OHSA issues dos and don'ts for using tail lifts

Guidelines issued by health and safety authorities

Photo: Shutterstock

Photo: Shutterstock

Tail lifts on trucks must be inspected every six months if used to raise people and at least once a year if they are used to lift loads, the Occupational Health and Safety Authority has noted. 

OHSA guidelines for tail lifts published yesterday make it clear that workers must be given written instructions on how to operate tail lifts and receive training before being given the task. 

The guidelines include an overview of legal requirements, record-keeping and good practice when operating or owning tail lifts.

Only workers who have been adequately trained should be allowed to use the lifts, the guidelines suggest. 

Companies must regularly maintain tail lifts and keep a record of the past two years' inspection documentation, as well as records of employee training. 

Guidelines can be read in full in the attached pdf. 

Tail lift dos and don'ts


  • Inspect the tail lift before using it 
  • Stop the tail lift if you hear odd sounds
  • Ensure no person, animal or object is in the tail lift's path
  • Use kick plates, side plates or roll stops if available 
  • Place the load in the centre of the tail lift platform 


  • Overload the lift platform 
  • Drive the vehicle if the tail lift is being used
  • Exceed the safe working load

Attached files

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