‘Tis the season...

29 November 2022

… to check your major items of plant including tractors and telehandlers.

According to Geoff Martin, Chairman of Thorough Examination accrediting body CFTS: “This is the perfect time to make sure essential equipment is not only safe but is in good working order, ready for when things get much busier.

“Sorting out a small issue now could prevent a much bigger and more costly repair further down the line – and avoid a lot of aggravation and wasted time when you can least afford it.

“Indeed, inspecting equipment is such an important aspect of owning capital equipment that CFTS will be exhibiting at LAMMA in January (Hall 6 Stand 6.130). The purpose is to bust a few myths by explaining what is required in a Thorough Examination (commonly, but mistakenly known as a LOLER). We also hope to establish contact with service providers who could potentially be undertaking this work.”

Fatal injuries are 20 times the all-industry rate

The most recent figures released by HSE confirm that farming, forestry and fisheries remain the UK’s most dangerous sector, with workers sustaining “significantly higher injury rates than other industries.” Shockingly, the injuries in this sector occur at 20 times the all-industry rate. And the problem isn’t going away: fatalities in 2020/21 were more than 20% higher than in 2016.

“CFTS has been working with the agricultural sector for a number of years to improve machinery safety, but much more must be done,” continues Geoff Martin.

“There are many different causes of accidents and injuries, but a significant number could be eliminated by routine inspection of the equipment, both by the operator before every shift and by a competent person at least once a year.

“We hear from many employers who may have heard of LOLER and Thorough Examinations but seem to think they are optional. Wrong! Others believe Thorough Examinations only apply to forklifts but that too is a fallacy. These inspections cover all kinds of material handling and lifting equipment, including telehandlers and tractors.

“Another misunderstanding is that a LOLER alone will suffice. Again, not true. To meet HSE guidelines, a Thorough Examination should not only cover the lifting mechanism, mast forks and chains as required by LOLER, but also items covered by PUWER, including attachments (such as safety cages and clamps), brakes, steering and tyres.

“Regarding frequency, a Thorough Examination will need to be conducted at least every 12 months (starting, unlike a car’s MOT, in year one). However, the precise frequency will depend on several factors including the nature of the work undertaken, hours used per week, and the environment.”

To find out the frequency of a Thorough Examination for your equipment visit www.thoroughexamination.org/cfts-the-industry-standard/how-often-is-thorough-examination-required.