Forklift trucks used in UK Industry require by law an annual Thorough Examination in addition to regular maintenance. As Steve Kirkwood, Thorough Examinations Manager of Barloworld Handling points out, there are many advantages of the Thorough Examination, not least improved safety.
The principle of a forklift Thorough Examination is the same as an MOT for a car, although the checks are far more rigorous. It is a means of reviewing and maintaining the safety of critical components of a forklift truck, identifying any defects, wear or damage that may compromise safety and checking that previously reported faults have been repaired.
As well as steering, tyres and brakes, it pays particular attention to the forks, mast, chains, hydraulics, carriage and parts such as chain-retaining bolts. Materials handling specialist, Barloworld Handling, is accredited to provide the HSE recognised CFTS* Thorough Examinations for any type or brand of lift truck and other types of lifting equipment.
Steve Kirkwood comments “It is important that Thorough Examinations are performed by qualified engineers from an accredited company like Barloworld, so that the truck is inspected and tested to consistently high standards to ensure it is safe and legal”.
Before CFTS there was no industry recognised testing standard and some trucks could potentially become dangerous to operate because of the inconsistency of Thorough Examinations. CFTS gives lift truck operators the confidence their equipment has been checked to HSE guidelines. Legislation states that it is the responsibility of the truck operator, not the rental company or service provider, to ensure their forklift trucks have a valid certificate. Without a valid certificate, the company risks prosecution or invalidation of insurance and may be unaware of the truck's potential to cause serious accident or injury.
“There are many advantages of the Thorough Examination, particularly from the aspects of safety, efficiency and reduced cost” continues Steve Kirkwood. “Faulty equipment can work less efficiently and cause accidents. It can also intensify the fault, which could cost companies more in the long run in downtime and repairs”.
The law states that all trucks must undergo a Thorough Examination at least every 12 months. However, certain equipment such as equipment that lifts people, equipment with specialist attachments or equipment operating in harsh environments, such as a cold store, require more frequent examinations. Your Thorough Examinations provider should provide advice relevant to your particular application.
Barloworld provides routine maintenance for lift trucks as well as Thorough Examinations, providing customers with a complete service from a single source. Thorough Examinations are, however, completed independently to any other routine maintenance carried out on the lift truck, and are reported independently as governed by the CFTS scheme to ensure impartiality. By offering a full service, Barloworld enables customers to reduce their supplier base and concentrate on their core business.
It is important employers take ownership of their legal responsibility regarding Thorough Examinations. By offering a complete service from equipment provision to maintenance and Thorough Examinations, Barloworld's service helps companies to adhere to legislation and maximise the safety and efficiency of their fleet.