Keep equipment operators safe
Regular equipment inspections will reduce risk of breakdowns and fault-related accidents says CFTS
As the body behind the national standard for Thorough Examinations, CFTS is urging companies not to let seasonal operational pressures get in the way of regular equipment inspections.
CFTS Chairman Geoff Martin explained: “During busier times of year, such as the run up to Christmas, or any time when operational demands are high, it’s important to make sure your equipment is fit for purpose and safe to use.
“Trucks may be used for long shifts, in extreme environments, doing heavy-duty tasks. These factors can each contribute to wear and tear on parts, which if undetected could deteriorate to dangerous levels, putting operators at risk of an accident. Or at the very least it could lead to a breakdown, costing precious time and money.”
Equipment owners must be particularly aware of damage to fork arms, as these are a critical component of a lift truck. They are designed, manufactured and rigorously tested to ensure that they can handle the dynamic, bending and torsional stresses a lift truck faces in day-to-day operation. Abuse and incorrect use can leave forks worn. As the fork’s heel erodes, the truck’s carrying capacity is dramatically reduced.
“A badly maintained truck could mean a heavy price to pay later,” said Geoff Martin. “It will perform less efficiently and will require bigger and more expensive repairs. No business needs that. Especially considering the year we have just had, with so many businesses being reliant on work equipment to serve crucial supply chains.”
CFTS Thorough Examinations will not only find faults, but also ensure the truck meets the rigorous demands of LOLER (which covers lifting components, such as the forks and chains), as well as PUWER (which governs other critical safety items such as brakes, steering and tyres).
They are conducted by a qualified Competent Person equipped with practical knowledge of work equipment, capable of detecting defects and assessing whether trucks can continue to be used safely. They can also advise on how often equipment should be serviced and inspected to keep it in top condition.
“One of the key reasons for the Thorough Examination of work equipment is to ensure, on a periodic basis, that maintenance is being carried out correctly,” concluded Geoff Martin.
“This is even more important at peak periods when operators are using equipment often. By making sure that it is safe you are protecting your operators, as well as those who work alongside lift trucks.
“Our Thorough Examination standard was specially developed for compliance and consistency – so employers can be confident that their trucks are working safely and within the law wherever they are in the UK.”
For information on CFTS Thorough Examinations, visit www.thoroughexamination.org or call 01344 623 800.