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One-stop compliance

06 November 2018

CFTS Chairman Geoff Martin reflects on the 20th anniversary of the introduction of the LOLER and PUWER regulations.

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) and the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) were created to implement the EU’s changes to the Use of Work Equipment Directive (AUWED).

The legislation aims to make working life safer for everyone using and coming into contact with equipment. 

But there has been a lack of clarity.

While LOLER addresses the forklift’s lifting mechanism, including the mast, forks and chains, PUWER covers the truck’s safety-critical components, including brakes and steering.

Because forklift trucks must meet both sets of requirements, there is room for interpretation. 

Without an agreed standard for the crucial checks required, such as we see in the automotive MOT, employers may assume their truck complies with both. 

Having identified the issue early on, the UK’s two leading authorities on lift truck operations, BITA (British Industrial Truck Association) and FLTA (Fork Lift Truck Association) joined forces. 

In 2004, they launched CFTS with a view to establishing a scheme ensuring simple ‘one-stop’ compliance for any company operating lift trucks.

“Today, more than 400 accredited companies – including major industry players – adhere to the strict guidelines… and for good reason. The Thorough Examination process provides them with a robust examination framework. Importantly, it ensures the depth of inspection necessary to ensure employers are working safely and legally – wherever they are in the UK,” says CFTS Chairman Geoff Martin

“A good example of CFTS’ approach can be found in our chain inspection guidelines. Chains perform such a key role in your truck’s lifting mechanism and it is our view that they should be treated as such.

“For some examiners, however, this ‘testing’ is done visually. While visual inspections are important and have a place, it’s impossible to accurately check for chain wear using the naked eye.  

“This is why competent persons employed by our accredited companies measure wear using a gauge designed specifically for this purpose.”