking up, driving, manoeuvring and placing dynamic and non-dynamic loads safely at various heights within a compliant racking system
  • picking up, driving, manoeuvring and placing dynamic and non-dynamic loads safely into/onto an elevated, flat, stable area
  • tilting mast (or forks if applicable) to ensure balance of load
  • using gluts/dunnage appropriately and lowering load safely
  • using tilt and side shift (where fitted) safely to manoeuvre dynamic and non-dynamic loads into allocated space


Reporting to relevant person/s on site risk control measures that are not in place or are deficient


  • setting up an exclusion zone


  • securely parking forklift truck and isolating in appropriate position including:
    • minimising possible access by unauthorised person/s
    • tynes/attachment lowered to required position in accordance with manufacturer requirements
    • park brake applied
    • switching off, isolating fuel/power source and removing key according to workplace procedures
  • shutting down a forklift truck in accordance with manufacturer requirements and workplace procedures

Source: training.gov.au – TLILIC0003 – Licence to operate a forklift truck

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