Fork-Lift Trucks and Power Pallet Trucks

Fork-Lift Trucks and Power Pallet Trucks

The use of fork-lift trucks and power pallet trucks (FLT and PPT) are a significant boon to almost all operations, removing several risks and adding a level of efficiency, but they do introduce some risks of their own that need consideration.

What do I need to do?

Simply (and very briefly), you need to ensure that:

  • FLT and PPT are well maintained, free from defects and suitable for the task that they are being used for.
  • operators are suitably trained and competent in the use of the machines and the roles that they are required to perform.
  • Equipment has been chosen for the right task in the right environment.

What do I need to consider and comply with?

  • Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) – safe use of lifting equipment
  • Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) – safe use of work equipment



Safe use of lifting equipment - items to be checked

  • Mast
  • Forks
  • Chains
  • Wire ropes
  • Platforms
  • Attachments
  • Examination time scales are dependent on the use of the equipment

Safe use of work equipment - items to be checked

  • Seat
  • Chassis
  • Full Steering system
  • Security of items
  • Overhead guard (ROPS)
  • All control systems
  • Inbuilt safety systems (SAS)

Consideration of equipment - questions

  • Have we selected the right truck- HPT, PPT (pedestrian or ride on), RT, CB, Rough Terrain, Narrow Aisle, Automation etc?
  • Does it have the right power source? – Electric, IC (diesel/LPG)
  • Does it have the right capacity?– Load, lift height
  • Does it have the most suitable tyre? –solid or pneumatic
  • Does it have the right safety equipment –beacons, guards, alarms, operator restraints, reduced speed limits
  • Does it have the right attachments –carton clamps, rotators, extending forks, slip sheets
  • Have we provided adequate training? – Operators, Supervisors, Managers, Directors, all team members, visitors/contractors? All should be able to recognise safe and unsafe practices and work to improve the safety culture of the organisation.
  • Is the work area correctly equipped? – Floor conditions, lighting, pedestrian segregation, clearly defined vehicle and pedestrian routes, housekeeping etc.
  • Is maintenance all recorded– frequency, competency, etc
  • Has a thorough examination been recorded?
  • Have pre-use inspections been recorded?

Who can carry out a thorough examination to ensure safety?

(As you will have encountered in all other legislation concerning health and safety, there is always a competent person mentioned. It is the same with LOLER and PUWER)

  • Competent person(s)
  • Minimum 5 years’ experience (CFTS) - Consolidated Fork Truck Services
  • Correct tooling and knowledge
  • Information
  • Impartiality observed
  • Inform Regulatory Authority on any shortfalls presenting an immediate risk
  • Issue a Report of Thorough Examination

Read more from the Health and Safety Executive.

Are your staff fit to drive a forklift?

It may be useful to apply a selection test to avoid wasteful attempts to instruct unsuitable trainees. Read more about medical fitness and FAQs.

How Towergate can help

We have so much confidence in the quality of our risk management consultancy and health and safety partners, that we can arrange for them to act as your competent person.

To find out more contact your Towergate adviser.

Business insurance from Towergate

Take some time to speak to one of our specialist advisors to gauge the best level of cover for your needs, or browse corporate and business insurance products from Towergate Insurance.

For more information or for a full review of your insurance needs, please see our insurance specialisms, contact your usual Towergate Insurance Brokers adviser or email