Twenty years of LOLER and PUWER
04 December 2018
This month marks the 20th anniversary of LOLER and PUWER. In December 1998, those in the fork lift industry saw both the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) and the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations come into force.
"Created to implement the EU’s changes to the Use of Work Equipment Directive (AUWED), the legislation aims to make working life safer for everyone using and coming into contact with equipment," CFTS chairman Geoff Martin said. "This lack of clarity, however, has led to widespread confusion among lift truck employers over what’s necessary for compliance… and how to achieve it easily."
He added: "While LOLER (Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations) addresses the forklift’s lifting mechanism, including the mast, forks and chains, PUWER (Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations) covers the truck’s safety-critical components, including brakes and steering. Because forklift trucks must meet both sets of requirements, there is room for interpretation.
"Without an agreed standard for the crucial checks required, such as we see in the automotive MOT, employers may assume their truck complies with both."
Geoff continued: "The lack of clarity over Thorough Examinations – which must be carried out at least once every 12 months – makes choosing providers a real challenge. This is made more difficult when you consider the significant responsibility on employers to ensure operations are both safe and legal."
Having identified the issue early on, the UK’s two leading authorities on lift truck operations, BITA (British Industrial Truck Association) and FLTA (Fork Lift Truck Association) joined forces. In 2004, they launched CFTS with a view to establishing a scheme ensuring simple ‘one-stop’ compliance for any company operating lift trucks.
The CFTS quality-controlled standard gives employers the confident and comprehensive compliance they need. Today, the Thorough Examination process provides more than 400 accredited companies with a robust examination framework. Importantly, it ensures the depth of inspection necessary to ensure employers are working safely and legally – wherever they are in the UK.