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Killer forklift devastates another small business

Operating a dangerous forklift has left one teenager hospitalised with serious injuries and a businessman’s livelihood in ruins.

Operating a dangerous forklift has left one teenager hospitalised with serious injuries and a businessman’s livelihood in ruins.

Dangerous trucks

Courts in the UK recently heard of how a 17-year-old worker was left hospitalised for two weeks after having his leg trapped by a poorly maintained forklift. The truck, which was on loan from another business for six months, had a catalogue of defects, including stuck ignition keys and faulty steering. Would you drive a car in this condition?

Of course not!

Cases such as this are a strong reminder of the importance of routine forklift examinations (like the MOT on your car) prescribed by law in many countries. Had the company in question fully understood its responsibility to keep its trucks in good working order, it might have avoided the accident altogether and the prosecution and fines that followed.

Your legal duty

issue_1101_st_quote.jpgIn the UK, the laws governing the use of forklift trucks aren’t easily understood, so there’s room for interpretation... and misinterpretation.

One thing is certain, though. It is your responsibility, as the employer of the truck driver, to make sure your forklift complies with the law. This means making sure that your truck carries a valid Report of Thorough Examination – even if it is rented for just a single day.

Neglecting to do so, or doing it incorrectly, can lead to serious and often fatal accidents, prosecutions and heavy fines.

Comprehensive inspection

Let’s be clear on another thing: this comprehensive procedure is not the same as routine maintenance or many insurance inspections. Thorough Examination is a full assessment which goes well beyond the current condition of the equipment. This rigorous test looks at the factors affecting the safe use of your truck, including its application and rate of deterioration.

Items that should be inspected in a thourough Thorough Examination

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Every forklift more than 12 months old – including hire trucks – must hold a current Report Examination which will need revalidating at least annually. However, some trucks – such as man-up models or those working in particularly demanding applications may require a Thorough Examination more frequently as frequently as once every three months.

Where do you go for help? In the UK we would recommend CFTS as your first port of call. Formed by the industry’s two leading bodies - the British Industrial Truck Association (BITA) and the Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA) in association with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) – CFTS is the only inspection that covers the requirements of both PUWER 98 and LOLER 98.

If in any doubt, contact your local Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks dealer. Find your local dealer now.

  • Action points
  • A Thorough Examination is a legal requirement... not a guideline.
  • Thorough Examinations should not be confused with routine maintenance.
  • You may need to inspect your truck as frequently as once every 3 months.
  • If you fit an attachment that, too, will require a Report of Thorough Examination.
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