Increasing Workplace Safety with Pre Start Checklists

Increasing Workplace Safety with Pre Start Checklists

Sales Uniprint

A working environment that prioritises employee’s safety, is one that cultivates a productive and thriving business operation. Using safety books such as a pre start checklist helps demonstrate your commitment to safety procedures which can help earn the trust, confidence, and loyalty of your employees and clients.

What is a Pre Start Checklist?

Industrial and manufacturing companies that use machinery, vehicles and equipment must perform regular inspections and maintenance check-ups before and after operations. To standardise this procedure, companies need to use a pre start checklist to identify any potential risks or hazards.

pre start checklists for plant and equipment


In the most basic sense, a pre start checklist is an organised list of parts and pieces of equipment that need to be carefully checked prior to use. This document ensures the capacity of the equipment deemed to function well and is safe prior to use by workers.

The pre start checklist should be used for common machinery such as forklifts. Specific checklists such as pre start checklists for forklifts are provided by accredited printing companies such as UniPrint. Where your workplace requires customisation, at Uniprint we also offer a range of customisation services for pre start checklists so you can obtain accurate safety checklists that apply to your company’s needs.

Uniprint offers a range of pre start checklists including:

  • Forklift pre start checklists
  • Pre start checklists for machinery
  • Pre start checklists for vehicles including trucks 
  • Pre start checklists of plant and equipment
forklifts pre start checklist


Why Is It Important to Inspect Equipment Before Use?

Safety is of paramount importance in the workplace. Inspection of equipment must be conducted before use to ensure your employees’ welfare is kept safe, which helps you meet the OH&S requirements of your industry’s standards. 

As an operator of the equipment, it is your duty to perform checks on both vehicles and equipment in the workplace. 

Statistics show that manufacturing and construction companies using machinery tend to encounter workplace accidents more frequently. In an effort to reduce safety and health risks, pre-operational safety checks are regularly done to prevent unfortunate incidents that may injure employees in one way or another. This procedure nurtures a safe and conducive working environment that encourages workers to perform at their best.

Benefit 1: Lowering the Risk of Workplace Injuries through Regular Safety Checks 

Using a pre start checklist prior to starting projects is a smart workplace habit. Completing a pre start checklist for machinery, vehicles and other equipment significantly reduces the risk of workers being exposed to major equipment failure. 

By preventing workplace injuries, you can save a lot of money from paying hospital bills, insurance, fines, and workplace compensation. You can also prevent legal suits that could damage the credibility and profitability of the business. 

Benefit 2: Pre Start Checklists for Machinery Save You Money Through Regular Machine Maintenance

Pre start checklists for machinery encourages regular inspection of equipment.It can also decrease the amount spent by your company on machinery repairs and replacement. The routine check-ups can provide early identification of the parts that need adjustments, repair, or replacements. This can prevent the gradual deterioration and break down of the entire machinery.

Monitoring and maintaining equipment can help keep the equipment in its best shape and extend its years of service. It will also minimise your downtime so your company can continue working with minimal disruptions.

Benefit 3: Increase Workplace Productivity

Most importantly, a smooth and problem-free operation automatically translates to increased productivity. The resources, time, and energy can be redirected towards other functions like increasing capacity and marketing which can all contribute to overall business profitability.


What Should a Pre-operational Safety Check Cover?

The coverage of machinery inspection depends on the type, use, and condition of your equipment. In any form, a pre start checklist for machinery or heavy vehicles always focuses on the parts and components of the equipment which are related to safety.

Heavy equipment often requires more extensive inspection. Qualified workplace inspectors survey the exterior and interior parts of the heavy equipment especially the safety features like emergency brakes and warning devices. They also perform hands-on testing to see the performance and functionality of the equipment. The final evaluation combines the results of the component checkup and testing.

pre start checklists for trucks


What Does A Pre Start Checklist Cover?

There are two types of pre start checks. The first is a daily inspection that ensures safety of the equipment before each work day. This is outlined through a daily pre start checklist. The second is a more thorough inspection of machine safety and maintenance requirements. There is also a place to track and record machinery repair logs. This is normally done through a weekly pre start checklist.

Daily pre start inspections usually includes the following elements for evaluation:

  • Safety features
  • Communications
  • Doors
  • Heating/Cooling
  • Visible leaks
  • Lights
  • Wheels
  • Glass
  • Bodywork

Weekly pre start inspections covers components such as:

  • Brake and clutch
  • Engine performance
  • Oil level and condition
  • Tyres and wheel parts
  • External windows and accessories
  • Warning systems
  • Load resistance
  • Cabin heating and cooling
  • External windows and mirrors
  • Battery
  • Electrical wires
  • Meters
  • Transmission Functions
  • Exhaust System

The Scope of Each Pre Start Inspection

The scope of inspection also varies with the type of check-up.

  1. The pre start check-up is usually a quick assessment of vital components like electric cables, hand-held power tools, brakes, and lights.
  2. The weekly check-up, on the other hand, ensures the functionality of more components like safety devices, tyre pressures, mirrors, and cameras.
  3. Preventive maintenance takes a longer time to complete because of a more in-depth examination of the equipment. This is conducted by the manufacturer or third-party technician annually or quarterly, depending on recommendations and agreements.

Who Should Carry Out the Inspection?

The inspection of your equipment can be carried out by any qualified individual who knows the parts and operation of machinery.

Normally, individuals with long experience in using and handling the same equipment are preferred and employed by the companies to conduct the routine and quick pre start check-ups. Their familiarity with the components and the system enables them to monitor and detect minor problems efficiently.

However, more complex and heavier equipment often requires a higher level of competence and qualifications of the inspector. Engineers and technicians are frequently hired by the company to do in-house maintenance and repair of equipment.
pre start checklist for machinery


The preventive maintenance and extensive repair services are commonly referred to and conducted by the manufacturers or another company that specialises in the field.

Prior to conducting a pre start inspection it is imperative to take the following steps:

  • Conduct a comprehensive hazard identification utilising a Take 5 checklist or other approved risk assessment checklist.  
  • Refer to the equipment’s pre start checklist to obtain accurate and relevant information
  • Examine the machinery for any cautionary labels such as “out of service” or “danger” tags.

Everyone has a part to play to ensure their workplace is as safe as possible. Hazards can be identified at any time of the work day and should be actioned immediately.

Daily pre start checklist


Pre-Start Uniprint Checklist Books

As you can see, creating a safe working environment for your employees has a positive impact on your company. Making your employees feel safe increases their confidence and trust in your leadership and your organisation. It allows them to perform at their best without worrying about their wellbeing. This positive energy increases productivity and profitability too.

The financial benefits of routine check-ups and maintenance outweigh the possible loss the company may incur due to negligence. Investing in the prevention of issues is a good investment into the future operations.

Find out more about the Uniprint pre-start checklist books here. Our checklists can be completely customised to suit the needs of your business. Our books are an industry leader in workplace safety checklists. Each checklist book is designed to last 8 weeks and comprises of:

  • Repair log
  • Daily pre-start inspection forms
  • Weekly pre-start inspection forms