Imagine you took your car for its annual MOT, only to discover that some critical components had been inspected inadequately (if at all), and, as a result, you were penalised or – worse still – responsible for an accident caused by their unsafe state.
According to CFTS, this is a very real risk for employers when it comes to ensuring their fork lift trucks operate safely and comply with the law.
CFTS Chairman Mike Mathias explains: “MOTs are standardised, meaning that wherever you are in the country, you can expect a very similar procedure. Forklift trucks, however, aren’t governed by a single piece of legislation, like cars. As a result, it means the law must be interpreted, which can create a risk of important aspects being missed.”
Set up as a joint initiative between the Fork Lift Truck Association and British Industrial Truck Association, CFTS is responsible for the comprehensive procedure and strict code of practice for the Thorough Examination of fork lift trucks. It is followed by the scheme’s national network of more than 500 accredited Thorough Examination providers.
He continues: “Our 33-point Thorough Examination standard was specially developed for compliance, so that employers can be confident that their trucks are working safely and within the law.
“It meets the rigorous demands of LOLER, which covers lifting components, such as the forks and chains, as well as PUWER 98, which governs other critical safety items such as brakes, steering and tyres.
“Perhaps most importantly, this exacting standard demands for key components to be physically inspected. We regularly hear of trucks that are only inspected visually. This type of guesswork – particularly with critical components such as the chains – could see you fall foul of the law… or worse.
“This is why it’s so important to ask questions about your Thorough Examinations before they happen. At the very least, you should ask your provider to confirm that the inspection your truck will undergo will meet both LOLER and PUWER requirements.
“Even setting that aside, however, there is still enormous variation between providers in the standard of their approach to helping you comply with the law.”
Mr Mathias concludes: “By choosing a CFTS-accredited examiner, you can take the element of risk out of Thorough Examination.”
For information on CFTS Thorough Examinations – including details of your local CFTS accredited companies – visit www.thoroughexamination.org.