There’s no denying the fact that forklifts are valuable machinery. Not only do they improve the overall work efficiency, but they also speed up the work process, which results in increased productivity. However, the dangers of using forklifts are known to many.
If your business uses forklifts as a part of your daily operations, you need to be aware of all forklift legislation and how you can comply with these rules and regulations. Being compliant puts you on the right side of the law and ensures that you’re doing everything the authorities have asked you to keep your employees safe.
Following the latest changes in the UK penalizing guidelines, prosecution and fines in case of breaches of the Health and Safety laws are at an all-time high. Thus, it’s now more important than ever that employers understand what is required of them and how they can implement these health and safety laws in their workplace.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is an independent national body for all work-related health and safety concerns. The organization acts in the public’s interest to combat the increasing number of work-related injuries and fatalities.
Although forklifts are useful pieces of equipment, they weigh three to four times more than an average car and carry heavy loads from one place to another. Forklifts are usually operated in closed spaces, close to structures, people, and other objects. These characteristics contribute to the high number of forklift-related accidents and injuries in the workplaces that utilize this vehicle.
The Health and Safety Executive has presented various regulations and legislation that businesses in the UK must follow as standard practice. This blog will take you through some of them. So let’s get started without wasting any more time.
Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations – LOLER 1998
The businesses that use forklifts in their daily operations need to refer to LOLER rules most often. Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations deal specifically with lifting equipment such as cranes trucks, work platforms, and forklifts.
According to the LOLER regulations, an expert must plan and supervise all lifting operations. Plus, it also instigates that all the lifting equipment businesses utilize must be fit for use and regularly inspected and maintained.
While planning any kind of lifting operation, LOLER needs you and your employees to consider several safety factors such as visibility, appropriate environment, location, proximity to potential hazards, securing loads, and various other factors that can compromise the safety of the lifting operation.
Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations also require that the forklifts used in daily operations are marked with their safe working load. This allows the employees to judge whether the forklift’s load is appropriate.
Under the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations, you must ensure that the forklifts and accessories your business uses for daily operations are thoroughly inspected each year. This is different from a regular maintenance procedure. This thorough examination will tell you whether all the mechanical parts of your forklifts are working safely and are in good condition.
As an employer, you’ll need to schedule this examination separately from your standard maintenance contract and ensure adequate attention is given to all the regulations under LOLER. Furthermore, LOLER also states that lifting equipment should be inspected every twelve months if used for lifting loads and every six months if the equipment is used for lifting people.
This regulation applies whether the lifting equipment you have is owned or borrowed, new or old.
Provision and the Use of Work Equipment Regulations – PUWER 1998
This regulation covers all kinds of work equipment, tools, and machinery instead of just lifting equipment like LOLER. Although the reductions of PUWER are similar to LOLER, you must understand the difference between the two so that you can comply with both.
Provision and the Use of Work Equipment Regulations require employers to ensure the forklifts meet safety standards and are used properly. According to the regulation, this includes:
- Ensuring all the equipment is fit for use for the purpose they are being operated
- Keeping all the equipment in good working condition
- Keeping an updated maintenance log
- Effectively managing and supervising all the employees and workers who are responsible for overseeing the operations and ensuring they receive adequate forklift training
- Ensuring that all forklift operators have a suitable vision, there is adequate lighting in the vicinity where the forklift is operated, and checking if all forklifts can be safely controlled with braking
This regulation specifically deals with the use of forklifts in the workplace. It is intended to safeguard the workers against accidents or injuries whenever the equipment is used. Moreover, this regulation doesn’t only apply to large businesses and organizations. Even if you’re self-employed, you have to comply with PUWER 1998.
Rider-Operated Lift Trucks – Operator training and safe use, Approved Code of Practice and guidance (L117)
L117 is aimed at employers and individuals responsible for the safe use of forklift trucks. This includes all those present at the worksite; the managers, supervisors, and the self-employed. The regulation is designed to help you come up with a simple way to meet all the legal obligations and operate safely.
Inside the L117 code of guidance, you will find:
- The Approved Code of Practice highlights the main things you need to do to operate forklifts legally and safely.
- The associated guidance to help you implement the code to the best of your capabilities.
- All the information on safety aspects and considerations related to different kinds of forklifts and their features.
- Guidance and ways to protect pedestrians who may be present near your forklift.
- Guidance on how to maintain your forklift.
L117 is a definitive and comprehensive guide for forklift truck training. If you follow these regulations, you’ll ensure compliance with the law. If there’s an accident and you are found guilty of not following these regulations, you’ll be asked to prove that you complied in any other way. Otherwise, you’ll be found in breach of the Health and Safety Law.
Health and Safety at Work Act – 1974
The Health and Safety work act comprises wide-ranging requirements for employers to ensure the safety and security of their employees while at work. For all those businesses working with dangerous equipment and vehicles such as forklifts that can pose a potential hazard to the employee present onsite, it’s extremely important to fully understand the requirement of this Act.
According to the act, it’s the responsibility of the employers to protect the “safety, health, and welfare” of all the employees, contractors, and part-time workers, as well as visitors, including the customers and general public, while they are present on the worksite.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) was also set up under the Health and Safety Work Act 1974. It’s a government body that supports employers in their mission to secure workplaces and create a healthy and safe work environment.
According to the act, you must:
- Ensure your staff has adequate forklift trainingso that they properly understand and adhere to all the outlined safety procedures.
- Provide your employees with a safe and well-maintained work environment.
- Offer them relevant support and guidance along with proper instructions and supervision.
- Moreover, if a business has five or more employees, employers also need to draw up a written health and safety policy that they have consulted on with the said employees.
Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations – 1999
Finally, all employers who use the forklift in their business operations should be aware of these regulations. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations explain how to assess, manage, and control risks associated with forklift operations at the workplace.
According to these regulations, you should:
- Regularly carry out risk assessments and maintain a written record of your findings (If you have five or more employees)
- Have proper procedures in place for monitoring and evaluating risks to ensure you adopt the correct risk prevention methods
- Ensure you have access to the correct health and safety advice
- Provide training opportunities for employees, so they know how to manage risks in the workplace
- Regularly consult with your employees about the risks they come across in their daily operations and discuss whether the risk prevention measures your business has adopted are up to the mark
The Importance of These Regulations
Forklifts are commonly used vehicles in various workplaces across a multitude of industries. As a machine used in daily tasks, the risks of accidents and injuries are higher. Such accidents can cause long-term inquires and even deaths, causing serious consequences for the employer.
This is the main reason these regulations exist and are strictly implanted in all businesses across the UK. While these legislations can be a lot to take in and follow, they are there to protect your business and employees. Compliance with these regulations can make or break your business. Both the employers and the employees must mitigate risks and threats posed by the forklifts in the workplace.
The employers and workers need to work together to ensure compliance with the aforementioned regulations. Due to the increasing number of workplace accidents, these HSE regulations must be followed closely and correctly.
Find the Best Forklift Truck Training Programs in Birmingham
A forklift might be easy to drive around, but is it easy to operate as well? You can learn how to drive a forklift in very little time, but just because it’s easy to handle doesn’t mean the same goes for operating its safety.
At RS Forklift Training in Birmingham, we strongly believe in the power of an educated and learned mind that can result in a thriving future, minimize losses, and create a safe working environment. If you’ve never driven a forklift before, but wish to learn and get a forklift license, then lack of forklift training opportunities shouldn’t be an obstacle in your path.
At the RS forklift training center, you can find the best forklift training programs that can help you earn exceptional forklift training experience. To register for our forklift training courses, follow the steps mentioned below:
Contact: Our training process begins when aspiring trainees contact us and provide us with information regarding the type, of course, they want to join. They can also get a tour of the training center. We ensure that trainees understand each aspect of the course, so they are certain whether the course is right for them or not.
Training: Forklift training commences with our highly trained forklift instructors, who impart all kinds of technical knowledge regarding forklifts. They give equal importance to the theoretical and practical aspects of forklift training so that trainees can become experts in no time. We ensure that our training will help increase workplace productivity and decrease losses and accidents.
Certificate: Once you’ve completed the course and become well-versed with all the aspects of forklift training, we will provide you with a nationally recognized and RTITB accredited certificate. This certificate will serve as proof in front of your employers for validating your skills.
Employment: Our job doesn’t stop at training. We also help our trainees get employment opportunities. After you’ve proved yourself to be a valuable asset, we will help you get work through recommendations and references.
We have forklift training centers spread across the West Midlands and towns and counties like Walsall, Sandwell, Dudley, Oldbury, West Bromwich, Stourbridge, Coventry, Telford, Wolverhampton, Shrewsbury, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Cannock, Lichfield, and Tamworth.