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Thorough examinations; Whose responsibility?

thorough examinations

CFTS — the body behind the national standard for Thorough Examinations — has advised businesses working with lift trucks to check if they are responsible for booking their equipment in for an inspection.

Thorough Examinations are a legal requirement, but several factors can place the obligation with different parties. Failure to have equipment properly inspected in time can put you on the wrong side of the law and liable for any necessary penalties while also risking the safety of your operators.

“With trucks that have been leased or hired there can be a lot of confusion as to where the duty lies,” says Geoff Martin, CFTS Chairman. “Many businesses are under the assumption that it’s always down to the company they are hiring from, but that’s only sometimes the case. Without knowing if they’re the one who needs to book the inspection, they could be opening themselves up to fines or worse, letting the equipment become unsafe.”

If the truck is owned outright by your business then the inspection is on you to book; for long-term hire the responsibility is the same as if you own it. You’re responsible for the operator, therefore you’re responsible for the Thorough Examination.

When the truck is hired or leased for less than 12 months then the company the truck has been hired from is required to book the inspection. As your operators’ safety is still your responsibility you should insist a valid Report of Thorough Examination is included with any rental agreement.

Even during short-term hire periods, it may be that an additional inspection should be carried out. While lift trucks must have a Thorough Examination at least once a year, the type of truck, how that truck is used and the working environment may mean it needs more frequent checks.

“This year has seen many trucks being pushed harder and worked for longer periods, particularly during the early weeks of the pandemic,” said Geoff Martin. “Getting a Thorough Examination has become more important than ever — not just to avoid penalties but to catch any potentially dangerous issues before the worst happens.

“If you are in any doubt as to your responsibility then always speak to your local CFTS-accredited company or contact CFTS for advice.”

For more information about CFTS Thorough Examinations, please visit or call 01344 623 800