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What is a Thorough Examination?

What is a Thorough Examination for a forklift truck and is it a legal requirement?

Thorough Examination of industrial lift trucks is required under health and safety law: LOLER 1998, which covers lifting equipment, and PUWER 1998, which deals with all other safety-related items, such as brakes, steering and tyres.

Your regular inspections as part of a preventive maintenance scheme or scheduled service are not a thorough examination.

Thorough examination of lifting equipment – If you are an employer or self-employed person providing lifting equipment for use at work, or if you have control of the use of lifting equipment, you must make sure the lifting equipment is safe.

The main requirements for you as a ‘duty holder’ are in the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) and the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER).

Complete Material Handling have provided some advice on the options you have under LOLER -relating to the requirement for thorough examination and inspection of lifting equipment and explains the benefits of having an ‘examination scheme’. However, this does not replace the necessity for operators to carry out checks to lifting equipment and accessories before use.

So, what does LOLER require?

LOLER addresses the specific risks associated with the use of lifting equipment. Thorough examination and inspection are key requirements of the Regulations. To meet these requirements, duty holders must: ensure lifting equipment (including lifting accessories) exposed to conditions causing deterioration which could lead to dangerous situations undergoes regular thorough examination by a competent person; and ensure all supplementary inspections and tests recommended by the competent person are carried out within the timescale stated. Examples of conditions causing deterioration are wet, abrasive or corrosive environments.

What equipment is covered by LOLER?

The scope of the Regulations is very wide and includes a range of equipment. There are two important definitions you need to know: ‘lifting equipment’ means work equipment for lifting and lowering loads. The definition includes attachments used to anchor, fix or support the equipment (eg the runway of an overhead crane); ‘accessory for lifting’ means lifting equipment for attaching loads to machinery for lifting.

Complete Material Handling are members of the FLTA, who recognises a Thorough Examination as the following – Thorough Examination is a systematic and detailed examination of the lifting equipment by a competent person to detect any defects that are, or might become, dangerous. The competent person will determine the scope of the thorough examination and they may use a number of sources to help them do this, such as industry guidance. HSE’s Contract Research Report Thorough examination and inspection of particular items of lifting equipment.

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Complete Material Handling are offering a FREE* Through Examination in March. Call Jamie on 0191 2710899 or email Jamie Williams-Hudson on to find out more information.

*Subject to terms and conditions.