CPCS A16 Industrial Forklift Truck Course

1. Introduction

The CPCS A16 Industrial Forklift Truck Course is conducted at one of our ITSSAR Accredited Training and Testing Centres. Bonus Success Ltd can also deliver this course at a customer’s premises, providing the necessary lift truck and facilities to conduct the full training and testing to CPCS standards. This course will take the form of classroom and theory relating to lift truck operation and pre-use checks, verbal and written tests, and practical elements. This course involves two forms of assessment: theory and practical. Students must have a good understanding of both written and spoken English. This course has been designed to meet the statutory requirements of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and other relevant statutory provisions. This course will cover a mixture of classroom-based tutorials, as well as practical exercises.

Our forklift training courses in Essex are either of 3 or 5-day durations, with the 5-day course including the Multi Lift Truck Assessment. Please make sure you choose the correct course when booking. This page is specific to the A16 Industrial Forklift Truck Training Course.

1.1 Course Overview

This course is designed to provide the theoretical knowledge and practical skills in operating an industrial forklift truck, to enable the candidates to progress to an RTITB, ITSSAR, CPCS or NPORS practical skills assessment. This is designed for novice operators with little or no previous experience of operating a forklift truck. It is also for experienced operators who have received no formal training. It is approved for lift truck training. Our courses are designed to give candidates both the skills and ability that will enable them to operate an industrial forklift truck to a level that will satisfy Health & Safety Executive requirements. Prospect Training Services have developed a course designed to give participants a thorough understanding of classes of lift trucks, pre-shift inspections, lifting and lowering, stacking, recovery and vehicle loading and unloading from differing stances in a safe and efficient manner, and comprehend the causes of truck and load stability. We also ensure that the candidate will acquire sufficient understanding and operational capability and appreciation of the need for a responsible attitude to safety and in carrying out safety checks. With an aim of achieving an understanding of how the law affects both them and their employer.

1.2 Importance of Forklift Training

Forklift truck operator training has been a legal requirement in the UK since 1st September 1999. As with all legislation, the requirements are minimums. The ACOP states that operators should be trained in accordance with an approved training program followed by tests of basic skill and understanding. On the other hand, the preferred option is for operators to successfully complete basic training (i.e. be trained to a level of operating ability which meets the requirements of the Basic Operator Training standard) theory and practical, without which, tests are stand alone and do not need to be taken at the end of a specific course. Because of this, operators trained prior to the preferred option are not always trained to the degree required and tests for newer operators often have little or no prior learning. A lot of operators in all cases will not have the necessary experience necessary to pass AITT tests, which should not be the target to aim for. The importance of correct and proper training is clear. A forklift is a large, powerful, and dangerous piece of machinery which has the potential to cause serious injury or even death if it is not used correctly by operators and persons in the vicinity. The exact nature of the training required to be undertaken is best left to a decision by a manager and operator. It may be that an employee with several years of experience of forklift truck operation still won’t have the necessary ability to operate to the required standard. In which case, it would be advisable for that employee to undergo training which should be tailored to his or her training needs. A new operator will require more comprehensive training.

1.3 Course Objectives

In short, the course objectives are for you to: – Understand the basic construction of the lift truck and main components. – Be able to locate and identify the major components of the lift truck and explain their functions. – Identify and comply with manufacturers instructions in accordance with the operators handbook, other applicable regulations (PUWER 98) and acceptable good practice. – Carry out all pre-use and running checks. – Configure the lift truck for lifting and transferring loads. – Lift and transfer loads from various locations. – Understand the need to stack and destack various loads to different levels. – Carry out safety operations relating to the movement of the truck, laden and un-laden on/off ramps and inclines.

2. Forklift Basics

The candidate is expected to be able to identify the truck type, its components and rated capacities. Furthermore, the candidate is expected to be aware of safe working loads and the decisions which need to be made with regard to load weights and centres.

The following section is a description of the theory and knowledge required in order to pass the CPCS Technical Test on the knowledge of the forklift truck.

Purpose This module aims to provide the candidate with basic knowledge and understanding of the principles of the forklift truck. This will be established by identifying the different types of truck and their individual characteristics; components and characteristics of the truck and finally considering the safe working and rated capacity of the truck.

A16B Industrial Forklift Truck Course 2. Forklift Basics 2.1 Types of Forklift Trucks 2.2 Components and Controls 2.3 Load Capacity and Stability

2.1 Types of Forklift Trucks

Emissions-free operation is the major selling point for an electric forklift. During operation, the emission of the average IC engine can make the air 10-30 times more contaminated than outside air. This makes electric units attractive when used inside where ventilation may be an issue or food products are handled.

Not too different from your personal automobile, the electric plug-in forklift uses a cord to provide power to the truck. The cord comes in lengths of about 12 and 15 feet and is stored on a reel located on the rear of the forklift. There is only one type of storage battery to choose from: a low maintenance battery which requires water refilling, or a maintenance-free battery. Storage batteries are large and must be recharged properly to ensure maximum lifespan. With planned maintenance, a typical battery will last 5-7 years.

Electric forklift trucks are primarily used indoors on flat, smooth surfaces. Powered by a battery, the forklift may have an attached automatic or a roll clamp. The trucks are narrow and can be designed to work in small spaces. Usually, electric forklifts have a lower cost of operation and are quieter than internal combustion (IC) forklifts. However, this type of forklift cannot match the power of an internal combustion lift.

There are seven different forklift truck categories. These describe the type of fuel that is used, the material handling needs the truck is designed to handle, and the environmental conditions the truck will be required to operate in.

2.2 Components and Controls

All forklifts have the same common components and controls, although they may look slightly different, but they all have the same functions. The main component is the truck, which includes the frame, counterweight, overhead guard, and more. They are the main body of the forklift, and using different combinations of attachments can perform different sorts of functions. Counterweights are crucial to an industrial forklift, as the lift is defined by the weight of the counter, and anything added to the actual weight must be multiplied by 3. So, a forklift with a 1-ton load will actually be 4 tonnes, which may make it hazardous to lift. Overhead guards are to protect the driver from any falling debris or loads and are essential in timber and masonry, in particular. The other main component is the front wheels, which on a forklift with a seated driver, there will be one or two wheels. On a forklift where the driving position is inline with the truck, there may be up to 4 wheels. This is important for the steering, so rear-wheel steer forklifts will have only one type of drive control, but 4-wheel steer forklifts can be driven on the front, all-wheel, or the rear wheels, where there may be a selection switch for differing applications.

2.3 Load Capacity and Stability

From the standpoint of the operator, the forklift truck fulfills its three functions more or less simultaneously in order to handle and stack material. These functions are: 1. Traveling with and without a load. 2. Lifting and lowering a load. 3. Tilting the load forward and/or backward. The forklift’s actions in travel, lift/lower and tilt, all have an effect on the truck’s stability and therefore have a direct influence on the load capacity. The center of gravity is the point at which the forklift and the load it is carrying balance each other. In the case of a counterbalance truck, the position of the load when fully elevated is critical to the truck’s stability. In the case of picking up a load and traveling with it at low level, the moment which is the product of the load’s weight times the horizontal distance between the load and the fulcrum (the front wheels) will destabilize the truck in the forward direction. If the load is lifted to a height where the truck is still stable but the load is at a height which is above the stability triangle, then the moment of the load weight times the distance between the load and the triangle’s edge will cause the truck to become unstable and tip over in the direction of the incline. Tipping over in this case can often be more dangerous than tipping forward as the righting of the truck, whether it has an operator on board or not, is difficult and hazardous. A load which is too heavy or too large will have the same effect on a truck’s stability. The combined weight of the truck and the load must never exceed the capacity of the forklift, given that this includes an extra load allowance at which the truck can withstand without compromising safety.

3. Safety Procedures

The types of checks carried out will be specific to the model of the lift truck. The operators’ handbook will have daily, weekly, and monthly checklists for the operators to follow. Visual and operational checks will also be required at these intervals. However, to meet legislative requirements, employers are obligated to ensure that lifting equipment has FEM (European Federation of Material Handling) rated end of safe use. This is a thorough inspection that results in a detailed report and a certificate of the truck’s condition. This standard is to ensure that forklifts and their attachments are safe and last for a long time.

The A16 Industrial Forklift Truck Course outlines the need for forklift operators to follow pre-operational safety procedures prior to moving or lifting loads. The reasons for specific safety checks are varied and include both direct and indirect costs. A forklift that is not working safely or efficiently due to damage may cause a lost time delay to work, damage to goods and equipment, or in a worst-case situation, an accident involving serious injury or death. Preventing these types of incidents is the benefits of safety and health. By removing the cause of an injury or damage to property, cost savings can be immediate and substantial.

3.1 Pre-Operational Inspections

There are 2 types of checks that can be carried out on a forklift truck, which are: visual checks where you physically look and check/touch a part of the truck to see if it’s safe to use, and functional checks where the engine is switched off and you try and test components of the truck to see if they are functioning correctly, e.g. pressing the brake pedal to see if the brakes are working properly.

Daily checks are necessary to make sure the forklift is safe to use. The amount of use will depend on how often checks should be carried out, but a good way is to do the checks at the beginning of each shift.

This inspection should be carried out in an organized way, e.g. starting at the front of the truck and working your way around the truck in a clockwise direction. This way, you are less likely to miss a part of the truck, and any faults found can be noted in sequence to when the part of the truck was inspected.

Inspecting the forklift is an important part of the operator’s daily routine. A forklift with faulty equipment can be dangerous to the operator and others in the area. An inspection should be done at the start of each shift, and if any problems are found, the forklift in question should be taken out of service and tagged until the problem has been corrected.

3.2 Safe Operating Practices

When travelling with a load in an industrial lift truck, the operator must look in the direction of travel and shall not move the truck until satisfied that it is safe to do so. If the load being carried obstructs the forward view, the operator shall travel in reverse. Travel with the load downgrade. When driving on ramps, keep the load upgrade and travel unloaded. When possible, avoid sudden stops. When traveling without a load on the forks, the truck should be moved in reverse. To avoid overturning, maximum turning and braking traction must be maintained at all times. When turning on a gradient, the load should always be positioned upgrade regardless of the direction of turn. Never attempt to raise, lower, or tilt the mast forward on a gradient. This could cause the load to slip off the forks or unbalance the lift truck. The rated capacity of a lift truck is determined by its stability with a load. When the load is lifted a distance away from the mast, the truck’s stability is decreased. The rated capacity is at this point downgraded. To avoid lateral overturning when lifting a wide load, the load should be lifted as little as possible and be carried upgrade. Operation in confined spaces necessitates compact maneuvering. This could cause the counterweight to collide with obstructions behind the truck. To prevent this, the operator should mark the maximum lift height on obstructions and be aware of the overall height of the truck. Finally, all operators must be familiar with the controls of the lift truck.

3.3 Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment

In summary, what you need to do is identify what to look out for when undertaking a specific task and determine the likelihood of a hazard occurring and the consequences if it does. It is a simple process with complex and significant implications. Hazard identification and risk assessment is a tool we can use to reduce the likelihood of a hazard occurring and if it does, having an effective control measure to reduce the severity of an incident. An event that is not fully appreciated for its significance can result in ineffective or no control measures being put in place. This can have serious implications for health and safety. Consider how much downtime there is on site where forklift trucks are parked up. It is generally a time when trucks are washed down which can result in slippery and hazardous conditions. Failure to identify this and the consequences of an accident could result in somebody slipping under a forklift truck resulting in a fatality. An extreme example but not one that is unheard of. A risk assessment can take on many forms and can vary in complexity. For a small or simple task, a risk assessment can be a mental process. This involves running through a task and considering what could go wrong and its implications. An effective way to record hazard identification and risk assessment is by compiling a list of hazards, determining how significant they are and deciding what can be done about them. Produce an action plan with responsibilities and timescales and record the findings. The action plan should be integrated into general management systems and reviewed at regular intervals. This will be a useful tool for auditing and continuous improvement. The most effective method of risk assessment is by consultation with the people who will be doing the job. Often these are the people who know the task best and understand the hazards. A safe working procedure can be written with their involvement and will be an effective tool for training.

4. Operating Techniques

Loss of control accidents can be categorized as those caused during the lifting or lowering of a load that the truck cannot handle and those caused when the truck is loaded or unloaded on a vehicle’s ramps. These types of accidents can be avoided if the operator fully understands the combined centers of gravity of the forklift, ramp, and load and has assessed if the forklift is the correct machine for the job.

The stability of the forklift truck comes from its weight, the weight and configuration of the counterbalance, and the surface in which it is working. In the event of the forklift becoming unbalanced or out of control, the operator should keep his feet off the platform floor. This is the safest way to exit and avoid being trapped underneath the truck.

Operation of the forklift and different techniques required to operate it depend on where the load is situated, i.e. on the ground, on a vehicle, or at a height. In each case, the forklift truck and operator have to deal with a probable change in the center of gravity of the load it is handling. The operator will always have to consider the combined center of gravity of both the load and the forklift truck.

4.1 Starting, Stopping, and Steering

Truck engines should not be accelerated in an enclosed area without adequate ventilation. Exhaust gases contain carbon monoxide, an odorless and deadly poison to which you can develop a tolerance. If in doubt, consult the engine manufacturer or the health and safety executive. When starting off, the truck should be in as high a gear as possible. From standstill, increase engine speed and let the clutch in gently. Remember, trucks have torque converters which enable power to be transmitted to the drive wheels without engaging the clutch. This facility can be used to bring the truck up to speed when pulling away but works more efficiently on the higher gears. Smooth progressive acceleration will reduce tire, transmission, and engine wear. When stopping, reduce engine speed and brake gently. Changing down through the gears too late can raise engine RPM and stress. Always depress the clutch when stopping. Remember, braking can stall the engine if the torque converter is still transmitting power. Power steering is standard on many machines and is extremely beneficial in reducing steering effort. However, it is more complex than steering by linkage and is easily damaged if the wheels are stopped against a solid object. Ackerman steering geometry causes the inside wheel to turn through a greater angle than the outside wheel. Locking the steering into an extreme position makes the truck difficult or impossible to turn and overstresses the steering gear and linkage. Always look ahead and plan the course, avoid making sharp turns at too high a speed.

4.2 Lifting, Lowering, and Transporting Loads

The operator will have to consider many factors when transporting loads over more open ground. The type of load, how it is being carried, and the distance that it is to be transported will determine what type of truck should be used. Forklift trucks often become stuck in soft or uneven ground when carrying out door work. If it is absolutely necessary to use a forklift truck in these conditions, it may need to be fitted with special attachments such as larger tires, fork extensions, or even small platforms.

The dangers of operating trucks on ramps and inclines can be multiplied when the load is being carried. The rated capacity and especially the rated backward tip capacity of the truck will be reduced on ramps and inclines. The gradient, type of surface, ground conditions, and angle that the truck and load are to travel will need to be assessed at all times.

For lighter pallets, the most stable position is to enter the pallet from the uphill side and lift the load and back up until the load is halfway on the ramp. This will prevent the load from sliding forward down the ramp. The operator should avoid turning or twisting of the truck when on inclines. In all cases, the truck and load should be kept up and down the face of the ramp and never across it. This may mean driving the truck in reverse up the ramp and driving forwards down the ramp.

4.3 Maneuvering in Confined Spaces

The forklift truck operator has to be fully aware of the site layout and that there may be times when he has to lift/move goods in confined spaces such as in the back of a lorry tractor unit. In all cases, the same principles apply. Slow down, the greater the risk, the slower the truck should travel. If there is a high risk involved, the site supervisor should have a method statement or risk assessment prepared specifically for that task. If the risk cannot be eliminated, unmanned trucks should be used. Confined spaces generally have only one point of entry/exit. If there is a risk of others entering the working area (e.g. fork truck driver is loading a skip in a public area), it may need to be cordoned off using tape or barriers and a banksman employed to prevent access by others during the lift. This is often referred to as ‘isolation’. If access is not required and there are no specific cordon off points, the driver should use his truck as a barrier. When working inside containers, it may be possible to remove the door and use the forks to slide the load from the container avoiding the need to enter. If there is no alternative to working within the container, ensure that it is structurally sound and that the combined weight of the load and the truck will not exceed the maximum floor loading. Always seek guidance on the weight and lifting points of the load from the supplier or an authorised person.

5. Specialized Operations

5.3 Operating in Hazardous Environments Apart from the obvious safety of forklift truck operation in classified potentially explosive atmospheres, there are many and varied situations where forklift truck operation takes place on ground that is unstable, with a risk of machine overturn. For example, ditch cleaning operations, flood damage work, or construction-type forklift truck operation. The standard A16 industrial truck is not well-suited to these activities. This is also a very generic occupation for all plant equipment, and a forklift truck is often the only available machine to do the particular task. This type of operation is likely to be in a remote location, and there may be difficulties in sourcing training.

5.2 Working at Heights Some job tasks may require operation at significant height. For example, maintenance work on warehouse racking or stacker-type forklift truck operation. RTITB and ITSSAR do not permit the operation of rider forklift trucks above 1 meter. The principles of ITSSAR and RTITB training constrain students from completing working at heights operation. However, there are many situations where working at height forklift truck operation occurs. An example would be the offshore industry. It is not deemed reasonably practicable to operate mobile elevating work platforms for all forklift truck activity above one meter.

5.1 Loading and Unloading Trailers This, on the surface, may seem to be generic for forklift truck operation. A16 operators can often be faced with a compact area and only have access to one side of the trailer. It is sometimes necessary to drive the machine into the trailer (therefore exceeding the limitations set down by RTITB and ITSSAR for operation above ground level) and to carry out work inside. This is a high-risk activity with a serious risk of machine overturn. Every year, there are serious and often fatal accidents involving FLT’s and trailers.

Specific job site operations require qualified operators. This section therefore requires additional instructional time in each of the areas identified. Additional instructional time will depend on the experience of the candidates. A basic operating skill level will require a longer period of training and supervised operation.

5.1 Loading and Unloading Trailers

When loading and unloading directly onto the floor of the trailer, it is usual to reverse the forklift truck onto the trailer to enable the forks to be removed from the pallet whilst the truck is situated on the trailer. This causes a number of safety issues as the forklift driver is required to work on board the trailer in the confined space with difficult access. Access and egress from the trailer whilst it is stationed at loading bays causes slips, trips, and falls from height. Often the trailer is positioned at the loading bay with the fork elevated into a stillage positioned at a height. This is another unsafe working practice as there is potential for the forklift truck to be propelled into the trailer if the brakes are not applied and the fork elevation control is operated.

Working with trailers is considered a specialized operation in that it requires additional training and skill. The forklift truck is only suitable for operation on an open-mesh floored trailer when the fork is in the inverted position. Only fork attachments specifically designed for handling pallets should be used. On some sites, the forklift truck is used to load stillages of product directly onto the floor of the trailer. When loading and unloading trailers onto stillages, it is often necessary to carry out the task by driving the forklift truck forwards up the ramp and onto the trailer and then driving in reverse to unload. This is an unsafe working practice, and the use of additional equipment such as a Mobile Elevated Working Platform (MEWP) should be considered as an alternative method.

5.2 Working at Heights

Where possible, avoid using a forklift to lift, carry, or stack loads at heights. The forklift is a general-purpose materials handling vehicle that is most effective when handling loads that are stored and moved at ground level. Forklifts are designed to lift and carry loads on the backrest and/or forks configuration. All masted forklifts have a load backrest. Attachments are designed for specific purposes and they are not intended as a device for lifting personnel. When a task requires a load to be elevated, carried, and stored above ground level, it is recommended that a purpose-built elevating work platform or order-picker be used.

When using forklifts on ramps and inclines, only use a forklift that has sufficient capacity to perform the task required. When ascending or descending gradients, the loaded forklift will be less stable, therefore caution must be exercised. A loaded forklift ascends a slope in the same manner as it does when lifting a heavy object. The weight of the load causes the front wheels to relieve traction to the drive wheels, affecting steering and braking.

This section has been specifically designed to provide the necessary underpinning knowledge required for operating the industrial forklift when working at heights. This section is applicable to those who work in the construction, extractive and mineral processing industries. On completion of this section, trainees will be able to prepare for tasks, safely operate the forklift to perform the required tasks, and shut down and secure the forklift.

5.3 Operating in Hazardous Environments

This unit is about minimizing the risk when operating the lift truck in a hazardous environment and defines the various types of hazardous environments in which lift truck operations may take place. It looks at measures to prevent the truck from becoming a source of ignition and the use of the appropriate equipment to operate in hazardous areas, based upon the classification of that area. It also defines the safe limits of flammable substances which may be handled by the lift truck. The requirements contained within this unit assume an understanding of the classification of specific hazardous areas and the types of equipment and protection necessary to operate in those areas. These are covered as separate training modules by RTITB and may be used in conjunction with this unit to provide hazardous environment training.

6. Maintenance and Troubleshooting

Lead-acid batteries are used in most trucks, and these require a charging period which is about the same length of time as the truck has been used. The exception to this is if a high rate of discharge has been used, in which case the battery should be cooled before charging. This is done by running the truck at a low throttle setting. Overheating must be avoided, and the battery should be checked during charging. If it is too hot, charging should be stopped until the battery has cooled. Battery life can be extended considerably by avoiding opportunity charging and ensuring the battery is not left in a low state of charge for a long period. A typical lead-acid battery has a 5-year life expectancy.

Prolonged use of the battery is generally avoided by having a battery change system. Once used, the battery is changed for a fully charged one at the end of a shift. If this is not possible, a maintenance-free or low-maintenance battery is used with provision for cleaning and adding water without having to remove the battery. It may also be charged outside of the truck.

Battery charging and replacement

Your truck must undergo a maintenance check by the operator at the beginning of each shift, and this check must be recorded. Where daily checks are concerned, the operator refers to the machine’s handbook to see what is required. A procedure card is always available to follow. The operator must check a number of things. They are the engine oil level, radiator water level, brake fluid level, hydraulic oil level, the condition of the hydraulic pump/motor, and the securing of all wheel nuts. Once all this has been checked, the operator must ensure all controls and safety devices are in good working order and that all warning and safety decals are in place and legible. Should a defect be discovered, the fault must be reported to the site maintenance supervisor, and the truck must not be used until the fault has been rectified. A defect found during operation gear a routine job should be reported immediately, and the job stopped until the fault has been rectified.

Daily maintenance checks

6.1 Daily Maintenance Checks

6. WARNING – The following checks need only be carried out by a qualified maintenance person. Do not attempt to investigate these areas if you do not fully understand what you are looking for.

5. Steering – Check for excessive play and adjust if necessary. This is usually done by tightening the steering box.

4. Parking brake – This should be tested on a slope to check that it holds the truck. Adjust if necessary.

3. Service brake – Depress the brake pedal and hold down for 5 seconds. The pedal should not move and the brake should hold the truck. Check for leaks under the truck after the pedal has been depressed. This would indicate a fault in the system.

2. Lights – Check that all lights are in working order. Replace any faulty bulbs. Wiring connections should also be checked for tightness.

1. Tyres – These should be checked for condition and inflation. Check for cuts, excessive wear, separation of the tread or foreign material embedded in the tyres. Inflation pressure should comply with truck manufacturer specification. Wheel nuts should also be checked for tightness.

To ensure that all portions of the truck are in good working order and to identify any damage or unsatisfactory conditions that could lead to a component or part failure, suitable probe, any item found to be defective should be addressed before the truck is put into service.

6.2 Battery Charging and Replacement

A16 6.2 Battery Charging and Replacement Understand the requirements for battery care and routine maintenance. Explain and demonstrate how to correctly remove and replace batteries. The health and safety requirements when working with batteries. 6.2.1 Understand the requirements for battery care and routine maintenance The different types of battery used within forklift trucks are lead acid, gel, and high-powered lithium batteries. Each of these batteries requires different levels of care but all have the same basic requirements. Every battery should receive planned routine maintenance, at least once a week, with a quick health check every day. Overwatering or under watering of a lead acid battery decreases the life of the battery, resulting in higher costs. If a gel battery is incorrectly maintained, it will puff and dry up. This can be checked every day on a gel battery by checking the state of charge, if there is no significant increase in battery temperature and it does not require additional Ah hours. High-powered lithium batteries require very little maintenance, and the specific water level does not need to be maintained; topping up the liquid should only be needed every 2-3 years. If liquid contamination has occurred, it would be necessary to drain and flush the liquid to replace it with a new quantity. Lead acid and gel batteries need the same routine maintenance conducted on all batteries, checks can be made using a planned maintenance checklist.

6.3 Identifying and Resolving Common Issues

Initially, it is important to know what is an ‘acceptable’ level of repair on a truck. With many new machines, forklifts may be tempted to try to make a repair on a part which is still under warranty. This can cause additional problems later if the repair carried out is not effective. In general terms, repairs which are quick, simple, and low cost are often the most effective. Any repair that could affect the safety of an operator or other persons working in the area should not be attempted unless the person doing the work is a competent engineer. If a problem is noticed, it is also a false economy to continue using the forklift with a view that a repair can be carried out at some point in the future. This often leads to the issue being forgotten and the truck being used in a condition which can cause subsequent damage at a greater cost to repair.

When forklift trucks are involved in a variety of tasks and contracts on different sites, the chances of coming across issues is greatly increased. This subject provides the forklift operator with the knowledge required to identify the simple problems that can occur on a forklift and where possible, to rectify the issues without the need for third-party assistance. If a problem is found beyond the operator’s scope to repair, the subject also provides information on competent evaluation of a repair service.

7. Legal Requirements

Health and Safety legislation is all-enveloping and takes in most work situations. The legislation is designed to protect the health and safety of employees and the public by requiring employers to identify the hazards in their workplaces and take the necessary steps to eliminate or control those hazards. Failure to do this can result in harm to employees or the public and can lead to prosecution. CAUTION! In accordance with Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, employers are required to conduct their work in such a way that ensures, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons are not exposed to risks to their health and safety. This duty of care is also placed upon persons who have control of workplaces, to persons other than their employees, that includes self-employed persons and employees of another employer and members of the public. Subsections (a) to (f) go on to define that the duty holder must be able to identify hazards, assess the risks, and implement the necessary control measures. This includes the safe use of plant and equipment. This is directly related to forklift truck operation. If there are identified hazards that forklift truck operation would aggravate, the duty holder must consider if forklift truck operation can be avoided. For example, if there are repair works being carried out, that could be classed as a hazard to the protection of the repair workers, and the forklift truck operation could be excluded. This way, it is ensuring it’s not reasonably practicable to not put persons at risk. Failure to adhere to statutory duty can result in criminal prosecution. From minor penalties such as improvement or prohibition notices, which require the employer to halt an activity until changes have been made, to gruesome fines and in the most severe cases custodial sentences. Health and safety legislation breaches are also punishable in civil courts by injured parties seeking compensation. The Road Traffic Acts of 1972 and 1988 apply to any workplace if the forklift truck is driven on a public right of way. The Act of 1972 places an absolute duty on drivers to insure against third-party risks and has been implemented in most insurance policies today. Failure to have the correct insurance is a criminal offence and can result in the SORNing or confiscation of the vehicle in question. With the forklift truck being a vehicle, having it insured is absolutely necessary.

7.1 Health and Safety Legislation

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 is the primary piece of legislation covering occupational health and safety in Great Britain. It sets out the rights and duties of all employers, the self-employed and employees (including those working through an employment agency). It also sets out the rights and duties of all those who have control of premises to the persons who may use or visit them. This piece of legislation is backed up with numerous regulations and codes of practice which will be legally binding on an employer and others. These regulations or codes of practice can be specific to certain activities and do vary quite considerably, however the General Duties that all employers, employees and those who have control of premises must observe in one way or another are covered in sections 2-7 of the act provided at the end of this section and in an easier to access copy at [Link] The act also sets up the National Enforcement body which is currently the Health and Safety Executive. Non-devolved sections 1-24 and 37-47 of the act also cover the self-employed and others with limited responsibility to persons under their control and to those who may use or visit the premises although it should be noted that the section of the act covering the self-employed has been subject to a great deal of legal challenge. This could mean that the act would apply to all contracts of employment to a self-employed person including those of an employment agency or being hired as a sub-contractor as the relative status of the persons concerned would be close to that of employment and the conditions of employment to the person concerned would not be significantly different to those of an employee.

‘How Health and Safety Legislation Affects Employers, Operators and Others Involved in the Workplace’

7.2 Operator Certification and Licensing

The operation of industrial forklift trucks is subject to two main sets of regulations: those concerning operator certification and licensing, and those concerning the use of forklift trucks in a work environment. These are legal requirements set by the Health and Safety Commission. Note that there is no longer such a thing as a forklift truck license. However, all forklift operators still need to be trained to a certain standard, as stated in the Approved Code of Practice for Rider-Operated lift trucks. This document sets out exactly what lift truck operators need to know and the level of skill at which they need to operate. Training should be carried out by an accredited instructor in a suitable location. Upon completion of training, the lift truck operator will receive a certificate of basic training, which while it does not expire, is not sufficient to prove the lift truck operator is competent. This is a common misconception addressed within the frequently asked questions section of the lift truck training guidance from the HSC. Many employers often fail to realize that the basic training certificate is only proof of training; it does not in itself make the lift truck operator competent. Any such training should be followed by job-specific and familiarization training by the employer. This should be a system of integrated training and not ad-hoc experience, but it is essential that the trainee is under direct supervision until training is complete.

7.3 Employer Responsibilities

It is the employer’s duty to ensure that there are adequate measures to control risk and the safety of employees who operate MHE. This is covered by the provisions of PUWER and LOLER. Employees should be trained and competent, and that training and competence should be refreshed at suitable intervals. This post is specific to lift trucks, but if we consider control measures, the access to competent training providers and training schemes suggests that self-employed persons and contractors should be similarly trained. This does not mean that training is the responsibility of the contractor, but the provision for training (affordability and suitability) should be available for all. PUWER states that equipment should be suitable, maintained and inspected to prevent risks – this requires that employers monitor truck condition and review maintenance procedures. LOLER extends to lifting equipment and requires inspection and Thorough Examination. An often overlooked requirement of regulation is the need for suitable storage and transport. This is essential to reduce damage to goods, reduce the risk of handling and to prevent adverse conditions which may put safety at risk. While implementing these requirements, assumptions are made about the level of knowledge that is conveyed through the use of such terms as ‘suitable’ and ‘adequate’. Where regulation is open to interpretation it is the duty of a responsible person within an organisation to assess what is required and take positive action. This person should need to demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of health and safety related to MHE and have a direct link to the decision-making process. This not only applies to employing an expensive health and safety consultant, but could mean a small business owner who leases a single truck to move his own goods. As the owner is an employee of his own limited company, he is a ‘responsible person’ and has the same duties as an employer. These duties often lead a person to seek a recognized or accredited training course in an effort to attain some form of professional qualification. A FTTA member will often encounter persons who are responsible for forklift operations and there is a range of MHE courses to suit, from novice operator to the MHE engineer. This should be used as an opportunity to improve skill levels and raise safety standards within the working environment.

8. Practical Assessment

The practical skill evaluation and the theory test require a pass mark of 80% and must be assessed by an Accrediting Body approved Lift Truck Instructor or to their standard.

The written examination consists of 25 multiple-choice questions, which should be completed within 30 minutes. This could be completed using a desktop PC with a touch screen monitor, a laptop, or using traditional paper and pen. The multiple-choice questions can be randomly selected by the testing software from a data bank of questions, to create question papers of equal value, but with a different question order. The questions should be based on the theory elements of the basic lift truck operator training modules. The questions can be asked in relation to the specific lift truck type the operator will be using in their job. This could be counterbalance, reach, rough terrain masted, side loader, etc.

The practical assessment involves practical and theory tests, and the delegate must pass both elements. The practical test is to assess the delegate’s operating ability and safety standards when operating a lift truck. The delegate must demonstrate their ability to carry out pre-use and running checks, and to operate the truck safely, correctly, and efficiently. The practical test should be conducted in a clearly defined area, ideally within the confines of a training area, and should reflect as far as possible the delegate’s normal working conditions. When setting the practical test tasks for lift truck operators, consideration must be given to the type of truck the operator will be using in their job. The tasks set should be based on what would be expected of the delegate in their normal working environment.

8.1 Practical Skills Evaluation

The practical evaluation is split into a number of elements which must all be passed to complete the practical evaluation. Each element must be assessed within a maximum period of two months from the preceding element. If an element is not passed within the two-month time period, the candidate will be required to retake and pass the preceding elements at the discretion of the tester. This provides a baseline assessment for all candidates and ensures the candidate is not at a disadvantage when returning for reassessment.

The CPCS Tester shall establish the identity of the candidate and clearly explain the purpose, content, maximum time allowed, and pass criteria for each element of the practical test. The candidate can elect to take the practical test in his/her own language. If an appointed interpreter is used, the interpreter must not provide any information to aid the candidate’s performance.

As the name suggests, the practical skills evaluation is designed to test the candidate’s operating skills under actual working conditions. During the course, the candidate will have been trained to operate the Industrial Forklift Truck in a safe and skilful manner with a thorough understanding of the task and environment. The candidate must have effective control of the truck and load at all times. The specified practical evaluation pass criteria are based on the tasks in each element; this will be assessed against the marking criteria.

8.2 Written Examination

The written exam will consist of a minimum of 25 multiple-choice questions, distributed between the core knowledge section (what the candidate should know), and the specific job/knowledge requirements of the industrial counterbalance lift truck operator. Candidates will be allowed a maximum of 30 minutes to complete the test. The multiple-choice questions have been designed to examine the candidate’s knowledge and understanding of the underpinning core knowledge learning outcomes (1-14) and the learning outcomes related to the operation of lift trucks (15-36). Each question will then relate to a specific learning outcome. For example, question 1 may relate to learning outcome 1, question 2 may relate to learning outcome 2, and so forth. To ensure that candidates are clear about the meaning of the question, each question that assesses the core knowledge learning outcomes will start with the question “According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) L117, para xx, what does this actually mean?” This will identify that the question relates to the ACOP, and each candidate should have familiarized themselves with this document. The remaining questions on the job-specific requirements should be clear in the meaning of what is being asked, with questions being directly related to job requirements and scenario-based. Each question will have 3 possible answers only A, B, & C. The pass mark is set at 80%, and successful candidates will be issued with their operator’s license within 7-10 working days.

9. Conclusion

Throughout this training course, you would have gained an understanding of the relevant industry regulations. Regulations are a set of legal requirements that must be followed and adhered to. They are generally mandated by the government and always have legal validity. It is important to understand the legal obligations you have as a person conducting a business or undertaking and also those of your employer. If you are your employer, it’s your obligation to ensure the health and safety of yourself and others that may be affected by your actions. Failure to meet legal obligations can result in significant penalties and can be used as evidence in proving negligence in a civil claim following an incident. A good understanding of the duties you have under the law will assist in making effective decisions concerning health and safety and will ultimately lead to a safer working environment.

This course has taught you the basic principles of health and safety that relate to operating industrial forklifts. The importance of operator safety and the safety of others has been organically integrated into each learning outcome. This course has not only used a mainly classroom-based learning approach but has also given you the opportunity to apply the principles of safe industrial forklift operation through various exercises undertaken. These principles should be implemented and practiced in your workplace. By taking this course, you have made the conscious decision that you want to know and understand how to conduct your job in a safe manner.

9.1 Recap of Key Learnings

Adequate load assessment prevents overloading or uneven carrying of the load. Stability largely depends on the load center and height of the load. Key issues to be aware of are the utilization of attachments affecting the truck’s stability and overloading causing rear wheel lift. Measures to improve here are having a clear understanding of the truck’s maximum capabilities and the load’s weight and center.

Basic hydraulic knowledge is practical to understand the layout and function of the controls. If a forklift is on hire, a book of specific information for that truck should be obtained. This can improve the operator’s knowledge of the equipment, and it should be known that familiarization training should always occur before using a new truck.

The forklift is like a car with forklift attachments, with the key difference being the steering rear wheels. As with a car, steering depends on front-wheel steering, which is the best way where possible. But in confined areas, this may not be possible, so the alternative is the use of rear-wheel steering. This can be improved through reduced speeds on the rear-wheel steer and improved accuracy in positioning of the forklift to key areas. Good surface conditions are another requirement for steering, and improvement can be made through better housekeeping.

9.2 Next Steps for Ongoing Development

Candidates, experienced operatives, and supervisors should have the approved code of practice and guidance in accordance with L117 readily available for reference, either in a printed copy or alternatively it can be viewed for free or purchased from the HSE website. Assessment of a company’s health and safety management systems and other risk management situations should involve a participative approach between employees and employers. The knowledge obtained from this assessment should be used to implement and maintain high standards of CPCS Industrial Forklift Truck and associated attachments operation in which all relevant personnel would be well informed of.

To ensure candidates maintain the correct and safe standards they have been taught, it is recommended that they affiliate themselves with an experienced operative or supervisor who has extensive knowledge in industrial forklift truck operation and has completed Safety Passport training. Sufficient constructive advice can be critical and complements continual assessment and monitoring when working on specific tasks or maintenance of operation. This would prove beneficial as it would provide an opportunity for candidates to refresh their knowledge and skills at no extra cost to the employer and may also lead to identifying areas of training that the candidate needs to further develop.

Once candidates are in employment and utilizing their training and knowledge, they will begin to rapidly develop their industrial forklift truck operating skills and encounter further scenarios that they will find challenging. They will also be in an environment in which they and their employers have higher expectations of their abilities. With constant changes in today’s working environments, candidates may, for example, need to operate a different type of industrial forklift truck than what they have been trained on or operate an unfamiliar attachment. It is this ongoing development in which candidates require guidance on the correct course of action in order to make the right decisions.

Candidates who undertake and successfully complete this course will have the knowledge of the various types of industrial forklift trucks and associated attachments (9.1), and the correct procedures for loading and unloading appropriate vehicles or static racking, as well as safe load securing (9.1). The course will also ensure candidates appreciate the risks of handling dangerous and hazardous goods and load assessment (9.1), operating on inclines and ramps both in a loaded and unloaded state, vehicle stability (9.1), and how to prepare and shut down an industrial forklift truck.

The CPCS endorsed A16 Industrial Forklift Truck course, delivered by a City and Guilds/RTITB/JAUPT registered training organization, has been specifically designed for those who work in the extraction and civil industries and wish to operate an industrial forklift truck. The course will ensure candidates gain a clearer understanding of the approved code of practice in accordance with L117, health and safety regulations, and safe operating techniques in line with current legal and best practice requirements.