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At what age can a person complete a forklift training course?

For normal operations in a typical warehouse, operators must be 16 years or over. For specific work on stockyards, they must be 18 or over.

What is a forklift licence?

There is no such thing as a licence to operate a fork lift! Many people refer to their certificate of basic training as a “licence” but this is not the case. The certificate that is issued to successful candidates after a training course is properly known as a “Certificate of Training” and is usually accepted as proof that the holder has attended an accredited training course and passed the fork lift test. Many people think it is like a car licence but this is not the case and never has been.

Should forklift trucks be inspected daily just like other vehicles within the work place?

Yes, operators of forklift trucks and mobile elevating working platforms (MEWP’s) should check their machine at the start of every shift. A copy of the completed check should be retained by the employer as evidence that these checks have been completed.

Do I legally have to train lift truck operators?

Yes. The legislation covering this is the Health & Safety at Work Act, 1974, and Regulation 9 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER). In a nutshell, this requires that every employer ensures that all persons who use forklift trucks, as well as those that supervise them, have received adequate training.

Does a training qualification to drive a particular type of lift truck mean that the operator can drive any type of truck?

Definitely not. Any employer who allows an operator to drive workplace transport for which they have not received proper training puts the operator and the company at risk. Conversion training, to enable operators to extend the range of forklift trucks they are qualified to drive, makes sound business sense for most companies.

Does a licence for a counterbalance forklift truck allow me to drive a reach truck?

No. You must take a further course of training and be tested on a reach truck. This is also true for any other types of forklift trucks

When does a qualified operator’s certificate expire?

It doesn’t. This said it is increasingly common practice in British business to ensure that a company’s health and safety standards are maintained by providing continuous refresher training – typically every two, three or five years. Remedial training is recommended when an operator has caused an accident or near-miss.

Do those who use pallet trucks need training?

Yes, not least so that the employer complies with PUWER regulations.

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