Ensuring the safety of your forklift

All forklift truck owners and operators in the UK and Europe must demonstrate the safety and full working order of their vehicles. The same stringent regulations also apply to hired trucks. In order to avoid the unpleasantness of having your insurance invalidated, or even being left open to injury and/or prosecution from faulty equipment, it is strongly recommended that every truck you own or operate undergoes a regular Thorough Examination.

What is a Thorough Examination?

Much like an MOT for your car, a Thorough Examination is a comprehensive inspection of all the parts of a forklift truck which have implications for user safety. It is more involved than a car MOT. The forklift will need all the lifting components, chains, hydraulics and forks inspected as well as the brakes, steering, tyres and other more standard vehicle parts.

A Thorough Examination is recommended at least once every 12 months. This is a minimum requirement, however some trucks may need a Thorough Examination more frequently. I can guide you regarding the regularity of the inspection your forklift needs. It is worth noting that a Thorough Examination must be carried out independently of your routine forklift maintenance protocol. As the owner of your forklift truck you are responsible for making sure that Thorough Examinations are conducted at the correct intervals and by doing so the record for that truck will be available if required.

Who can carry out Thorough Examinations?

CFTS (Consolidated Fork Truck Services) regulate the scheme for Thorough Examinations. Further details on this scheme are available on the CFTS website.

Officially CFTS accredited, I am fully authorised to perform these important forklift inspections.

The LOLER 98 and PUWER 98 regulations require that all Thorough Examinations are carried out by an authorised Person. It is important tonote that an “insurance inspection” is not necessarily a Thorough Examination as per legal CFTS guidelines. To ensure that your forklift inspection fully protects you and your employees legally and in terms of health and safety, make sure that any documentation regarding such inspections is headed ‘Report of Thorough Examination’ and carries the official stamp.