The most up to date edition of the Approved Code Of Practice for forklift truck operator training, (L117), was published in March 2013 and is pictured left. It was first published in April 1989 and was the first real attempt at "legalising" the training of Fork Lift Operators in the U.K. Training had existed as far back as 1972 when the so called "Red Book" was published by the Road Transport Industry Training Board. This contained a whole host of information to enable Instructors to train and test, lift truck operators effectively. At the same time the National Register of fork lift operator Instructors was set up by the RTITB. (Note: From April 2006 there is also a national register of fork lift operators. NORS).
Whilst many companies did carry out such training, others were under the impression that they did not have to although the need for this type of training has been stated in legislation since 1974. The publication of this ACOP had a dramatic affect on training in the U.K. since for the first time a quasi legal document existed which could be used in court as proof that a person/company was in contravention of the Health and Safety At Work Act and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations, (PUWER).
The ACOP also brought home for the first time the concept of three stages of training which to this day are still defined as follows:
The second version of the Approved Code Of Practice was published by the Health and Safety Commission late in 1999 and there were changes compared to the old ACOP mainly to incorporate the new LOLER and PUWER legislation.
This third edition of the ACOP was published in March 2013 and it also incorporates most of the contents of the old publication "Safety in Working with Lift Trucks" (HSG6), which has now been scrapped. In the new version the most significant part relates to the training of managers and supervisors.
Anyone considering providing training for their employees in the UK should ensure that it is in accordance with this Approved Code Of Practice if they wish to make sure that they have complied with legislation so far as training of operators is concerned. Copies of this ACOP along with advice for employers and employees can be downloaded in PDF form from here.
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