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Confusion can result in penalties

21 June 2022

MANY FORKLIFT users remain confused about their Thorough Examination lift truck inspection responsibilities and, as a result, they may be operating defective or unsafe equipment that not only puts workers at risk of injury but also leaves company bosses exposed to significant legal penalties should an accident occur.

That is the view of John Magill, manager of Toyota Material Handling’s Thorough Examination Division.

A Thorough Examination is a legal requirement for forklift trucks and lifting equipment. Similar to an MOT for a car, it should be carried out at least once a year on all trucks with forks – regardless of whether they are owned or leased.

According to John Magill, confusion arises because the requirements of a Thorough Examination are open to interpretation and, as a result, the organisation carrying out the inspection decides what should and shouldn’t be included in the test. 

“The problem is that the inspection of forklift trucks is governed by two separate pieces of legislation: Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER 98) and the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER 98),” he explains.

“But,” John Magill continues, “we know that a significant number of so-called Thorough Examination inspections only include ‘front end’ items covered by the LOLER regulations such as a lift truck’s mast, chains and forks and they ignore such vital ‘rear end’ components as overhead guards, steering and brakes. 

“This means that, in the event of an accident, managers and company directors could find that they are deemed not to have met PUWER 98 legislation.

“It is absolutely crucial that both the lifting and the driving mechanisms of a truck are inspected during a Thorough Examination. Only covering LOLER could put equipment, operators and businesses at risk.”

And, to add to the muddle, John Magill contends that plenty of lift truck users believe that inspections undertaken by their forklift supplier as part of a preventive maintenance or scheduled service package represent a Thorough Examination. This is not the case.

For more information visit www.toyota-forklifts.co.uk