“There seems to be some confusion among not only owners and operators of equipment but also a large number of inspection companies when it comes to testing attachments,” explains Geoff Martin, chairman of Consolidated Fork Truck Services (CFTS).
“The first issue is what attachments require a thorough examination. The law is quite clear that if lifting attachments are not permanently fitted – and that can include anything from safety cages to bale and barrel clamps – then they must receive a separate thorough examination to ensure they are safe and in good working order.
“Which brings us onto the second issue and that is the problem of specificity. Many of those carrying out thorough examinations (often referred to as LOLERs) are using a generic checklist when inspecting attachments. That is not best practice and could leave you exposed to prosecution should things go wrong.”
He said that examinations of any attachment should use documentation that includes a full set of checks specific to the attachment/s, regardless of whether it is fitted permanently or temporarily.
Working with manufacturers and distributors of attachments, CFTS has created a 33-point checklist that ensures all electronic, hydraulic, and mechanical components are working correctly and safely.
“The third issue is one of timing,” Geoff Martin added. “Because of the nature of the work and the potential for injuries or component failure, removable attachments generally require more frequent inspections than the forklift, tractor, telehandler or plant to which they are fitted.
“However, my advice to anyone whose lifting equipment uses an attachment would be to eliminate any doubt by visiting the CFTS website and contacting the nearest CFTS-accredited company and check what applies to your individual equipment, site and operations. Their guidance will be expert, free of charge and without any obligations.”
Consolidated Fork Truck Services (CFTS) was created in 2004 by the British Industrial Truck Association (BITA) and the Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA), in consultation with the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).
To gauge how often thorough examinations are required, try this quick quiz: www.thoroughexamination.org/how-often-is-thorough-examination-required