This article contains tips to help prevent rough-terrain forklift accidents, 80% of which are due to operator error. The tips are divided into seven sections: (1) Before starting the engine; (2) Starting the engine; (3) Before loading; (4) Picking up the load; (5) Moving with the load; (6) Depositing the load; and (7) Shutdown. For example, before starting the engine, you must have adequate training and the permission of your supervisor and know the rated load capacity, speed range, braking and steering characteristics, turning radius, and operating clearances of the forklift you plan to operate. Read the manufacturer's manual. Remember that conditions such as rain, snow, ice, and loose gravel change the forklift's operating capabilities. When starting the engine, allow the engine to warm up for one minute before moving the forklift, and investigate any unusual noises. Inspect the surface over which you will move the load and look for anything that might make you lose control or cause the forklift to tip over (such as soft soil, deep mud, standing water, or oil spills). Always refer to the machine's load chart before picking up the load. Remember, the greater the reach, the smaller the lift capacity. Each fork has a maximum load-capacity rating, and any combination of forks is the sum of their rated capacities. Inspect the load to be lifted (it must be stable), approach it slowly and squarely with the fork tips straight and level, and position it equally on both forks. Continue forward until the load touches the backrest. If the load seems unstable in any way, separate it into two or more loads. When moving with the load, travel in as low a gear as possible and avoid sudden stops, starts, or turns, which can shift or topple the load. When placing a load on the ground, make sure the area under it is clear, lower the load to the ground, tilt the forks to the horizontal position, and back away carefully to disengage the forks. Do not raise the load for placement if the forks are tilted to one side. If your forklift has a leveling mechanism, level the forklift before the load is raised. If the forklift has outriggers, they should be lowered into position before the boom is raised. Once the load is where you want it, retract the forks, lower them to traveling height, and return for the next load. key words [forklift safety]