HSE Inspector’s Visit – Info for Forklift Truck Operator

In our last blog, Ruth Wallace of Wallace School of Transport alluded to the need to keep a full training record of forklift truck drivers, especially in case of Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation. An HSE inspector can visit at any time and may arrive without warning. The highest incidence of workplace accidents involve forklift trucks, hence keep forklift training records up to date as an HSE inspector may want to look at them.

Use of Seat Belts on Forklift Trucks

The HSE inspector’s job is to ensure that you keep workers and anyone who may be affected by your work, healthy and safe. They may also give you advice on health and safety. While the inspector is visiting, he may:

  • Ask you about your workers and what they do,
  • Look at any possible health risks,
  • Look at any machinery or other equipment you may have including forklift trucks,
  • Ask to see records or other documents including forklift training records,
  • Take photographs

The inspector may also ask about health and safety issues at your workplace and your knowledge and experience of health and safety. The inspector may talk to your employees including forklift truck drivers.

The inspector will take action if you are breaking the law and may stop a dangerous activity immediately. The laws affecting the forklift truck operators are:

What happens after HSE inspector’s visit?


The inspector may offer advice, either verbally or in writing, about improvements you could make to health and safety in your workplace. This advice is free.

Notification of Contravention (NoC)

NoC tells you about health and safety laws you’ve broken and explains how you’ve broken them. NoC will tell you what you need to do to stop breaking the law. The inspector will give you NoC only if you have broken the law seriously enough for them to write to you about it. If the inspector gives you NoC, you’ll have to pay for the cost of the visit.

Improvement Notice

An improvement notice will tell you what’s wrong and any changes you need to make to put things right. You will have at least 21 days to make any changes. You commit a criminal offence if you don’t make the changes in the given time.

Prohibition Notice

You may get a prohibition notice if there is a risk of serious personal injury now or in the future. A prohibition notice orders you to stop doing something until you have made it safe to continue. You commit a criminal offence if you don’t comply with a prohibition notice.


You can be prosecuted for breaking health and safety laws or for failing to comply with an improvement notice or a prohibition notice. The courts can fine you or in some cases send you to prison.

Links that may be useful for forklift truck operators:

1 Lift-truck training Advice for employers

Thorough examination of lifting equipment - A simple guide for employers

3. Wallace Forklift Training Blog on Thorough Examination

In the next blog we will look at a case study and the outcome of HSE inspector’s visit to a forklift operator.

Wallace School of Transport is a fully accredited RTITB company with over 50 years' experience. You can be trained either at your own work site or at Wallace Centre in Park Royal. If you have any questions, call Wallace Forklift Training on 020 8453 3440, choose option 3 or click here to email us.

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