A fleet owner client of mine was losing trust in many of his regular captains, which is never a good situation. His solution was lots of checklists.
Lists can work whether you are on sea or land. Include maintenance and safety items, down to the smallest detail, and you’ll find that things will go more smoothly and safely. Lists are also a good tool for managing people and equipment. Here are some basic lists to get you started.

Company vehicles: Tire pressure and wear, engine oil, lights and gauges. A complete safety check and a place to note unusual items including whether anything is broken or protruding.

Fork trucks: Hydraulic fluid and all other fluids. Check the load lock (twice). Battery and safety equipment including fire extinguishers, also driver certification.

Cranes (on board or land): Documentation and safety manuals complete and ready to use (including the load angle chart); anti-topple gear set; hydraulic or mechanical emergency stop functioning. And, very important, is the swing area clearly marked so nobody intrudes into it by mistake?

Wheelhouse: Check all house lights, spotlights, running lights and deck lights; no hitches in the steering function or throttle function; fuel; check all instruments.

Engine room: All safety equipment, including safety glasses, hard hats, safety gloves, hearing protection, non-slippery decking, flashlights, fire extinguishers. Check all fluid levels and heat and shaft shielding.

Welding shop: All safety equipment, including helmets, gloves, eyewash station, welding curtains, all gas bottles chained in and welder leathers available to all.

Paint rooms: All ventilation working; filters clean; respirator filters clean; all painters beard free and able to use coveralls, etc.; fire suppression systems checked.

When used regularly, lists become an important part of your maintenance and safety records. They will help you run a clean, safe and stress-free workplace. It also means peace of mind.

A collection of stories from guest authors.