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Protect myself against Health & Safety problem

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Hi, hope someone on here can help me with a problem at work conserning H&S.


A bit of background first. I work for one of the big construction companies as a Telescopic fork lift truck (FLT) driver. Have been supplied with a new FLT from a differant manufacturer. The problem I am having is the new FLT handbook recommends 80psi tyre pressure. Every tyre fitter I know tells me this is far to high and is dangerous.


I am at present running the machine at 65psi as this is what my 15 years experience and my ability tell me is correct. The two front tyres both have "gator" patches in them so 80psi is really out of the question.


When I approach management about this problem of tyre pressures they listen but nothing is ever clarified. Site management accept that 80psi is to high but cannot seem to find a solution. Meanwhile I am still running technically an "unsafe" machine.


I fill in everyday a FLT checklist stating the tyre pressure of 65psi. This has gone on now for 6 weeks.


Can anyone suggest what I should do to protect myself in the event of our HSE advisor giving me a category A and sending me home and probably the sack as well.


Please believe me when I say that running at 80psi is very unsafe, tried it for one day and wont do it again.





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The FLT handbook is a recommended 80psi tyre pressure, you employer has a duty of care uder the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

They should carry out Risk Assessment as you have pointed out to them that you feel it is unsafe to ensure its safety and identify any risks/hazards.


If the FLT is not safe to use with the recommendations you have in the handbook and you have reported this up the line the onus is not on you as an employee, but on your company.


I dont quite understand why you would believe that the HSE advisor would give you a category A and send you home or sack you its your employers responsibility you have reported it.:confused:


Tell them unless they carry out a risk assessment you will not use it. you might find these of some help.


Good luck



Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998

Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998

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Hi Mac


For an informal resolution. What sort of relationship do you have with your site manager and health and safety officer? If you have a good relationship with your company HSO give them a call and tell them what's going on. Tell your site manager you're worried about the issue and if they can't clarify you will put your concern in writing.


Make sure your concerns are recorded because if they're not its amazing how forgetful people can be when it all goes wrong.


For a more formal approach it has to be a grievance. They're putting both you at risk and those working around you. They're lucky they have someone as diligent as you working on their team, more people like you and there'd be no more H&S humour pages in the weekly building magazine and the HSE would be out of a job.

I love CAG!

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who is responsible for the plant maintenance and servicing, put in a report query to the Manager on H & S grounds and get them to check it out and report so it is recorded in case something goes wrong either at the 65 or the 80. You want somebody responsible to make a decision, even reference back to the manufactuerer if necessary.

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Thanks for the replies.


I was thinking about putting something in writing but did not know the best way to do this. I have been adding comments to the daily and weekly checklist sheet updating the rtth folder at work, as I do even with just punctures or services.


As for plant maintenance and servicing it is the leasing company that does that. Have talked with the fitters and they say there are a lot of FLT drivers ( with lots of differant firms ) running lower tyre pressures and not letting on.


My thoughts on this is that the tyre pressure is only important when driven inappropriately. If a FLT is driven properly at the correct speed for conditions and tyre pressure then it is all about the person behind the wheel.


I know about the stability tests that manufacturers of Telescopic FLT have to go through but how does this help tyre pressures on a site. When I can be driving on tar, hardcore, hard ground and soft ground.


I will give an example.


I had to go to a site to drive a JCB 535/125, tyre pressure 58psi at normal working but I was having to go into very uneven and wet ground to supply brickies with blocks and mortar. They were building a retaining wall behind 6 houses. 2 houses already built and 4 foundations in so only way in was to run up and down the back gardens. Entry from one side only. And in the middle of a very wet Scottish winter.


Tried to go in first with 58psi in tyres and slid everywere. So I reduced pressure to 35psi and ran in and out no problem , just made sure I didnt start making rutts. Now if I was lifting to height then the pressures were dangerous but not when I was transporting close to the rough ground.


I know some people will not be able to understand how running such low pressure in tyres is safer but in certain conditions you have to. Off roaders will always reduce there tyres when going from road to off roading.


I am sorry if I am going on a bit but us FLT drivers in general have a bad press. In toolbox talks its always what a FLT driver has done wrong.


Again thanks for the comments



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You really need to get all the tyre pressures agreed at an induction or tool box meeting H & S site review, because if something happens and you are found to be running at the unrecommended pressures you may be held liable.

I know different pressures for different ground conditions is the norm; but if this is not within the range for the vehicle usage you could have a problem.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Your employeer should have carried out a PUWER assessemnt prior to placing the order for the FLT and also a risk assessment for the FLT once on your site, the Risk Assessment would then show that the suggested PSI might be considered dangerouse and then your employer is duty bound to rectify the issue once it has been documented.

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