Thorough Examination, LOLER 98 and PUWER 98 - the facts
Is your fork lift truck up to the mark?
If you own or operate a fork lift truck, you are required by law to ensure that it holds a report of Thorough Examination. This applies equally to trucks on hire.
Failure to comply can leave you open to prosecution and could invalidate your insurance… or much worse in the case of a serious accident arising from faulty equipment.
What is Thorough Examination?
A Thorough Examination is like an MOT for a car. It is a detailed inspection of all the safety related parts of a fork lift truck. In many ways it is more complex than the MOT for a car. In addition to the brakes, steering, tyres etc being checked under PUWER 98 all the lifting components, hydraulics, chains, forks etc are inspected in accordance with LOLER 98.
The regulations apply to fork lift trucks that are one year old. From the one year point onwards a Thorough Examination is required at least once every 12 months. In some instances a truck will need to have a Thorough Examination more frequently. If you are in doubt check this with your truck supplier or maintenance provider.
Just like an MOT for a car a Thorough Examination is not part of the maintenance process. It must be carried out and reported on separately from routine maintenance.
Generally speaking the employer of the operator of the fork lift truck (the owner or user) is responsible for ensuring that Thorough Examinations are carried out on time by a Competent Person. Records must be kept.
Who can carry out Thorough Examinations?
The LOLER 98 and PUWER 98 regulations simply require that a Thorough Examination is carried out by a Competent Person. As a practical guide the following are likely to be able to carry out a Thorough Examination on a fork lift truck:
- An experienced fork lift truck engineer
- A specialist inspector working for an insurance company or equipment inspection company
It is worth noting that an “insurance inspection” is not necessarily a Though Examination and if you rely on such inspections you should make sure you receive a document headed “Report of Thorough Examination”.
For greatest peace of mind you should choose to have your Thorough Examinations carried out by a company that is accredited to CFTS. This is explained in the section headed National Scheme. Failing this you should select a company that is a Member of the Fork Lift Truck Association. We ensure they are kept up to date on matters such as legislation and provide specialist Thorough Examination courses. Ideally you will choose an FLTA member that is accredited to CFTS. They can be found through this link. Find CFTS accredited members.