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A guide to forklift training legislation: what you need to know

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Following the recent changes to UK sentencing guidelines, prosecutions and fines for breaches of Health and Safety law are at an all-time high. So it’s more important than ever that those responsible for safety understand exactly what is required of them, and how to implement it.

When it comes to MHE training, there is a wealth of legislation and best practice guidance to navigate and the volume of information can seem overwhelming.

To give you a head start, we’ve put together a quick reference guide to the key legislation on forklift training. Here’s our breakdown of the documents you need to be familiar with:

  • Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974: This forms the basis for all UK Health and Safety Law. It covers everyone in the business, including employer’s and employee’s responsibilities for safety, and advocates taking the relevant measures to ensure safety ‘so far as is reasonably practicable’.
  • Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998: PUWER covers the suitability of all work equipment and states that adequate training is required for those using it or supervising its use.
  • Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998: LOLER is specific to the suitability of lifting equipment. According to this regulation, lifting equipment should be inspected every 12 months if lifting loads or every 6 months if lifting persons (or if referring to a lifting accessory).
  • L117 Approved Code of Practice for Rider Operated Lift Trucks: L117 is the definitive guide to forklift truck training. This guidance, if followed, will help ensure you comply with the Law. In the event of an accident, if you did not follow this guidance, you will be expected to prove that you complied in another way, otherwise you will be found in breach of Health and Safety Law.

Aside from these essentials, it would be useful to review the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, which outline requirements regards risk assessments and employee’s responsibilities for Health and Safety.

If you’re responsible for forklift training on site, ensuring that you understand the above and that you’ve taken the relevant steps to comply, is a good start towards ensuring you, your staff and your business stay safe and productive.

Further advice for managers on complying with legislation and upholding safe working standards is available via our Managing Forklift Operations course, or from our experienced advisors – just contact us here or on 01246 555222.

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