Eureka Forklifts


What is the purpose of an overhead guard on a forklift?

Every day, forklift operators are lifting loads much heavier than a human – or even a group of humans, would be able to lift. These loads are typically quite heavy, awkward and if they were to land on an operator, could have devastating, perhaps lethal consequences. 

When operators are using machinery that could potentially put their and others lives at risk there’s a range of different operations, procedures and safety gear involved with keeping those in and around machinery (like forklifts) safe. 

What is a forklift overhead guard?

Just like it sounds, the overhead guard on a forklift is a guard plate or mesh that protects the operator from overhead falls or loads that shift during transit. 

In the same way a car roof protects the occupants from rain and other elements, a forklift overhead guard is designed to protect the operator from a range of different scenarios where a load may move or shift, putting them in potential danger. 

How do forklift overhead guards work?

Overhead guards on forklifts can be essentially split into two very different safety features. 

The first is simple deflection of smaller or lighter loads where the guard will protect the operator (like the car and roof analogy given previously). 

All overhead guards will, however, have a load limit and if the load that moves, shifts or falls is greater than the load limit of the overhead guard it will ‘crush and deflect’ the load as it will be unable to take the full brunt of the force impacted on the guard. 

When an overhead guard crushes and deflects, the leg that receives the highest amount of force will typically crush downwards, helping move the load from the centre of the forklift (and the operator) and essentially deflecting it away. 

Do all forklifts have overhead guards?

As with many questions in life, the answer is ‘it depends’. All forklifts that raise loads higher than the cab enclosure will have an overhead guard. Some forklifts come with additional guards, depending on the work they’re completing and others have just a standard overhead safety guard. 

Some order pickers for example, don’t have overhead guards as it’s not expected that loads will be lifted higher than the operator. 

If you have any additional safety questions about forklifts, please feel free to email or call us and we would be happy to discuss any questions you may have.


86 Delta St, Geebung QLD 4034
PO Box 90 Geebung, Queensland, 4034



Eureka Forklifts has almost 30 years experience dealing with forklifts in the SE Qld region.

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