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MHE examinations remain essential amid COVID-19

Materials handling equipment must receive inspections in line with maintenance schedules.

CFTS — the body behind the national standard of Thorough Examinations — has confirmed that owners and users of materials handling equipment must continue to book inspections, to ensure that it is safe to use. 

The reminder follows the release of an updated joint statement from the FLTA and BITA, in consultation with the HSE, which clarified Thorough Examination as an essential activity under LOLER and PUWER regulations.

Geoff Martin, CFTS Chairman explained: “Materials handling equipment, which includes forklifts, is used every day to move goods and services, so it plays a key role in supporting vitally important supply chains. Equipment experiences extreme wear and tear which is why it must be inspected at least once every 12 months to make sure there are no faults. If a problem goes undetected, it could lead to an accident involving injury, or loss of precious resources if stock is damaged. 

“CFTS Thorough Examination providers are still on hand and can make site visits to complete inspections. We understand that many businesses may be cautious about letting people on to their site, but there is an obligation to provide operators with equipment that is safe to use, and Thorough Examinations will confirm that. 

“During site visits, examiners will follow all safety precautions regarding COVID-19 outlined by Public Health England. For example they will inspect the truck away from staff, clean it when the examination is over, and send paperwork electronically wherever possible.”

Information and resources are available on the CFTS website to support owners and users of materials handling equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes the full statement from the FLTA, BITA and the HSE, as well as instructions on safely standing down materials handling equipment if it is not in use. Owners can also find their nearest Thorough Examination provider from an extensive national network via an online search tool on the website.

Geoff Martin concluded: “Although these are uncertain times for everyone, safety is a constant. Thorough Examinations are an essential service, as they will ensure that equipment can continue to serve supply chains effectively and efficiently.”

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