CFTS guidance on Forklifts Working at Height
26 July 2011
Leading fork lift truck industry figures have raised concerns that confusion surrounding working platforms may lead British businesses to fall foul of the law.
At Consolidated Fork Truck Services (CFTS), the body responsible for developing and administering the industry's national accreditation scheme for Thorough Examination, a steady stream of queries from fork lift truck users looking for guidance on use of working platforms has prompted a public statement from CFTS Technical Manager Chas Day.
"Fork lift trucks are designed to lift materials - not people. Working platforms, or man-up cages, allow personnel to work at height. Despite their simple design and deployment, it's crucial to remember that working at height is a high-risk activity."
The laws governing the use of fork lift trucks state that any machine over 12 months old must hold a current Report of Thorough Examination. On top of this, LOLER Regulation 9 sets out that lifting equipment used for the lifting of people, including fork lift trucks and working platforms used for working at height, must be thoroughly examined by a Competent Person at least once every six months.
Companies accredited to the CFTS Thorough Examination Scheme benefit from the trade body's expert technical and legislative advice on the complex issues affecting the use of integrated and non-integrated working platforms. LOLER, PUWER, the EU Machinery Directive and the Health and Safety at Work Act each include regulations on the use of these vital pieces of equipment.
"Vigilance during inspections is paramount," explains Chas Day. "From the truck's data plate to its safety harness, a Competent Person should thoroughly inspect your working platform to ensure compliance with the law."
He concludes: "The onus is on the user to choose and maintain appropriate equipment to carry out operations safely. Importantly, we are concerned with the Thorough Examination of the fork lift truck and working platform combination as well as the individual attachment."
Developed in co-operation with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), CFTS Thorough Examinations have been specifically designed to address the special needs of fork lift trucks.
The CFTS Thorough Examination scheme was established through collaboration between the British Industrial Truck Association (BITA) and the Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA), the two leading bodies in the fork lift truck industry.