July 2013. The following is an article by Owen Delaney, Technical Manager of the Fork Lift Truck Association which describes the myth of the forklift licence.
"Reviewing a random sample of job advertisements for Fork lift truck operators the Fork lift Truck Association found that no fewer than 85% wrongly stipulated 'forklift truck licence' or 'forklift licence' as a requirement despite there being no such document in the UK and no central licensing authority. This is no harmless myth. By relying upon this fictional document to verily operators’ skills, employers are putting workers’ lives at risk. Giving your workers carte blanche to use a Fork lift truck without the right training can be disastrous.
Forklift licence - What does the law require?
Under Regulation 9 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations, (PUWER 98], every employer has a responsibility to ensure that employees have adequate training before they use work equipment. Training should be given by either an in-house or eternal trainer on each type at equipment they may need to operate.
Following the training, the provider should then issue a certificate or other document, detailing the results. But before an employee actually operates any equipment, his or her employer is required to give written authority that is specific to the task to be undertaken, including the location and equipment involved.
Most importantly, this authorisation is not readily transferable to another company. For how long this authority remains valid is determined solely by the employer. Best practice is that employers ensure that the performance of all operators is formally monitored.
For details of training required by UK law check out the latest Approved Code Of Practice
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