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L117: Your definitive, must-read guide to compliant forklift training & more

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Staying on top of the latest legal requirements, while managing your workforce & ensuring you stay profitable can be a real juggling act for those managing forklift operations. After all, you need to ensure you’re working safely by law, while keeping your staff productive and targets met – all while working within budget!

Fortunately, the HSE’s L117 has got you covered. But, if you’ve not heard of it, you’re certainly not alone. Research shows that just 1 in 10 managers are aware of this definitive guide to keeping you on the path towards full legal compliance.

Also known as ‘Rider-operated lift trucks: Operator training and safe use, Approved Code of Practice and guidance’, it’s an incredibly valuable resource and is available for download – at no cost – from the HSE.

Now in its third edition, it outlines the main legal requirements for lift truck operations. It clearly highlights the relevant parts of key legislation, from the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 to the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998. Using simple language, it explains your duty of care to your employees and, if followed, will ensure you comply with the law.

L117 sets requirements for the training of lift truck operators and those responsible for managing and supervising lift truck operations. It includes guidelines for refresher training and provides – at a glance – the minimum standards for training in order to meet your requirements as an employer.

What’s more, while this guidance is written with rider-operated lift trucks in mind, relevant sections can also be applied to any pedestrian-operated or stand-on powered pallet trucks in use on your site.

This important reading offers information on all aspects of the forklift training process. It looks at the three required elements of training, finding the right provider, maintaining sufficient records, and assessing evidence of existing skills.

But L117 doesn’t just cover training. Within it, you’ll find clear, practical guidance for safe, compliant day-to-day operations: best practice for operating around pedestrians, medical considerations when selecting operators, recommendations on signage, lighting and parking, and much more besides.

There’s also best practice advice on the trucks themselves – including maintenance and Thorough Examination – and key considerations when it comes to lift truck selection, design and ergonomics.

It’s a document that you’ll see us regularly reference as the definitive guide to forklift safety, but so many of those responsible for their company’s lift truck operations are still unaware of it. Yet it could be invaluable in ensuring they are providing a safe, compliant workplace.

Indeed, 90% of managers attending our Managing Forklift Operations course were not aware of its importance or relevance, prior to their training. Thankfully, upon completion of the course, they are well-versed in what the law requires, and what they need to do to stay compliant.

For anyone involved in the management of lifting operations, L117 is a vital resource – packed with clear, helpful guidance on improving workplace safety and raising standards. Put simply, if you think of L117 as your minimum target to hit, then you’ll have an incredibly solid base from which to build your operations.

To find out more about L117 and how to ensure you’re managing your lifting operations safely, get in touch here or call 01246 555222 today.

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