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Material Handling Insights

Jun 29, 2021 2:22:22 PM // 6 min read

Forklift Compliance: 5 Regulations You Need to Know About Now

By Marcus Turner
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If your business uses forklifts, then you need to be aware of forklift legislation and how to comply with the rules and regulations. 

As well as making sure that you stay on the right side of the law, being compliant means that you know you’re doing everything you can to keep your employees safe at work. Here are five pieces of forklift truck legislation and guidance that you need to know about.

Related read: How to Create a Culture of Health and Safety in the Workplace

1.Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) (1998)

When you’re working regularly with forklifts, LOLER are the forklift rules you’re likely to need to refer to most often. LOLER deals specifically with lifting equipment, including cranes, trucks and work platforms, as well as forklifts. 

The regulations require that every lifting operation must be supervised and planned by a competent knowledgeable person, and that all lifting equipment you use must be fit for purpose and regularly inspected and maintained. 

When planning a lifting operation, LOLER requires that you (or your employees) take into account a number of safety factors, including visibility, environment, location, securing loads, and proximity hazards, among others. 

LOLER also requires that your forklifts are clearly marked with their safe working load. This allows your employees to quickly understand whether or not a load is appropriate for the forklift they’re operating.

Under LOLER (and the PUWER regulations we’ll talk about below) you must make sure that your forklifts and any accessories are inspected every year with a thorough examination. This is the equivalent of an MOT, and is separate from your regular maintenance schedule. A thorough examination will certify that all the mechanical parts of your truck are working and safe. You’ll probably need to arrange this separately from your usual maintenance contract, but do check with your supplier as it can sometimes be included.

2. Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) (1998)

PUWER covers all kinds of work equipment, machinery and tools, rather than just lifting equipment as LOLER does. 

Much of what is contained in PUWER is similar to the LOLER regulations, but it is important that you and your team understand the differences and are able to comply with both. 

PUWER requires that you can ensure your forklifts (and any other equipment you use) meet safety standards and are used in the proper way. 

This includes:

- Making sure that all equipment is suitable for the purpose for which it is being used.

- Keeping equipment in good repair, and keeping a maintenance log.

- Effectively managing people who are responsible for overseeing the work and ensuring they are adequately trained.

- Ensuring that all forklifts can be safely controlled with braking, that drivers have adequate vision, and that lighting is adequate.

3) Rider-operated lift trucks: Operator training and safe use, Approved Code of Practice and guidance

This is a publication and code of practice on forklift regulation for all employers and managers working with forklifts. 

The code is designed to provide you, and anyone working for you as a manager, with a simple way to meet your legal obligations and operate safely.

Inside the guidance, available from the Health and Safety Executive and known as L117, you will find:

- The Approved Code of Practice that sets out the key things you need to do to operate safely and legally. 

- The associated guidance to help you implement the code effectively. 

- Information on safety considerations related to different forklift truck features. 

- Guidance on how to protect pedestrians who may be near your trucks. 

- Guidance on maintenance.

4) Health and Safety at Work Act (1974)

  • Making sure that all equipment is suitable for the purpose for which it is being used. 
  • Keeping equipment in good repair, and keeping a maintenance log.
  • Effectively managing people who are responsible for overseeing the work and ensuring they are adequately trained.
  • Ensuring that all forklifts can be safely controlled with braking, that drivers have adequate vision, and that lighting is adequate.

The Health and Safety at Work Act makes wide-ranging requirements of employers in order to ensure their employees are kept safe while at work. For those working in material handling, where forklifts, other vehicles and machinery can all pose a potential hazard, it’s particularly important to understand the requirements of the Act. 

The Act sets out that employers must protect the ‘health, safety and welfare’ of employees, contractors and casual workers, as well as visitors, including clients and the public, while they are on the premises. The Act provides for the issuing of regulations and codes of practice for specific industries, such as the L117 code of practice outlined above. 

The Act also set up the Health and Safety Executive, a government body who support employers in the provision of safe workplaces, but who are also responsible for enforcing the Act.

Most of the requirements of the Act as they relate to forklifts are found in the L117 guidance already outlined.

It stipulates that you must:

- Have adequate staff training so that they can understand and adhere to safety procedures.

- Have a safe, well-maintained working environment.

- Provide relevant information, instruction and supervision.

If you have five or more employees, then you must also have a written health and safety policy that you have consulted on with employees.

5) Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (1999)

Finally, you should be aware of the Management of Health and Safety and Work Regulations. These are about how you assess, control and manage risk in your workplace.

The regulations stipulate that you should:

- Carry out risk assessments regularly and, if you have five or more employees, record your findings in writing. 

- Have systems in place for monitoring risk and reviewing risk prevention measures. 

- Make sure you have access to health and safety advice. 

- Provide training on risk management for employees. 

- Consult with your employees about the risks they face at work and whether the risk prevention measures you have in place are adequate.

This might seem like quite a lot of legislation to deal with, but we have some resources to help you through it. If you’re new to the material handling business or are taking on a safety-focused role for the first time, download the TCM Forklift Compliance Guide, as that will give you a good overview of the essential things you need to know and do.

  • Making sure that all equipment is suitable for the purpose for which it is being used. 
  • Keeping equipment in good repair, and keeping a maintenance log.
  • Effectively managing people who are responsible for overseeing the work and ensuring they are adequately trained.
Ensuring that all forklifts can be safely controlled with braking, that drivers have adequate vision, and that lighting is adequate.

  • Making sure that all equipment is suitable for the purpose for which it is being used. 
  • Keeping equipment in good repair, and keeping a maintenance log.
  • Effectively managing people who are responsible for overseeing the work and ensuring they are adequately trained.
  • Ensuring that all forklifts can be safely controlled with braking, that drivers have adequate vision, and that lighting is adequate.
  • Making sure that all equipment is suitable for the purpose for which it is being used. 
  • Keeping equipment in good repair, and keeping a maintenance log.
  • Effectively managing people who are responsible for overseeing the work and ensuring they are adequately trained.
  • Ensuring that all forklifts can be safely controlled with braking, that drivers have adequate vision, and that lighting is adequate.
  • Making sure that all equipment is suitable for the purpose for which it is being used. 
  • Keeping equipment in good repair, and keeping a maintenance log.
  • Effectively managing people who are responsible for overseeing the work and ensuring they are adequately trained.
  • Ensuring that all forklifts can be safely controlled with braking, that drivers have adequate vision, and that lighting is adequate.
  • Making sure that all equipment is suitable for the purpose for which it is being used. 
  • Keeping equipment in good repair, and keeping a maintenance log.
  • Effectively managing people who are responsible for overseeing the work and ensuring they are adequately trained.
  • Ensuring that all forklifts can be safely controlled with braking, that drivers have adequate vision, and that lighting is adequate.
  • Making sure that all equipment is suitable for the purpose for which it is being used. 
  • Keeping equipment in good repair, and keeping a maintenance log.
  • Effectively managing people who are responsible for overseeing the work and ensuring they are adequately trained.
  • Ensuring that all forklifts can be safely controlled with braking, that drivers have adequate vision, and that lighting is adequate

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