Thorough Examination | Forklift Truck Examination
Thorough Examination - Washington, North East

Thorough Examination – Washington, North East

A Thorough Examination should include all of the following:

A thorough examination is a legal obligation if you are to operate a forklift truck, to ensure that it holds a valid report of the thorough examination. This applies whether you own, lease or hire the truck. Failing to comply could lead to prosecution, invalidation of your insurance or, worst of all, a serious accident due to faulty equipment or forklift truck.

The thorough examination is required under Health & Safety Legislation; LOLER 98, which covers lifting regulations, whilst inspections under PUWER 98, deal with all other safety-related items, such as brakes, steering and tyres. An inspection as part of a preventive maintenance scheme or scheduled service is not a thorough examination. Other inspections carried out by a variety of specialists may, or may not, be thorough examinations.
You could think of it as a forklift truck’s equivalent of a car’s MOT test. Just as a car needs to be tested and must hold a current MOT Certificate, a fork truck needs to be examined and must hold a current report of thorough examination. But for forklift trucks the law is more demanding; thorough examination is required as soon as the truck is 1 year old – and may be needed once, twice of even four times a year, depending on the equipment and its use.
Although thorough examinations has been a legal requirement since 1998, not everyone is fully aware of the obligations it places on forklift truck owners and operators.

  • Concerning long-term hire, the operating company – not the company supplying the truck – is responsible for thorough examination.
  • In short-term hire, both the operating company and the hire company have a responsibility for ensuring that the truck has a current report of thorough examination.
  • In second-hand purchase, the buyer is responsible for checking that the truck has a current report of thorough examination before using it.

Remember, also that thorough examination is not a normal part of routine maintenance. If you want the supplier who services your truck to carry out thorough examination as well, you must make that part of your contract; and you must ensure that your supplier is competent to carry out those thorough examinations.

Not every inspection is a thorough examination, and it’s important that you know the difference. Inspection is part of routine service and maintenance. When your forklift truck is being serviced the engineer will inspect items to make sure they are functional. You may well be given a copy of the inspection sheet – but this document is unlikely to be valid for the purpose of thorough examination.
Insurance inspections, and inspections by specialist inspection companies, may or may not be thorough examinations. You need to ask the inspector some questions. Is the inspection a thorough examination in accordance with LOLER 98? Can you see a copy of the report form? Are the words “Report of Thorough Examination” written across the top of it? If not, you will need to satisfy yourself that the examination is valid.