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Accidents happen... but what should follow?

12 May 2024

Industry leader explains why a LOLER/PUWER inspection may be necessary following a forklift impact.

IN MATERIALS handling operations, Thorough Examinations are not always at the forefront of minds. And that could put employers out of step with legislation in the event of a collision or impact.

Explaining the situation, CFTS chairman Geoff Martin says: “Most businesses appreciate the need for routine inspections of materials handling equipment. Far fewer, though, realise that they may well need a Thorough Examination following an incident which may have damaged the equipment.

“It’s a little-known fact that these extra Thorough Examinations in ‘exceptional circumstances’ are every bit as important as the routine yearly inspections. And it is an issue that is likely to grow as businesses are under pressure to do more with less and move loads faster.” 

As with all Thorough Examinations, these additional inspections must comply fully with HSE guidelines, and that means going beyond what is covered by LOLER (lifting components, hydraulics, etc.) and should include examination of brakes, steering, tyres and safety systems; as required under PUWER regulations.  

According to Geoff Martin, it is not just a technical requirement, but is a key aspect in an employer’s duty of care to employees. Failing to do so could result in colleagues being injured or even killed. If you do not comply with these regulations, it can lead to prosecution, near-certain conviction, and increasingly severe fines.  

“In short, my advice to any employer whose materials handling equipment has been involved in a collision or impact would be to see expert advice on whether a Thorough Examination is necessary” says Geoff Martin. 

“You can contact any of the 750 CFTS-accredited training providers throughout the UK for obligation-free guidance and, in doing so, protect your colleagues and the smooth running of your operations.”

To find the one that’s closest to you visit www.thoroughexamination.org/find-an-accredited-examiner