A fatal crash between a fork lift truck and an HGV has prompted the Fork Lift Truck Association to issue an urgent reminder of the laws governing safe operation on public roads.
50 year-old Michael Moran from Warrington died when the fork lift truck he was driving collided with the lorry on a road outside an industrial unit in Runcorn.
Tragically, the accident is yet another to fall in the borough of Halton; highlighted by the FLTA as the UK’s worst hotspot for fork lift truck fatalities, and targeted for special support during last year’s National Fork Lift Safety Week.
Although the details of the accident are still under investigation, the location of the crash has caused the Association to remind companies using fork lift trucks on public roads of their responsibilities under law.
FLTA chief executive David Ellison says: "ANY fork lift truck that is driven on a public road MUST be registered, taxed and insured – even if you are only unloading or crossing between sites.
"What’s more, these rules apply anywhere the public could reasonably have access – such as a car park or forecourt.
"Importantly, the operator must hold a valid car licence. A provisional licence will not do and ‘banned’ drivers cannot operate a fork truck on the road.
"In addition, if the truck will travel more than 1,000 yards, it will also need to comply with the Construction and Use Regulations or have Type Approval. These rules can be tricky to understand – our Members’ technical bulletin summarising the key points is fourteen pages long!
"Mature operators with good road sense should be used. Other road users will not understand that fork lift trucks swing out as they turn and that operators have restricted visibility. Flashing orange beacons can be a real bonus and having a colleague (banksman) help with manoeuvring can be useful at busy or difficult locations.
"If you are in any doubt at all, consult your local FLTA member, or read the free fact sheet on our website.
"It is far better to be safe than sorry, and the thoughts of the FLTA are with the family and friends of Michael Moran at this heartbreaking time. We will redouble our efforts to protect others from a similar fate."