WHAT IS A THOROUGH EXAMINATION?
Thorough Examination for fork lift trucks is roughly equivalent to the MOT for cars – a mandatory check to ensure that the mechanical parts of your fork lift are in safe working order.
It is not the same as regular maintenance – so you need one whether or not you’ve just had the truck serviced.
Here is how the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) defines Thorough Examination:
"Thorough examination of industrial lift trucks is required under health and safety law: LOLER 1998, which covers lifting equipment, and PUWER 1998, which deals with all other safety-related items, such as brakes, steering and tyres. Your regular inspections as part of a preventive maintenance scheme or scheduled service are not a thorough examination."
Thorough Examination is required by law, and must take place at regular intervals that depend on the type of truck you’re running... but it will certainly be at least once a year… often more.
FORK LIFT LEGISLATION: LOLER & PUWER 98
A true Thorough Examination takes account of two different sets of Health and Safety regulations, commonly known as LOLER 98 and PUWER 98.
The formal legal requirement for Thorough Examination of fork lift trucks is set out in the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (known as LOLER 98), regulation 9.
However, these rules only apply to the truck’s lifting mechanism – and under theProvision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (known as PUWER 98), regulation 6, an employer also has a duty to perform regular “inspections”, and ensure work equipment remains safe to use.
In practice, an examination that only covers LOLER could therefore leave the fork lift truck’s owner liable to HSE enforcement under PUWER 98 rules.
Besides, the Health and Safety at Work act 1974 gives every employer a duty of care… and a truck that has not had its brakes, steering or structural integrity checked can hardly be said to be safe.
PUWER and LOLER regulations legally require all lift trucks to have a valid Certificate of Thorough Examination – but with precious little official guidance about what this should cover.
To provide clarity, the industry’s major trade associations worked together – in consultation with the Health and Safety Executive – to give clear, definitive procedures and consistent, high national standards for a safe and genuine Thorough Examination.
The result is Consolidated Fork Truck Services (CFTS): the national accreditation scheme for Thorough Examination, specifically for companies who service fork lift trucks.
National Training and Auditing are an accredited CFTS organisation who can carry out Thorough Examination on your lift trucks.