Safety First

Stuart Taylor: L117 - Your definitive, must-read guide to compliant forklift training & more...

Wednesday, 17 October 2018 ( #894 )
Stuart Taylor
Stuart Taylor
Stuart Taylor is Managing Director of Mentor FLT Training Limited, the UK's leading provider of training and associated services for all types of materials handling equipment and workplace transport.
Staying on top of the latest legal requirements while managing your workforce and ensuring you stay profitable can be a real juggling act for those managing forklift operations. After all, you need to ensure you're working safely by law, while keeping your staff productive and targets met - all while working within budget!

Fortunately, for those working within the UK, the HSE's L117 has got you covered. But, if you've not heard of it, you're certainly not alone. Research shows that just one in 10 managers are aware of this definitive guide to keeping you on the path towards full legal compliance.

Also known as Rider-operated lift trucks: Operator training and safe use, Approved Code of Practice and guidance, it's an incredibly valuable resource and is available for download - at no cost - from the HSE.

Now in its third edition, it outlines the main legal requirements for forklift operations. It clearly highlights the relevant parts of key legislation, from the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 to the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998. Using simple language, it explains your duty of care to your employees and, if followed, will ensure you comply with the law.

L117 sets requirements for the training of lift truck operators and those responsible for managing and supervising lift truck operations. It includes guidelines for refresher training and provides - at a glance - the minimum standards for training in order to meet your requirements as an employer.

What's more, while this guidance is written with rider-operated forklifts in mind, relevant sections can also be applied to other types of lift trucks in use on your site, and used to set standards for MHE such as pedestrian-operated or stand-on powered pallet trucks.

This important reading offers information on all aspects of the forklift training process. It looks at the three required elements of training - finding the right provider, maintaining sufficient records, and assessing evidence of existing skills.
But L117 doesn't just cover training. Within it, you'll find clear, practical guidance for safe, compliant day-to-day operations: best practice for operating around pedestrians, medical considerations when selecting operators, recommendations on signage, lighting and parking, and much more besides.

There's also best practice advice on the trucks themselves - including maintenance and Thorough Examination - and key considerations when it comes to lift truck selection, design and ergonomics.

It's a document that you'll see us regularly reference as the definitive guide to forklift safety, but so many of those responsible for their company's lift truck operations are still unaware of it. Yet it could be invaluable in ensuring they are providing a safe, compliant workplace.

For anyone involved in the management of lifting operations, L117 is a vital resource - packed with clear, helpful guidance on improving workplace safety and raising standards. Put simply, if you think of L117 as your minimum target to hit, then you'll have an incredibly solid base from which to build your operations.
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