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Key question for forklift maintenance

19 August 2023

WHO’S THE most important person when it comes to a Thorough Examination? Clue: it’s not the inspector, although we’ll come onto them later.

It’s you as the employer and/or owner of the equipment. Why? Because the legal responsibility for ensuring the Thorough Examination (LOLER & PUWER) has been correctly carried out lies with the duty holder and not with the inspector.

“It’s really important to ensure your Thorough Examination meets the standards necessary to keep you on the right side of the law,” explains Geoff Martin, chairman of industry accrediting body CFTS. 

“And my advice is to check that it is being carried out by a genuinely Competent Person employed by a provider that is independently accredited and audited.

“In the case of CFTS, you’ll recognise this by the distinctive Quality Mark which identifies our independently accredited Thorough Examination providers. The mark differentiates them from some other companies which have simply set up their own processes and are not accountable to any external body or any form of audit.”

Legal obligations

Although many technicians and engineers have the practical experience to identify potentially dangerous faults, unless the Competent Person inspecting the equipment fully understands the Thorough Examination process, and the legal obligations that go with it, they cannot be considered truly competent.

CFTS-accredited Competent Persons are experienced on the types of equipment they examine. This is in contrast to some other inspectors who might be generalists without specific forklift truck knowledge. 

Those practical skills are important in determining when components need to be replaced in each individual application. Their first priority is, of course, to ensure the equipment is in safe working order. At the same time, though, the judgement of the Competent Person is valuable in helping customers avoid unnecessary expense from prematurely replacing items that still have plenty of life left in them.

Summing up, Geoff Martin says: “My advice to employers is to act now and make certain your Thorough Examinations (including LOLER & PUWER) are being correctly carried out by an industry-approved provider that is externally accredited.”

For more information, visit www.thoroughexamination.org