Safety of Visiting Engineer Carrying out Thorough Examination of a Forklift Truck

In the last blog we talked about the Thorough Examination (TE) of the forklift trucks at your site by a Consolidated Fork Truck Services (CFTS) accredited engineer. In this blog we talk about your legal duty of care to the visiting engineer. The site has the legal duty of care to all employees and visitors.

The site manager is responsibility for looking after the visiting engineer. However as a forklift operator, the site manager may delegate the responsibility of looking after the CFTS accredited engineer to you.

Safety of Visiting Engineer Carrying out Thorough Examination of a Forklift Truck

The legislation applicable is Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.  The main duties placed on employers are sections 2 and 3 of the Act and are qualified by the phrase ‘so far as is reasonably practicable’. This means balancing the level of risk against the measures needed to control the risk in terms of time, money or trouble. Control measures should be adopted unless they are grossly disproportionate to the risk. This judgment is an essential part of the risk assessment process and will be informed by approved codes of practice, published standards and Health and Safety Executice or industry guidance where available. The size of the business and its financial strength do not determine the health and safety standards to be achieved.

At your workplace as a forklift truck operator you should have received induction training which includes health and safety at work. It should have covered provision of lifting and access equipment, working at height, supervision of lone workers and disposal of waste. Use the skills learned at the induction training to help you look after the visiting engineer.

The visiting engineer should be provided with a safe environment to work in. This means an area with controlled access, with no through traffic, vehicle movements or operating machinery. It should be well lit and sufficiently ventilated, ideally under cover or indoors, clean, without oil spills, slip or trip hazards. The visiting engineer should have sufficient space to carry out the Thorough Examination of the forklift truck and should be free from overhead obstructions. The TE should take place on a firm, smooth, level floor of sufficient load carrying capacity.

The visiting engineer should have access to welfare facilities such as washroom and canteen and access to his own van.

In a recent incident a visiting employee of a farming company died when he was crushed against a mobile seed dressing vehicle by a forklift truck. He had finished processing wheat seeds when his colleague got into a forklift truck to move the last bag. When the forklift truck was started, it suddenly moved forward, trapping the visiting employee against the mobile seed dressing vehicle which was fatal.

The farming company was prosecuted under s 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 for not taking reasonably practicable steps to prevent the employee walking into the dangerous gap between the forklift truck and the mobile seed-dressing vehicle. They also failed to establish suitable authorisation for driving the farmer's forklift truck and other farm machinery. The company pleaded guilty and were fined £35,000 plus £17,076 costs.

It is your legal duty to look after the Health and Safety of the visiting engineer or any visitor, as any mishaps could be very costly and cause injury.

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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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