Customers urged to demand a Thorough Examination
16 May 2019
CFTS, the body behind a UK national standard for the Thorough Examination of lift trucks, is urging owners and operators of forklifts to check that equipment has undergone an inspection at least once a year in accordance with the law.
CFTS chair, Geoff Martin, says: “This may mean re-evaluating your current provider. Many owners and operators of forklifts are unaware that they have a choice of provider because the inspection is often wrapped up within their insurance premium. My advice would be to look closely at what’s on offer and ask your local CFTS-accredited company to provide you with an audit.
“Not all inspections are the same and it’s your responsibility as the employer of forklift truck operators to ensure you are complying with the law.”
Designed specifically for lift trucks and based on HSE guidance, a CFTS Thorough Examination embraces all specified requirements of LOLER and PUWER, plus a 34-point inspection of forklift attachments. It can be used for a wide range of vehicles, including counterbalance trucks, telehandlers, rough terrain trucks, man-up models, and reach trucks, and certifies that they work in accordance with legal standards.
“Every forklift should have a valid Thorough Examination report,” explains Martin. “If you own the forklift or are hiring it for more than 12 months, it’s your responsibility to make sure it’s arranged. But if you are hiring a forklift for less than a year, then it is the rental company that must ensure the vehicle receives a Thorough Examination. Nevertheless, as an employer, you have a duty of care to your employees, so my advice would be to demand to see a current report.
“By insisting on seeing a copy of the truck’s Thorough Examination report you are fulfilling your obligations to confirm the equipment is fit-for-purpose. If you are investigated by the HSE and are deemed to be acting negligently then you could personally face a significant fine or even prison; and will shoulder the responsibility and guilt if one of your staff is injured.”
There are more than 500 accredited companies within the national CFTS network, and they can be identified by a distinctive kitemark. Each company accredited to CFTS is routinely inspected and operates in alignment with up-to-date regulations and standards.
Another point of difference between the approach of CFTS and other inspection companies is what happens in the case of non-compliance. Many inspectors’ involvement ends with identifying a problem, leaving the customer to side-line the truck until further notice.
By contrast, CFTS members employ fully trained forklift engineers who, having completed the inspection, can then remedy any faults so you stay operational — similar to a car MOT.
Martin concludes: “If you are in any doubt about your inspection status I would recommend contacting your local CFTS-accredited company to arrange a Thorough Examination.”
For a quick and easy way find a local provider, visit the CFTS website: http://www.thoroughexamination.org/find-an-accredited-examiner.