Should fork lift truck licences be a legal requirement?

Shore, Richard
April 2005
Logistics & Transport Focus;Apr2005, Vol. 7 Issue 3, p18
Trade Publication
This article investigates the risks and legal liabilities involved with fork lift truck operations in British workplaces. When looking to explain the high incidence of fork lift truck accidents, it must take into account that until the 1988 publication of the first Approved Code of Practice and Guidance--Rider-operated lift trucks: Operator training (ACoP) by the Health and Safety Commission there was guidance as to the type and length of training that a fork lift truck operator should undertake. Instead, fork lift truck manufacturers tended to offer their customers introductory training specific to the vehicles purchased. It was not until the 1988 publication of the ACoP that minimum standards and a recognized method of training were introduced, followed by an updated issue in 1999. Transport managers are being challenged to the financial implications of accidents and prosecutions if they neglect their training responsibilities. In addition to the fine itself, employers are often landed with the costs of legal fees, compensation to victims through civil litigation, as well as the more intangible business costs of management time and adverse publicity/reputation damage. Because of this, it is vital that managers are seen to minimize potential health and safety risks in the workplace, especially when the vast majority of accidents--typically vehicle strikes, overturns, falling people and falling objects--remain preventable. In large part this can be achieved through certification and training.


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