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hi,

does anyone have any legislation on fork trucks.

 

i work for a major company in a very busy warehouse and am concerned about how fast these trucks go. they run on LPG and i basically wondered if there was a speed limit for these things.

 

as with most companys, the work load has increased and we are expected to do more and more and it is getting harder and harder to keep up.

 

as an employee am i entitled to request a demonstration of the job or something similar to prove that the job can not be done in the timescales given.

 

if someone is sick for example, we have to cover that persons work and obviosley i find this unreasonable.

 

i have loads to say and am basically very vocal at work, but nothing never happens about my requests.

 

thanks in advance

 

regards

hunterandthehunted

regards

hunterandthehunted

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Hi there, I know FLT's are covered by the H&S Act. I'll have a look at our FLT policy tomorrow (I can't quote it verbatim) if you don't mind waiting till then.

 

Kind Regards

 

Ell-enn

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My advice is based on my opinion and experience only. It is not to be taken as legal advice - if you are unsure you should seek professional help.

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Hi didnt understand if you were driving the truck or not ? When I used to drive fork lift trucks we were taught to drive at the appropriate speed to the surrounding conditions . common sense really , the biggest problem I used to have is people darting in front of the truck just so they could get a better bonus ! I would suggest if you have concerns about H&S you need to talk to somone at the company in charge of H&S .

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Use of FLTs is covered by a raft of legislation under HSAWA, Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations and particularly the Workplace (Health, Safety & Welfare Regulations which requires that workplaces are arranged in order for pedestrians and vehcles to circulate safely. Your company must have very thorough Risk Assessments in place to cover every conceivable operation and hazard associated with the forklift. Everybody working or visiting in an area where FLTs are working should be made aware of those risks. Good policy will dictate that following Risk Assessment, FLT and not FLT activities should be segregated so far as is possible, with hatched off 'safe' walkways, audible buzzers should warn of FLT operations, speeds should be governed (ours are governed to 5mph max), staff should not be allowed to use mobile phones, MP3s etc in the vicinity of FLTs and high visibility clothing should be worn in all areas where FLTs are operating. Hooters should be sounded whenever rounding corners or entering doorways. These are just some of the measures considered appropriate by the HSE. There are no specific speed limits set for FLTs as this is dependent on the individual workplace and space available to segregate operations - if they are too slow then this is probably to maintain the safety of others - if on the other hand you are saying that they move too quickly then this needs to be assessed.

 

It is not clear exactly what your concern is, but if it relates to a risk of injury either for the FLT driver or a pedestrian then your company has a legal duty to listen, assess and act accordingly. Speak to your H&S Rep - every company should have one - or address your concerns to the person named on the company's H&S policy statement, which must be displayed prominently in the building. Ultimately it could be he or she who is in court for breaches of the law.

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Relevant Legislation

 

Workplace_(Health_Safety_&_Welfare)_Regulations_1992

 

Health_&_Safety_At_Work_Act_1974

 

Management_OF_Health_&_Safety_AT_Work_Regulations_1999

 

...and if nobody listens to genuine concerns expressed regarding yours or others Health & Safety, phone the local Environmental Health Office for advice.

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where i work, there are 20 trucks flying around a warehouse easily hitting speeds of 15 to 20mph. what i wanted to know, you have answered

 

Are there ever 'near misses' or actual instances of trucks colliding, hitting pedestrians or loads being displaced due to speed? It is very easy for trucks to have the speeds governed.

 

now for my next question?. is it allowed to travel with a loaded pallet or loaded pallets which are taller than the mast?

 

Highly unlikely - good practice and adequate training should ensure that the load remains stable - I was trained to ensure that a load should only be carried in such a way as to use the mast as a backstop. It isn't a case of it being 'allowed' but a case of operating the lift truck in a potentially unsafe manner.

 

also when travelling with a load is it law to have to have the mast tilted fully back?

 

No. When talking about lift trucks and other industrial equipment, there is no 'law' as such which dictates that certain actions are specifically 'illegal' - actions only break the law when they lead to incident or injury. The only laws which are relevant are governed by the HSAWA and others which require adequate training, supervision and risk assessment. A FLT can carry a load untilted where to do so is safe and appropriate in accordance with appropriate training having been provided. An EHO or HSE inspector wouldn't look at a lift truck and say "that is illegal because he doesn't have a reversing buzzer fitted", but they would say that "that forklift should have a buzzer fitted as it represents a potential to cause injury to people unaware that it is reversing towards them". In the same way, an inspector would not criticise the fact that the load was not tilted, but would if the load was heavy or poorly balanced and tilting it would stabilise the pallet and reduce the risk of an accident. Hope you understood all that!

 

where can i find the answers to these type of questions?

 

There is little online, but the HSE publish several guides - try the HSE website for details.

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Has anyone noticed how foreign workers seem to be handed licences left right and centre. Maybe not so much for fork trucks but certainly pallet trucks. At my place of work it used to be several months would go by before someone was put throgh the test. Now it seems to be every couple of weeks. I think the company that does the training has never been busier. I have been working in my current job for almost 11 years, 10 of those in packing. No-one doing this job ever had or needed a license. Now all five packers are foreign nationals and each of them has at least a pallet truck license.

The job is still the same as it always was, so what's changed? Why should they get something they're hardly ever going to need? The only thing it does is boost their production bonus because it's ont more thing they can do.

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Oh go on give in to temptation :-) Otherwise I would have to guess you're going to mention racism but you'd be wrong. I just think they seem to be getting preferrential treatment over people who have been there for years. I could rant on abot how some of us who have been there for years had our pay cut meaning that some of us are bow earning no more or maybe less than new starts with little experiance. But I've already gone over that in another thread. So I'll say no more and let this thread get back on topic.

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Oh go on give in to temptation :-) Otherwise I would have to guess you're going to mention racism but you'd be wrong. I just think they seem to be getting preferrential treatment over people who have been there for years. I could rant on abot how some of us who have been there for years had our pay cut meaning that some of us are bow earning no more or maybe less than new starts with little experiance. But I've already gone over that in another thread. So I'll say no more and let this thread get back on topic.

 

No - no mention of racism whatsoever. I am also not in the least bit 'racist' but I share the concerns of many about an increasingly migrant workforce, and the impact on various aspects of 'our' society. The problem is though (and please understand that this is solely from a business point of view), I can understand certain areas of industry finding some eastern European workers a tempting proposition. I know of several companies, all of whom were absolutely set against employing Polish workers, having to give in due to the massive problem in finding 'British' workers who actually want to work. Faced with massive costs in recruitment and training, only for the worker to go sick, not want to do any work when he is there and ultimately to leave for the cycle to start again, each has taken on Polish staff who have proved to be some of the best in the workforce. Generally leaving education with better qualifications, and a work ethic alien to many native staff, it is easy to see why numbers continue to increase.

 

HOWEVER - this is in the industries which I am familiar with, where the impact has not (yet) been sufficient to drive down wages or conditions, but I agree that in many other areas, employers have seized the opportunity to improve profits at the expense of other staff, and agree that if unchecked, it will only have an increasingly detrimental effect everywhere.

 

Like you say - one for a thread on its own ;)

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sidewinder,

in answer to your questions

yes there are near misses which are supposed to be reported and relevent documantation to be filled in, they seldom do however. i cannot blame the employer for that one.

 

Sounds like a matter of time before somebody comes unstuck - only by employers understanding how easily accidents happen, and the cost which they face over even a relatively minor incident, will things be tightened. We had a forklift incident where an employee lost a finger doing something which he knew was wrong and had been told not to do it. Not only was there the risk of a huge fine but potentially the temporary closure of the business - all because there was no risk assessment in place for that specific scenario!

there are loads tipping over on a regular basis, due to speed and tight schedules to get the job done.

we are required to double up pallets and this is deemed safe to do so.

when we double up we actually have to tilt the mast forward to clear a lintle in an opening, going from one warehouse to another. again this is deemed to be acceptable.

 

Once again a matter of time!

 

pedestrians have never been hit as they are generally not allowed in this area, although this rule does get broken on a regular basis.

every one has a high vis on though.

 

Contrary to popular belief, a high vis alone does not make one invincible - it is useless without proper consideration for safety, even if it is at the expense of productivity. I work in an extremely time-sensitive FMCG business where packing loading and delivery times are critical, yet we have been forced to accept that money has to be spent in order to improve and maintain safety standards. Making a study of the direct and indirect costs involved in just one incident (loss of productivity, time spent in investigation and litigation, Personal Injury compensation, costs of staff to cover the injured employee, loss of reputation, threat of closure by HSE, cost of retraining staff) is a real eye-opener and the value in spending a little now to prevent that later can really be appreciated.

 

i have been browsing the links you provided and have also been looking at the acas site about other issues.

it seems to me that everything is covered by guidelines and nothing is set in stone anymore thus making it difficult to challenge. this is also backed up by your comments in your last paragraph.

 

You're welcome. It certainly isn't easy to challenge, but by the same token it is difficult for an employer to dismiss any question raised on H&S grounds. Poor safety standards will inevitably result in a problem, and in today's society that will lead to a PI claim and investigation by HSE. It is also worth bearing in mind that it isn't just the employer's responsibility, but also yours to maintain the safety of you and those around you (HSAWA 1974) and it would be almost impossible to take action against you for making a nuicance of yourself if it relates to a legitimate H&S concern!

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hi hunterandthehunted,

 

the one thing you haven't told us is where you obtained your flt licence from.

 

did your company issue it after training and testing, or was it a requirement that you had to have it before they employed you?

 

i suspect the latter, as no instructor would condone the practices that you have described.

 

im not sure, but i think there have to be re-evaluation tests after periods of time (where i work its every five years) but it may not be a legal requirement, just good company proceedure.

 

as far as your safety reps concerned, it doesn't sound as though you have one! or, he dosen't frequent the wharehouse operational area at all.

 

any rep worth his salt would have pulled the practices you describe long ago.

 

at the end of the day you are your own hs rep, your the driver, you operate the truck, you decide if a load is safe. it will be you thats prosecuted if theres a serious accident.

 

im guessing your not in a trade union either,as they would have been able to voice your concerns, at a management level. once this is minuted, it would be a very naive company that didn't react appropriately.

 

drive safely,

 

bartymuv.

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