Blog 2020 & 2021

Thorough Examination of a Forklift Truck

Forklift Truck

A Thorough Examination (TE) is a mandatory inspection required by law to ensure that the mechanical parts of a forklift truck are in safe working order and is roughly equivalent to the MOT for cars. Work equipment must be examined at least once a year.

TE must cover both, the lifting mechanism under LOLER 98 and the safe use of a forklift truck under PUWER 98. Use Consolidated Fork Truck Services (CFTS) accredited companies to ensure that TE is carried out by an accredited examiner with stringent standards and procedures that meets the LOLER and PUWER regulations. CFTS is part of UK Material Handling Association (UKMHA). Only CFTS accredited companies can use the distinctive kitemark on their literature, certification and reports, and can place the CFTS stickers on the forklift trucks they inspect.

TE should include the following to meet the LOLER and PUWER requirements:

Mast – must be inspected throughout its full range of movement

Chains – chain failure is potentially damaging and therefore must be tested for wear, elongation and corrosion which are often tricky to spot. Measurements in at least three places are essential. A change of 3% means that the chains have to be replaced. Chain anchor points and pulleys also need checking.

Load Backrest – essential to keep forklift loads from falling backwards. The load backrest must be inspected to make sure it is structurally sound and securely mounted.

Carriage – the forklift arm carrier must be checked for distortion and cracking

Forks – the fork arms must be of correct capacity. Inspect for signs of wear, cracks, deformation and splaying

Tilt Mechanism – must move in a controlled and even manner with no signs of damage or scoring

Hydraulic Systems – forklift hydraulic systems, cylinders, reservoir, hoses and pipes must be checked thoroughly

Rating Plate – must be securely attached, legible and have a capacity rating for the forklift truck

Controls – all control cables and linkages must be checked for correct operation, corrosion, damage and signs of potential failure.

Overhead Guard or Cab - provides protection from falling loads. Damaged overhead guard or cab could be sign of structural problems. It should be checked to ensure it is sound and securely mounted

Seat Restraint and seat mounting – seat belts and other devices are designed to keep the forklift operator safely seated in an event of tipping. They should be securely mounted and free from damage. Seat mountings must be secured as well as the panel to which it is mounted.

Traction System – on internal combustion engine (ICE) forklift trucks the prime mover and transmission should be checked as well as the exhaust system. For electric forlift trucks, check the battery connections.

Brakes – all service and parking brake systems must work as expected. Brake failure could be catastrophic and could cause a lot of damage and hence must be thoroughly checked.

Chassis – check for damage and cracking in the welds

Wheels and Tyres – are vital for the sound running of the forklift truck. Wheels must be in sound condition and securely fixed. Tyres must be checked for wear, damage and bonding failure.

Counterweight – in ICE forklifts as the batteries provide the counterweight in electric ones. Counterweights could weigh as much as 2 tonnes or more and therefore ensure that it is securely fixed and undamaged.

Safety Systems – all safety systems should be checked to ensure that they function properly including visible and audible warning devices.

Recently, there have been a number of clarifications to GN28, the industry guidance. These include the requirement to carry out the TE every six months for lorry mounted trucks where the operator can be lifted with the truck and also for attachments not permanently mounted to the forklift truck. Click here to read more on the clarifications to GN28.

Safety must be of paramount importance to any organisation using a forklift truck. This includes training of the operator as well as ensuring that the forklift truck is safe to use.

Wallace School of Transport is a fully accredited RTITB company with over 50 years' experience. You can be trained either at your own work site or at Wallace Centre in Park Royal. If you have any questions, call Wallace Forklift Training for free on 0800 612 8948, choose option 3 or click here to email us.


What is Appropriate Forklift Training?

What is Adequate Forklift training

The UK Material Handling Association (UKMHA) is currently running a Safety Drive 2021 campaign and is committed to sharing the latest innovations and good practice in the industry. This week’s focus is on TRAINING. UKMHA was formed recently with the merger between British Industrial Trucks Association (BITA) and the Forklift Truck Association (FLTA). To learn more, read our blog entitled “Launch of UK Material Handling Association”. Following the training theme, we look at what is adequate training for forklift truck operator.

Forklift Truck Operator Training

The employers have a legal obligation to adequately train all the operators using material handling equipment such as forklift trucks. Trained operators have fewer accidents, are less likely to damage the equipment and improve performance and increase productivity. However the key question is what is adequate forklift training?

Adequate Forklift Training

If you want to drive a car or a lorry, you get an appropriate licence.  However, for a forklift truck, officially there is no licence. The certificate you get from the forklift training provider is often referred to as a licence but you must ensure that the training provider is accredited by an appropriate organisation like RTITB.

The Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) Forklift Truck Code of practice for operators (L117), advices that all forklift truck operators must go through:

  • Basic Training
  • Specific Job Training
  • Familiarisation Training

Basic Training

Basic training should cover all the skills and knowledge needed to safely operate the type of forklift truck and handling attachments (if any) the trainee will use. The Basic Training should include awareness of the risks from lift-truck operation. It should take place ‘off the job’, without the pressures of production.

Specific Job Training

After completing basic training, the forklift operator should be trained on an actual truck, loads and site from where he will be operating. Specific Job Training should include knowledge and understanding of the operating principles and controls of the forklift truck to be used, especially relating to handling attachments and loads specific to the job and routine inspection and servicing of that truck, in accordance with the operator’s handbook or manufacturer’s instruction. The forklift truck operator should be trained in conditions he will meet at work such as gangways, loading bays, racking, lifts, automatic doors, confined areas, cold stores, slopes, rough terrain, loading platforms, other vehicles, and bad weather. Instruction on  site rules like site layout, one-way systems, speed limits, general emergency procedures, eye and hearing protection, work near excavations and overhead lines, and other hazards. Training should include all work to be carried out like loading particular types of vehicle with loads normally found at that workplace, using the forklift truck fitted with working platforms where appropriate, safe systems of work, which should include custody arrangements for the keys.

Familiarisation Training

Familiarisation training is the third stage of forklift training, which should be carried out on the job, under close supervision, by someone with appropriate knowledge. This could include applying under normal working conditions, the skills already learned in basic and specific training, starting with simple tasks and moving on to more complex ones and becoming familiar with the forklift-truck activities of the employer. It should also include familiarisation with the site layout, local emergency procedures and any other feature of the work which it is not practicable to teach off the job.

Refresher training

Regular refresher forklift training will ensure operators maintain good driving habits, learn new skills where appropriate and reassess their abilities. Refresher training or retesting might also be appropriate where operators have not used forklift trucks for some time, are occasional users, appear to have developed unsafe working practices, have had an accident or near miss, have changed their working practices or environment. There is no specific time period after which you need to provide refresher training or formal assessment. However, you may decide that automatic refresher training or re-certification after a set period of time is the best way to make sure employees stay competent. RTITB recommend re-certification every 3 years. Often the forklift training provider specifies how often you should take refresher training. Whatever approach you adopt for refresher training, you will still need to monitor performance in case operators need extra training before the set period ends.

Only after the employees have successfully completed all three elements of training, the employer should give a written authorisation to operate the forklift truck that you have been trained to use.

Wallace School of Transport is a fully accredited RTITB company with over 50 years' experience. You can be trained either at your own work site or at Wallace Centre in Park Royal. If you have any questions, call Wallace Forklift Training for free on 0800 612 8948, choose option 3 or click here to email us.


Follow Forklift Truck Maintenance Routine for Optimal Performance

Follow Forklift Truck Maintenance for Optimal PerformanceIn a recent Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation, a company in Nottingham who pleaded guilty were fined £80,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6478 following an incident involving a side loader forklift truck. It was found that the company did not maintain the side loader forklift as per the manufacturer’s specifications. This leads us to the topic of the this blog – Forklift Truck Maintenance

Forklift trucks are large and heavy piece of equipment which if not maintained regularly, could cause accidents and injury to staff and as in above case, lead to a hefty fine by HSE. Additionally, a well maintained forklift truck would avoid costly downtime, ensure peak performance and maximise the lifespan of the equipment.

LOLER (Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998) are a set of regulations designed to make lifting operations, and the use of lifting equipment such as forklift trucks, as safe as can be. The regulations make sure that you impose a system of regular checks, thorough inspections, and routine maintenance. The other relevant regulation is Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER).

There are three main maintenance schedules all forklift users should employ. These are:

  • daily check-up
  • monthly / quarterly maintenance
  • annual maintenance

Daily Check-up

It is generally recommended that a daily check-up of the forklift truck is carried out before every shift. This should include:

  • Tyres check – ensure they are inflated, free of damage or excessive wear and the wheel nuts are tight
  • Forks and mast are not bent, cracked or showing excessive rust. Mast lift chain and rollers are in good condition
  • Hydraulic lines are free of damage or cracks and are not leaking. Check fluid levels
  • Check for damage on all hoses and cables and lift cylinders
  • Check the seat belts.
  • Start the forklift truck and check the lights and horn
  • Check the fuel level or battery charge level for electric forklift trucks
  • Check engine oil and engine coolant
  • Move the forklift truck a short distance and check for and leaks or spillages left behind from its parking position
  • Test the accelerator, steering, brakes, hand brake and signals
  • Raise the forks up and down and test the tilt mechanism

A daily check-up should take only a few minutes.

Monthly / Quarterly Maintenance

You must follow the maintenance schedule provided by the manufacturer and it will also depend on your daily usage. For example you may be required to change oil every three months or every 250 hours of use. The monthly or quarterly maintenance should be done by a competent qualified person. The inspection should include:

  • Accelerator and brake pedal free play check
  • Check hand brake
  • Check tyre wear and tyre pressure
  • Check lift chain tension, mast operation, carriage rollers, lift and tilt cylinders
  • Check hydraulic oil pump
  • Check differential and transmission oil
  • Check and where necessary change all filters, hoses and valves
  • Clean the radiator
  • Replace the fuel and hydraulic filters
  • Lubricate chassis-mast attachment

Annual Maintenance

Annual maintenance is often carried out by external specialist. You need to follow the manufacturer’s specifications to ensure the warrantee is valid. Check forklift truck thoroughly for any potential repairs that may be needed to ensure optimal performance, safety and durability.

This is a brief summary of forklift truck maintenance. The actual maintenance will vary for each forklift depending on the fuel, usage and the age of the forklift. It is important that any fault found is remedied as soon as possible. A record of all the maintenance should be kept including the daily check-up.

Wallace School of Transport is a fully accredited RTITB company with over 50 years' experience. You can be trained either at your own work site or at Wallace Centre in Park Royal. If you have any questions, call Wallace Forklift Training for free on 0800 612 8948, choose option 3 or click here to email us.


Forklift training at Wallace Site in Park Royal LondonForklift Truck Accident Results in a Hefty Fine

A recent Health and Safety Executive (HSE) report highlighted a facilities services company that was fined £30,000 and had to pay costs of £7636 after pleading guilty. The incident involved an employee who was carrying out inspections of drain covers adjacent to a workshop. The forklift truck operator was unloading boxes for delivery to the canteen. The forklift operator’s view was obscured by the load on the forks. This resulted in the accident with the employee inspecting the drain covers. He suffered a broken leg.

The company had transgressed under the following sections of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974:

  • Section 2(1) – Duty of employer to ensure health, safety and welfare at work of all employees
  • Section 3(1) – Duty of every employer to ensure that persons not in his employment who may be affected are not exposed to risks to their health or safety

The HSE's investigation found the company had failed to carry out the appropriate risk assessment.  It failed to ensure vehicles and pedestrians were not working at the same time in the same place.

In another recent accident, a forklift truck crashed into a refuse skip, seriously injuring two employees. In UK, about 1300 workers are injured and hospitalised every year due to forklift truck accidents with 42% of fatalities caused by vehicles tipping over (read our blog on Loading Capacity of a Forklift Truck for advice on how to prevent forklift truck from tipping over)

The training of the forklift operators and all the safety processes are the responsibility of the employer. The HSE’s Code of Practice for Forklift Trucks - L117, states that adequate operator training consists of three stages – Basic, Specific and Familiarisation. It is best to get the forklift training from an accredited organisation. Wallace Forklift Training is RTITB accredited. We have a dedicated facility for forklift training in Park Royal in London and we can also carry out training at your site. Our customers mainly come from individuals who want to improve their job prospects or from companies who sent their employees for training and refresher courses.

Wallace School of Transport is a fully accredited RTITB company with over 50 years' experience. You can be trained either at your own work site or at Wallace Centre in Park Royal. If you have any questions, call Wallace Forklift Training for free on 0800 612 8948, choose option 3 or click here to email us.


Load Rating Capacity of a Forklift Truck

One of the major causes of forklift truck accidents is the lack of knowledge or misuse of forklift truck’s weight limit or rating capacity. Forklift trucks basically operate as a seesaw. On one end is the counterweight and on the other end is the load. The front axle is the fulcrum. The rule is that the force of the counterweight is always greater than the force of the load. This stops the forklift from tipping over.

Forklift trucks have a safe lifting capacity and height specified by the manufacturer on the rating or data plate. However, this does not mean that the forklift truck can lift any weight to the maximum height safely. The dimensions of the load, the position on the forks and the weight distribution affects the maximum load that can be lifted.

The maximum load that can be lifted is stated on the rating/data plate at a specified load centre. If load centre is not at the optimum level, the forklift cannot lift the maximum load.

Load Centre

Load centre is the balance point of a load or centre of gravity of the load, of an evenly balanced load whilst sitting on the forklift truck forks. If the load is evenly balanced on a pallet and butted up to the carriage, then the horizontal centre of gravity is half the distance from one end of the pallet. On a typical 48 inch x 48 inch (1.22m x1.22m) pallet, the horizontal centre of gravity or load point is 24 inches (0.61m).

However, how high you stack a load is also very important to achieve maximum load and height. For maximum load, the vertical centre of gravity for a balanced load should not be more than the horizontal centre of gravity, that is, for a 48 inch x 48 inch pallet, the vertical centre of gravity should not be more than 24 inches high.

Load Capabilities of a Forklift Truck from Wallace Forklift Training London

In the diagram above, for maximum load capability for a balanced load, centre of gravity in the vertical direction (C) should be no greater than the horizontal centre of gravity dimension (B). 

If you divert from the optimum load centre, the weight and height capability of a forklift truck reduces considerably. Often the loads are not perfectly balanced and may not be in a symmetrical shape. Therefore, the operator needs to factor in all the different parameters when lifting a load.

Rating Plate of a Forklift Truck

Rating Plate of a Forklift Truck

Forklift Truck Attachments

Sometimes forklift truck attachments such as fork extensions, booms and rotating heads are necessary to lift certain loads. However, adding attachments alters the load centre and the lifting capability of a forklift truck due to the additional weight of the attachment itself and because an attachment generally extends the truck’s load centre. It is important to seek expert advice and recalculate the loading capacity of a forklift truck after adding attachments. Fitting an attachment to a forklift truck will reduce the truck’s rated capacity, this is known as de-rating. To indicate this reduction in capacity, a new rating plate specifically relating to the attachment for the forklift truck, must be secured to the truck before it is used with the attachment.

Forklift trucks are large heavy pieces of equipment and hence paying attention to load capacity of the vehicle is important to avoid accidents, injury and damage to the goods being lifted. If you receive training from a reputable organisation, the training will include the load capacity of the forklift truck. Training is available to anyone aged 17 or older who is physically and mentally fit and you do not need a car driving licence.

Some Useful Links:

Wallace School of Transport is a fully accredited RTITB company with over 50 years' experience. You can be trained either at your own work site or at Wallace Centre in Park Royal. If you have any questions, call Wallace Forklift Training for free on 0800 612 8948, choose option 3 or click here to email us.


Key Components of a Forklift Truck

Forklift trucks keep the world functioning efficiently. This is a bold statement but when you look around, almost everything or part of it has been moved by a forklift truck. Most factories, warehouses and retail outlets including supermarkets use forklifts in their everyday operations. To move materials and goods efficiently saves money and hence you need dependable forklift trucks. To get the best out your forklift truck you need to understand how it works. In this blog we explain the key components of a forklift truck.

Key Components of a Forklift Truck

Power Source – The power of the forklift comes from either an internal combustion engine (ICE) or an electric motor. The fuel for ICE is either diesel or liquid propane gas. The electric forklift is powered by lithium ion or lead-acid battery. The power source or engine is generally located under the driver’s seat. The power source requires most attention in a forklift truck with maintenance and refuelling or charging for the electric ones. Read our blog on "Benefits of Electric Forklift Trucks”.

Forklift Truck Frame – This is like a chassis of a car. All key components like wheels, counterweight and mast are attached to the frame.

Counterweight – This is a cast iron weight fixed usually to the rear of the forklift. It counters the weight of the load being lifted giving stability and preventing the forklift from being toppled over. The counterweight dictates the carrying capacity of the forklift. The carrying capacity is listed on the rating plate. In electric forklifts, the battery often provides the counterweight. 

Forklift Mast – This enables the main function of the forklift which is to raise and lower the load. It also allows the load to tilt. It is the vertical section in front and consists of interlocking rails powered by hydraulic cylinders. The hydraulic vertical cylinder lifts the forks and carriage while the tilt cylinder caters for the tilt of the carriage and the forks. The mast may have different stages such as duplex, triplex and quad (2, 3 or 4 stages). More stages allow loads to be lifted to greater heights and hence quad achieves the greatest height the forklift load can be lifted.

Carriage – The carriage is located in front of the mast and includes the forks and the load backrest.  The function of the forks is to lift the load from the bottom. The load backrest allows the load to rest on and prevents the load from slipping backwards towards the operator. It also protects the mast from being damaged by the load.

Forklift Tyres – Obviously you need tyres to move and there are several options available. You may have a three or four tyre/wheel options. Four tyres allow higher loads to be carried while three tyres allow smaller turning circle, ideal where space is limited. Cushion tyres are suited to indoor use while pneumatic tyres are ideal for outdoor use as they have better traction and can handle uneven and rough surfaces.

Operator Cabin – This is where the driver operates the forklift from and generally consists of operator seat, steering wheel, brake pedals, parking brake or hand brake, mast control, acceleration pedal, inching pedal and gauges. It also has lift lever, tilt lever and side shift lever.

Overhead Guard – The overhead guard protects the forklift driver from any falling object. This could be from the load which is not secured properly or if the driver bumps into a rack while moving.

Rating Plate - Also known as capacity plate, nameplate or data plate, it contains important information such as carrying capacity, lift height, weight, fuel type, forward and back tilt degrees, tyre and other safety information. All forklift drivers must be familiar with the information on the rating plate.

All forklift drivers must be familiar with their vehicle for safe and efficient operation. Forklift driver training must include a section on key components of a forklift truck.

Wallace School of Transport is a fully accredited RTITB company with over 50 years' experience. You can be trained either at your own work site or at Wallace Centre in Park Royal. If you have any questions, call Wallace Forklift Training for free on 0800 612 8948, choose option 3 or click here to email us.


How to stay grounded and get the best from Forklift Truck Training

Grounding techniques to get the best from your forklift training

Training involves learning new skills and you have to listen and assimilate information and apply it. At Wallace we have been training forklift, lorry and bus drivers for over 50 years. There are certain instances where a trainee/learner is not focused due to a variety of reasons which could include stresses at work, issues at home or getting stuck in the traffic on the way to training site. We are going through a challenging time due to the COvid-19 pandemic and people are often worried about their jobs, finances and health of their family members. Wallace Forklift Training has been open throughout the lockdown as forklift training is deemed an essential service to keep the country moving. If you are not focused, handling a large piece of equipment like a forklift truck or an HGV lorry could cause considerable damage and injury to yourself and others.

You need to be focused to get the best out of your training. Sometimes, you are not feeling the best on the day and at these instances using “grounding” techniques may help.  

What is Grounding

Grounding is a practice that can help you pull away from your worries and negative or challenging emotions. These techniques may help you refocus on what’s happening at the moment. There are three techniques of grounding: Mental, Physical and Soothing.

Mental Grounding Techniques

These are all about focusing your mind and getting back to the present. There are a number of techniques you can use which include:

  • Imagine – Think of a pleasant or comforting mental image. Make it as real as possible. You could say this is about going to your ‘happy place’.
  • Use humour – Take a few minutes to think of something funny or a joke somebody recently told you. This can quickly jolt you out of a negative mood.
  • Memory Game - where you look at a detailed picture for 10 seconds and the look away and try to recreate the picture in your mind or list all the things from the picture.
  • Categories - Choose one or two broad categories, such as football teams, countries or car models. Take a minute or two to mentally list as many things from each category as you can.
  • Use maths/numbers – Even if you are not good at maths, numbers can help centre you – Count backwards from 100 or think of a number and ways you can arrive at, e.g. number 20 (10+10, 10x2, 5+5+5+5, 30-10, 4+16)
  • Recite something in your head like a song or poem. Visualise each word on a page.
  • Anchoring phrase – this might be like “I am John Smith, 25 years old, live in Wembley. Today is 14th May, I am at Wallace Forklift Training Site, You can describe the weather or your surroundings, etc

Physical Grounding Techniques

This method is about using your five senses to bring you back into the moment and help you focus. Examples of Physical Grounding possible at a training site include:

  • Run cool or cold water over your hands or wrists
  • Clench and release your fists, stretch or even jump up and down if it is possible
  • Focus on your breathing, noticing each inhale and exhale
  • Take a short walk if you are early for training. Concentrate on your steps — you can even count them. Notice the rhythm of your footsteps and how it feels to put your foot on the ground and then lift it again.
  • Listen to your surroundings or noises around you. Do you hear machinery or traffic? If you hear people talking, what are they saying? Let the sounds wash over you and remind you where you are.
  • Feel your body, either sitting or standing. Focus on how your body feels from head to toe, noticing each part. Curl your fingers and wiggle your toes.
  • Try the 5-4-3-2-1 method. Working backward from 5, use your senses to list things you notice around you. For example, you might start by listing five things you can see, then four things you hear, three things you can touch, etc.

Soothing Grounding Technique

This is all about using techniques to comfort yourself at times of distress by giving you a positive experience to counter any negative ones.  This enables you to concentrate. Techniques include:

  • Thinking of your favourites like colour, food, sports, movies
  • Picture the voice or face of your loved ones - the people you care about and how they make you feel
  • Plan a treat for yourself like a holiday, meeting friends going to your favourite restaurant
  • Practice self-kindness - Repeat kind, compassionate phrases to yourself like “You’re having a rough time, but you’ll make it through”, “You’re trying hard, and you’re doing your best”, etc.
  • Visualize your favourite place. It could be anywhere. Create a mental image with colours and sounds. Remember the last time you were there.

Grounding, also known as anchoring is an effective way to focus, remove negativity and be in the present and generally does not cost you anything. Forklift, lorry or bus training could be quite expensive and your future career prospects may dependent on you doing well. Therefore, use the grounding technique to get the best out of you. There are lot more techniques and with practice you will get better at it.

Wallace School of Transport is a fully accredited RTITB company with over 50 years' experience. You can be trained either at your own work site or at Wallace Centre in Park Royal. If you have any questions, call Wallace Forklift Training for free on 0800 612 8948, choose option 3 or click here to email us.


Health and Safety App for SMEs

Health and Safety AppThe Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has recently released a Public Beta test mobile app to help organisations understand the law regarding Health and Safety including their rights and responsibilities. It is specially designed for small and medium sized enterprises (SME). HSE's mission is to prevent death, injury and ill-health in workplaces. The app was created in partnership with The Stationary Office (TSO) and allows its users to easily navigate through the content and find the guidance using the built-in search function. Automatic live updates are available so that the users are up to date with the latest advice, guidance and legislation.

What is a Beta Test

Beta Testing is the final round of testing before a product is released. A public beta test allows the public to try the product with the aim of uncovering any bugs or issues so that they can be addressed before general release.

The app contains three main sections, which are:

1. The Health and Safety Toolbox (HSG268)

This section explains the Health and Safety law and your responsibilities as an employer. It provides an overview of all potential risks, applicable to organisations. Topics covered are:

  • How to manage health and safety
  • Your organisation
  • Your workers
  • Your workplace
  • Electrical safety
  • Fire safety
  • Gas safety
  • Harmful substances
  • Machinery, plant and equipment
  • Manual handling
  • Noise
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Pressure equipment
  • Radiations
  • Risk assessments
  • Slips and trips
  • Vibration
  • Working at height
  • Working in confined spaces
  • Work-related stress
  • Workplace transport

2. A Guide to Managing Risk

This section provides a simple step-by-step guide and practical advice on how to manage risk. It includes:

  • Steps needed to manage risk
  • Identify hazards
  • Assess the risks
  • Control the risks
  • Record findings
  • Review the controls
  • Risk assessment template and examples

3. Work-Related Stress

This section includes a condensed version of HSE's stress management standards approach. Designed for smaller organisations, it comprises a step by step guide to manage work-related stress for:

  • Small organisations (up to 50 employees)
  • Medium-size organisations (51-250 employees)
  • Medium-size organisations, with multiple sites

Ruth Wallace of Wallace School of Transport says “getting expert advice on Health and Safety is expensive and hence an easy to use App would be very helpful. I hope as many SMEs as possible participate in the Public Beta testing as it is in all our interest to have a robust app which works well”.

The HSE health and safety app is now available to downloaded as a one-off introductory rate of only £2.99 from the Apple iOS store and the Google Play Store.

Wallace School of Transport is a fully accredited RTITB company with over 50 years' experience. You can be trained either at your own work site or at Wallace Centre in Park Royal. If you have any questions, call Wallace Forklift Training for free on 0800 612 8948, choose option 3 or click here to email us.


Launch of UK Material Handling Association

Wallace Forklift Training LondonThe merger between British Industrial Truck Association (BITA) and the Forklift Truck Association (FLTA) has created the UK Material Handling Association (UKMHA) to represent interest of all the diverse materials handling industry and to ensure it has a single, authoritative voice. Also included in the merger is the subsidiary co-owned by BITA and FLTA, Consolidated Fork Truck Services (CFTS), the accrediting body introduced to deliver the first national procedure for Thorough Examination.

Until now, BITA represented the interests of industrial truck manufacturers, while FLTA promoted the interests of dealers, owners and operators. Both associations will continue in their respective roles until the merger process is fully completed, but under the UKMHA brand. The chief executive of FLTA, Tim Waples, has been appointed chief executive of UKMHA.

The UKMHA is a not-for-profit organisation with aim of improving standards in the industry. Their existing campaigns include National Forklift Safety Day, the Forklift Safety Convention and the Safety Drive. The merger will strengthen the offering of the combined organisations, enhancing the services delivered to members and all those who own and operate forklift trucks. The UKMHA’s mission statement is “Providing the entire material handling industry with a single voice and ensuring the highest standards of safety and service are maintained at all times”.

The UKMHA will initially act as an umbrella organisation with plans to merge BITA and FLTA in the near future. To ensure the material handling industry remains operationally effective during the coronavirus emergency, the UKMHA is making freely available a series of guidelines produced by BITA to help protect everyone working in the industry. It states that “It is important for the safety of everyone in the material handling industry that these recommendations are adhered to”.

The agenda for UKMHA will be the continued focus on improving standards of safety and service across the entire industry. Manufacturers will benefit from UKMHA’s increased scope, offering them far better access to and the opportunity to develop stronger relationships with their end-users and supporting dealers, according to an association statement.

The UKMHA said a quick recovery in the UK material handling industry from the economic upheaval suffered in 2020 due to COVID-19 was unlikely but was optimistic that vaccine programme and free trade agreements offer hope of recovery later in the year. However, any return to pre-pandemic levels of business is unlikely until 2023. In its latest UK Forklift Truck Market outlook, prepared for BITA by the Oxford Economics Consultancy projects 19% growth in 2021 and 6% growth in 2022.

Wallace School of Transport is a fully accredited RTITB company with over 50 years' experience. You can be trained either at your own work site or at Wallace Centre in Park Royal. If you have any questions, call Wallace Forklift Training for free on 0800 612 8948, choose option 3 or click here to email us.


Benefits of Electric Forklift Trucks

Benefits of an Electric Forklift TruckIf you are in the market to buy a forklift truck, you have a large number of options to consider. First you have to consider the type of forklift which is ideal for you, depending on the maximum load, maximum height, the turning circle and the environment it will operate in. The types of forklift trucks available are:

Then you to have to decide on the type of fuel from diesel, liquid propane gas (LPG) or Electric.

In recent years we have seen a huge increase in the sale of electric cars (about 148% up from last year), although from a low base, and about 30% decrease in the sale of diesel cars. Similarly, there has been a huge increase in the sale of electric forklift trucks compared to diesel and LPG. In this blog we will look at the benefits of electric forklift trucks which include:

1. Ease of Use

Electric forklifts offer a smooth and comfortable drive. It has no clutch and hence is much easier to drive like an automatic car. The electric forklift is operated with steering wheel and an accelerator. The overall experience of driving electric forklift truck has been said to reduce stress on the operator, allowing the driver to concentrate on his job thus reducing the risk of accidents.

2. Reduced Noise

Like electric cars, electric forklift are a lot quieter than diesel and LPG as it does not have an internal combustion engine. Hence the only noise is from the tyres. However, quieter forklifts may be deemed a disadvantage as it does not warn others employees that it is approaching. With the correct safety procedures in place, the quietness of electric forklift trucks should not be a disadvantage and it also enables the driver to hear other employees and vehicles better thus reducing the risks of accidents.

3. Reduced Operating Costs

Although the initial investment may be higher for electric forklift trucks, the lifetime cost is lower as the operating cost is lower. Electric forklift trucks have fewer mechanical components hence the servicing and maintenance cost is lower. It does not need regular oil or coolant changes. The battery does need to be regularly maintained through cleaning and servicing to ensure your forklift operates at an optimum level of efficiency. Also the cost of electricity is less than diesel and LPG, which needs ordering and storage.

4. No Pollution – Zero Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Electric forklift trucks emit no carbon dioxide and therefore it is environmentally friendlier. It is better for the driver and other workplace employees. When it comes to warehouse ventilation, there is no need for expensive ventilation solutions or you do not need to keep the warehouse doors open for ventilation and thus reduce heating bills. This makes it ideal for use in food processing industry.

5.0 Extended Operating Times

The introduction of lithium batteries have revolutionised the electric forklift sector.  They are great for increasing operating times between battery charges. Consequently, they are becoming more commonplace.  Lithium cells also have the added benefit in that they can be opportunity charged in-between shifts or during breaks without any damage to the cells. More companies are making the switch to electric power as a result.

There are numerous other advantages of using an electric forklift truck. They can be used indoors and outdoors, the three wheelers offer small turning circle and better rear visibility. Electric power is available on all types of forklift trucks. Electric forklift trucks can be used on most jobs except for the highest of the loads and tallest heights to be reached.

Wallace School of Transport is a fully accredited RTITB company with over 50 years' experience. You can be trained either at your own work site or at Wallace Centre in Park Royal. If you have any questions, call Wallace Forklift Training for free on 0800 612 8948, choose option 3 or click here to email us.


COVID-19 compliant forklift trainingUpdated COVID-19 HSE Guidelines for Forklift Truck Training

We wrote a blog, “Wallace Forklift Training is Open for Business” in March 2020 during the first lockdown following advice from Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Road Transport Industry Training Board (RTITB) and Association of Industrial Truck Drivers (AITT). The HSE has revised and updated its advice which is summarised in this blog. HSE has confirmed that urgent and essential forklift operator training can continue during the current lockdown and hence Wallace Forklift Training is open for business.

HSE advises that employers should ensure that all staff who operate a forklift truck are adequately trained. These include initial or refresher training for new starters, refreshers for existing staff or when existing staff use new types of equipment. A forklift lift truck operator should be routinely monitored and go on a refresher or retest, usually every 3-5 years. This is a best way to make sure that the forklift operator remains competent.

To manage the risks of COVID-19 transmission, HSE has advised employers and forklift training providers to consider;

  • if the training needs to be done urgently, based on their own assessment of forklift drivers’ competence and experience;
  • If there are other qualified forklift drivers with the appropriate training who could carry out the tasks on a short-term basis;
  • Checking prior to training commencing that no one is exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms;
  • Providing a system for separate entry and exit points from sites so that social distancing can be maintained
  • Minimising touch points and shared contact surfaces, such as pens, pointers, or touch screens;
  • To have easy and safe access to toilets and handwashing facilities with hot and cold running water, and that handwashing is carried out at regular intervals;
  • How social distancing can be maintained. This may mean reducing class size if suitable distancing cannot be maintained;
  • Sanitising shared surfaces such as equipment controls between users;
  • Providing fresh air ventilation wherever possible by opening windows or doors. Mechanical ventilation should not be set to air recirculation mode;
  • Use of alternative learning methods such as e-learning or webinars where practicable;
  • Minimising face to face work wherever possible.

Wallace School of Transport has over 50 years’ experience and has dedicated facilities for training on all types of forklifts including Counterbalance, Reach. Pivot Steer and Truck Mounted (also called MOFFETT). Ruth Wallace of Wallace School of Transport said, "we do not use brokers/agents and contractors and hence have complete control of all the processes. This enables us to follow HSE guidelines for safety of our staff and customers".

Click here to follow Government Guidance on COVID-19.

Wallace School of Transport is a fully accredited RTITB company with over 50 years' experience. You can be trained either at your own work site or at Wallace Centre in Park Royal. If you have any questions, call Wallace Forklift Training for free on 0800 612 8948, choose option 3 or click here to email us.


Truck Mounted Forklift Truck Operating Skills Enhances Job Prospects

Truck Mounted Forklifts have been around for over 40 years. It was invented by Cecil Moffett of Clontibret, Ireland and have revolutionised the logistics industry. Truck Mounted Forklift is commonly known as Moffett after its inventor and is located on a back of a lorry or trailer without taking up load space. The Truck Mounted Forklift is based on counterbalance principal but the wheels are moved forward under the load, resulting in the fulcrum being further forward, thus reducing the need for heavy counterweight.

Truck Mounted Forklift - Moffett - Wallace Forklift Training

The benefits of Truck Mounted Forklift include:

  • Costs and Labour Saving – Without Truck Mounted Forklift, some of your customer will have to hire a forklift or borrow one. Either way you will still need a certified driver. With Truck Mounted Forklift, the lorry driver also operates the forklift. This saves time and money. Even if your customer has a forklift, having a Truck Mounted Forklift means that the company’s forklift can keep working on its usual job. It is estimated that for some jobs, Truck Mounted Forklift delivery compared to HIAB could be up to 70% cheaper.
  • Health and Safety – With no forklift on site, the only option is to offload the lorry by hand. This could cause injury even with moderately light loads, resulting in staff taking time off work.
  • Speed and Ease of Operation – Truck Mounted Forklift can be dismounted and ready to use in as little as a minute. They are easy to use and eliminate manual handling as the load can be precisely and safely positioned by the operator in almost any location. Time is money and manually handling is clearly slow.   HIAB (acronym for Hydrauliska Industri AB) or Crane Loader is also slow as it takes time to unload every pallet using lifting chains. Each time lifting chains have to be attached and removed when using a HIAB, while on Truck Mounted Forklift offloading is quick and easy.
  • Access and Manoeuvrability – Truck Mounted Forklift is lighter, more agile/manoeuvrable, and can be used in places where accessibility is difficult such as construction and off-road sites. For example, if you are delivering a load of bricks at a construction site which is difficult for a lorry to reach, then a HIAB can only offload the bricks by the side of the road but a Truck Mounted Forklift can take the bricks all the way to the construction site. A Truck Mounted Forklift has all wheel drive with diff locks and large diameter pneumatic tyres and hence can tackle rough terrain.

Truck Mounted Forklifts are popular in a number of sectors including:

  • beverage logistics,
  • recycling material transportation,
  • delivery of technical and medical gases,
  • agriculture
  • delivery to live events,
  • builder and timber merchants - delivering building materials, plasterboard, insulation & wood.
  • pet food, bird seed & agricultural feed distribution,
  • palletised distribution
  • landscape and gardening

Drivers with Truck Mounted Forklift certification often earn more because their qualifications and skills increase productivity for their employer who can reward them accordingly.

If you planning to get HGV/LGV/lorry licence, then why not get a Truck Mounted Forklift / Moffett certification as well for a small additional cost. Contact Wallace School of Transport on 020 8453 3440 or 0800 612 8948

If you need a driver with Truck Mounted Forklift / Moffett operating skills or would like to get a Truck-Mounted Forklift qualification, or if you’ve got the qualification and are looking for work we can help. Call Wallace School of Transport – 0208 453 3440 ask for Russell

If you are a lorry driver and would like to enhance your skills and job prospects by getting Truck Mounted Forklift / Moffett certification, then Wallace Forklift Training can help you. Call Wallace Forklift Training for free on 0800 612 8948, choose option 3 or click here to email us

Wallace School of Transport is a fully accredited RTITB company with over 50 years' experience. You can be trained either at your own work site or at Wallace Centre in Park Royal. If you have any questions, call Wallace Forklift Training for free on 0800 612 8948, choose option 3 or click here to email us.


Risks Involved in Loading LGV using Forklift Trucks

Forklift Truck loading LGV/HGVLoading and unloading Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) or Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) is an everyday task for most logistic companies and warehouses, but it is fraught with dangers if not executed properly. Loading and unloading a LGV/HGV is usually done by forklift trucks and takes place where there are other moving vehicles and pedestrians, although these should be kept to a minimum or eliminated completely if possible to reduce the risk of accidents. A forklift operator should be aware of the risks involved with the type of vehicle they are loading or unloading, such as the characteristics of trailer suspension movement and ensure that the LGV/HGV is securely parked. Also moving heavy loads at height adds to the risks.

RTITB has recently published a blog highlighting the five top tips for safe loading of LGV/HGV with forklift trucks. Here is a summary of the top tips.

1) Training

All forklift operators involved in loading and unloading must have received appropriate training by an RTITB accredited instructor and should train across all three stages – Basic, Job Specific and Familiarisation. The company must ensure that the forklift operator certificate is valid. If expired, a re-fresh and re-certification is required. The forklift operator must be aware of the risks involved. A fully trained forklift operator will not only improve load handling safety and reduce damage but also maximise productivity and ensure compliance with relevant regulations.

2) Be Prepared

The essential part of forklift operator training is to understand what is required before loading or unloading begins. The operator must take personal responsibility for their own safety and should not rely on others to make necessary checks and take appropriate safety steps. Site specific guidelines on policies and procedures regarding loading and unloading must be in place.

Before loading or unloading begins, the vehicle or trailer must be properly secured. The safety procedures should include:

  • ensuring that the LGV/HGV parking brakes are on,
  • neutral is engaged,
  • engine is switched off
  • keys removed
  • wheels chocked and any stabilisers or ‘semi-trailer trestles’ such as fifth wheel supports are applied

3) Establish what a ‘Good’ load looks like

Operators need to be trained as to what a ‘good’ load looks like. All loads or pallets should be in a good condition prior to loading. Forklift truck operators must be taught how loads should be securely attached to a pallet and to a vehicle once loaded to prevent it from moving or falling off. Overhanging loads should be avoided if possible.

Uneven loads can make a vehicle unstable and hence loads should be spread as evenly as possible. Consideration should be given to multi drop deliveries so that the LGV/HGV can be loaded in the correct sequence.

During loading, consideration must be given to the unloading process so that the load arrives in a safe and suitable condition. Checks should be made before unloading to make sure no movement has occurred during transit. It is also important that the load will not move or fall when the restrains are removed.

4) Specific Risks

Forklift truck operators loading and unloading LGV/HGV should be aware of the risks involved, which includes knowledge of vehicles they are loading. For example, extra care needs to be taken when loading and unloading unsupported semi-trailers as excessive weight placed over the kingpin may result in the trailer tipping forwards. Also they need to be aware that there is no edge protection if they are loading or unloading curtain-side trailers. Failure to load correctly may lead to upending or damaging the trailer, collapsing the landing gear, lateral instability, trailer suspension movement, load bed damage or working at height incidents all of which pose a serious risk to safety. Forklift operators should be trained with an understanding of how to assess and reduce these risks.

5) Understanding of Other Equipment a Forklift Truck operator may come across

Forklift operators must be aware of the other equipment that they will come across and the risks involved, such as ramps, dock bridging platforms and goods lifts. Safety checks should be made before using these equipment. They must be able to check if the equipment is compatible with the vehicle or trailer, how to secure it properly so that is doesn’t move and how to securely fit any edge protection. They should check the maximum load permissible on ramps, platforms and lifts and ensure that the combined weight of their truck and the load does not exceed the maximum load.

There are numerous other risks involved in loading and unloading a LGV/HGV vehicle. Appropriate forklift training should mitigate these risks.

Click here to read the full RTITB blog.

Wallace School of Transport is a fully accredited RTITB company with over 50 years' experience. You can be trained either at your own work site or at Wallace Centre in Park Royal. If you have any questions, call Wallace Forklift Training for free on 0800 612 8948, choose option 3 or click here to email us.


Wallace Forklift Training offers Pivot Steer Truck training

Pivot Steer Forklift Truck training also known as Bendi or Flexi trucks

To keep up to date with the latest trends, Wallace Forklift Training has invested in a Pivot Steer Forklift Truck, also known as Bendi (manufacturer’s name) or Flexi truck. Wallace Forklift Training are pleased to offer training on all three types of forklifts, namely Pivot Steer, Reach and Counterbalance at its dedicated forklift training facility at Park Royal in London. Alternately, we can also train you at your own site.

What’s special about the Pivot Forklift trucks is that they bend in the middle. In other words, they are articulated. The forks are on a pivot which can be moved to the left or the right and can be at a complete right angle to the body where the operator sits (on top of the batteries). The versatile Pivot Forklift truck has the speed of a Counterbalance truck with the high lifting capacity of a Reach truck and can operate in very narrow aisles (VNA) which allows warehouse and distribution companies to increase capacity on their existing site without paying extra rent or rates and without the expense of moving to bigger premises. Another advantage of Pivot Steer forklift truck is that they are legally allowed to lift their load as they move – something not allowed in Reach trucks. This cuts the time they need to position a load on a shelf. It’s estimated that this increases productivity by up to 15%.

The graphics below clearly shows the advantages of the Pivot Steer forklift truck’s ability to operate in a VNA. In a typical warehouse you could have upto 77 bays of racking if you use Pivot Steer forklift, compared with 60 for Reach trucks and 46 for Counterbalance trucks. 

Advantages of Pivot Steer Forklift Truck also known as Bendi or Flexi Trucks

Due to the benefits of Pivot Steer forklift trucks, they are currently outselling Counterbalance and Reach machines. Of course, it’s going to take many years for the traditional and trusty Counterbalance and Reach forklifts to be completely phased out as there are still many machines in use every day. However, more and more people who want forklift qualifications are deciding to get training and certificates to operate all three machines.

Having all three Counterbalance, Reach and Pivot Steer (or even two Counterbalance and Pivot or Reach and Pivot) opens up more job opportunities. For example, looking at job vacancies on Reed.co.uk, over a quarter of the jobs advertise want Pivot Operators (or a combination of Pivot and Counterbalance and/or Reach).

If you are planning to get forklift training, make sure it also includes Pivot Steer forklifts as it will improve your future job prospects.

Wallace School of Transport is a fully accredited RTITB company with over 50 years' experience. You can be trained either at your own work site or at Wallace Centre in Park Royal. If you have any questions, call Wallace Forklift Training for free on 0800 612 8948, choose option 3 or click here to email us.


Forklft and Pedestrians – Safe Working Distances

Forklift accidentsWelcome back to Wallace Forklift Training blogs. Although our forklift training has been operational throughout the COVID-19 lockdown as forklift drivers were deemed key workers, some of our admin staff had a break.

In this blog, we look at the safety of pedestrians working in the vicinity of forklift operations. In UK, about 1300 workers are injured each year by forklift truck accidents. According to RIDDOR, 75% of these are impact with pedestrians that were completing tasks unrelated to the forklift truck operation.  In our July 2019 blog titled Fatal Forklift Truck Accident reported by Health and Safety Executive (HSE), we highlighted the case of Christine Workman who was struck by a forklift truck while walking on a designated pedestrian area. Therefore, a question arises that what is a safe distance to work while in vicinity of a forklift operation?

Ideally, there should be no pedestrians in the vicinity of a forklift operation. However this is not is not always possible.  To minimise the risks, some companies opt for generic safe distance rule across the entire site. However, not all tasks are the same and each task has its own risks associated with it. Therefore, each task must have a risk assessment carried out followed by appropriate safe systems of work procedures to minimise the risk of accidents.

A lot of third party injuries occur to colleagues working alongside forklifts. These could be due to falling loads or unstable loads which a colleague is trying to help stabilise. This should never happen as it is likely to lead to severe injuries or even fatalities. A falling load may damage goods but if no one else is in the vicinity, it will not cause injury to the third party.  In the January 2020 blog title Work Related Fatal Injuries Data from HSE, we highlighted a case of Michael Douglas Autosalvage where a forklift was being loaded on to a recovery vehicle. The metal ring on the forklift truck that the winch wire was attached to failed, causing fatal injuries to a third party.

Another key issue to avoid accidents is to ensure that the forklift driver as well as all workers are well trained and are aware of the risks associated with forklift operation.

Wallace School of Transport is a fully accredited RTITB company with over 50 years' experience. You can be trained either at your own work site or at Wallace Centre in Park Royal. If you have any questions, call Wallace Forklift Training for free on 0800 612 8948, choose option 3 or click here to email us.


March 2020 - Coronavirus (Covid-19) – Wallace Forklift Training is Open for Business

Following guidance from Health and Safety Executive (HSE), RTITB and Association of Industrial Truck Trainers (AITT), Wallace Forklift Training is open for business and will continue training new operators and those who need requalification. Forklift operators are deemed key workers to keep the country functioning.

Adam Smith, the Managing Director of AITT says:

“Forklift operator training is required by law and employers have a legal obligation to ensure the safety of their staff. During this time, those who supply essential items such as food and medical resources are classed as critical workers, so it is extremely important that they receive appropriate training on the equipment they are required to use.

Conversion training may also be necessary where workers are having to change roles or work with different equipment, as businesses adapt ways of working to new circumstances. Employers must be vigilant and ensure that operators are not complacent on site. Goods are crucial right now and companies cannot risk damage and downtime caused by reckless operation.”

All new forklift truck operators must be fully trained to avoid accidents at this critical time. Those who need requalification training may extend the validity of current certificates by up to 3 months, provided they can demonstrate that training could not take place for reasons associated directly with coronavirus such as closure of training facilities, unavailability of trainers or complying with advice on isolation and social distancing.

Ruth Wallace of Wallace School of Transport says “It is our duty to take care of welfare and safety of all our staff and customers and will follow government guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19) including social distancing, washing hands and frequently cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces that are touched regularly. We are proud to do our part to keep the country functioning”

Click here to view the HSE statement regarding forklift Training

Click here to view the Government Guidance on coronavirus

Wallace has a dedicated facilities for training forklift drivers at Park Royal or can carry out training at your own site.

Wallace School of Transport is a fully accredited RTITB company with over 50 years' experience. You can be trained either at your own work site or at Wallace Centre in Park Royal. If you have any questions, call Wallace Forklift Training for free on 0800 612 8948, choose option 3 or click here to email us.


Forklift Safety from Forklift Training LondonJanuary 2020 - Work Related Fatal Injuries Data from HSE

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recently released annual figures for work-related fatal injuries for 2018/19. The data revealed that 147 workers were fatally injured, which is at a rate of approximately 1 worker per 200,000. There was an increase of 6 fatalities over the previous year, although the number has remained broadly level in recent years.

The fatal workplace injuries are spread across different sectors, with agriculture, forestry, fishing and waste and recycling seeing the largest fatalities with 32 deaths. This sector accounts for a small fraction of the workforce but has 20% of worker fatalities. The three most common causes of fatal injuries which account for 60% of the injuries are:

  • Workers falling from height (40)
  • Being struck by a moving vehicle (30)
  • Being struck by a moving object (16)

The HSE data also highlights risks to older workers. Workers aged 60 or over account for 10% of the workforce but 25% of the fatal injuries were to this age group.

In addition to the above figures, 92 members of the public were fatally injured in incidents connected to work.

One fatal accident that may be of interest to our customers took place at Michael Douglas Autosalvage Ltd in Carlisle. A customer had purchased a lift truck from the salvage company which was being loaded onto a recovery vehicle. The metal ring on the lift truck that the winch wire was attached to failed, causing the lift truck to fall and trap the customer against the skip lorry. The HSE found that the company had failed to ensure that the lifting process was properly planned by a competent person and failed in its duty not to expose customers to risk. Michael Douglas Autosalvage Ltd was fined £23,000 and ordered to pay costs of £8000.

For more information, click here for link to HSE site.

Wallace School of Transport is a fully accredited RTITB company with over 50 years' experience. You can be trained either at your own work site or at Wallace Centre in Park Royal. If you have any questions, call Wallace Forklift Training for free on 0800 612 8948, choose option 3 or click here to email us.