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Don't neglect your fork extensions

07 December 2015

Fork extensions can be invaluable assets to some materials handling operations, but, for the most part they spend a great deal of time stored safely out of the way.

As a result, according to CFTS, the body behind the Thorough Examination of lift trucks, these vital bits of kit can be overlooked at inspection time – placing lives and businesses at risk. 

Under LOLER 98, fork extensions are classified as ‘Workshop Lifting Equipment or Non- Permanent Forklift Attachments’ and, as such, must be inspected at least once every six months. Failure to comply could lead to prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

CFTS Technical Manager Shaun Prendergast explains: “Fork extensions, like all truck attachments, must be used, maintained, and inspected correctly if companies are to comply with the law.

“Fork extensions need to be checked – at least twice a year – by a competent person. They should be equipped with the appropriate knowledge and experience, able to detect defects and understanding of how important they are to the safe and continued use of the equipment.”

As well as visual checks, extensions must be marked up durably and legibly, with the following information:
    •    Manufacturer’s mark
    •    Serial number
    •    Year of manufacture
    •    Rated and load centre distance for the fork extension
    •    Required blade cross-section and minimum blade length for the parent fork arm

Mr Prendergast continues: “It is your legal duty to ensure that your lift truck and all attachments – even those rarely in use – are inspected appropriately. Failure to do so puts your workers and, in turn, your business, at risk.”

With more than 400 accredited UK companies, CFTS Thorough Examinations are available throughout the whole country. For more information, visit www.thoroughexamination.org