Don’t risk downtime as demand ramps up

26 September 2022

CFTS urges companies to keep up with work equipment inspection schedules during busy seasonal periods 

CFTS – the industry’s accrediting body for Thorough Examinations – is reminding companies not to skip crucial safety inspections for work equipment amid growing operational demands in the months running up to Christmas. 

“The pressure mounts for many businesses at this time of year as they look ahead to the winter season,” says Geoff Martin, Chairman of CFTS.  

“Greater workloads, longer shifts and tougher weather conditions place higher demands on vital materials handling equipment used day in day out. This ongoing wear and tear on parts can lead to significant deterioration, and if it goes unmonitored, it could result in a mechanical malfunction and some very unwelcome downtime and lost productivity. And that’s the last thing any warehouse needs when it is trying to plan for Black Friday, the Christmas rush, and January sales.  

“Even worse, a faulty truck endangers your operators and could lead to a serious accident that would cost your business dearly. My advice is to get ahead now. Check the truck’s paperwork for the last inspection date and see if there is a sticker on the equipment bearing the CFTS Quality Mark and the next due date. If you don’t know what you are looking for, talk to the person at your company who oversees the equipment. It’s often assumed that any liability is with the company the trucks are hired from, but, even where there is an agreement that the hire company will carry out the Thorough Examinations, you are legally responsible for ensuring the equipment is safe and has been examined to schedule. 

“If you own the trucks outright, the responsibility is yours, and if you let the inspection period lapse, you could potentially leave yourself open to fines or worse — letting the equipment become unsafe.  

A CFTS Thorough Examination will ensure that a truck meets the rigorous demands of LOLER (reviewing lifting components, such as the forks and chains), as well as PUWER (which governs other critical safety items such as brakes, steering and tyres), so owners can be confident their trucks are safe and legally compliant. 

“No matter how busy you are, take the time to review the Thorough Examination schedule for a truck and book an inspection with an accredited provider,” adds Geoff Martin. “A Thorough Examination will identify any underlying faults so they can be fixed long before small issues turn into big problems. 

“It’s important that each piece of equipment is on its own schedule appropriate to its type and use and that the work is fulfilled, even when workloads are at their most demanding. Your nearest CFTS-accredited member will be able to advise on the frequency of inspections required on a case-by-case basis and arrange an examination that suits your business.”