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Use of Forklift Truck at Work


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Hi All

 

I've verbally asked my employer to ensure that he is qualified to drive a forklift truck and also his dad (Who is 60+) the same questions to which I am told that they do not need qualifications/licences etc.

 

Son owns the company and rents the premises from dad.

 

I need some advice on this as everything I know from 20 years in the construction industry tells me otherwise and I feel he/they are just being monumentally stupid.

 

If they are being said stupid - what laws etc apply

We now employ over 20 people so it's starting to really matter and there are 2 other businesses on site that rent space from his dad

 

Thanks

 

Joe

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Simples! It doesn't matter how many people they employ or who uses other parts of the premises. Employers are allowed to be monumentally stupid - and when they are (as they are) and cause an accident, you sue them. Or if you would prefer to avoid the accident happening to you - an anonymous report to the H&SE!

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I am a barrister specialising in employment law, and only represent employees. My advice on employment issues is advice - not legal opinion - and is based only on the facts you provide. If you want an accurate assessment of your case and prospects, you should get legal opinion from a lawyer - not a public forum. Anything I tell you is for guidance only, and is based on my experience of the law in the context of what details you provide.

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SarEl has it in a nutshell. You don't need any specific qualifications or licences to operate a forklift truck unless on the public highway.

 

They do however have legal responsibilities under the Health & Safety At Work Act, and any number of associated regulations, none of whiuch would be relevant unless there was an incident, or near miss, whereon they could be investigated, warned or prosecuted for failing to ensure the safety of self or others.

 

To cover employers, and demonstrate that they take Health & Safety seriously, there should be a risk assessment for every process involved in running the business, and if the RA identifies that proper training should be undertaken, including accredited forklift training in order to minimise the risk of injury then this should be in place, however whether they do so or not only becomes a factor in the event of a reportable incident.

 

Therefore, they don't need any formal qualifications, and can run the business as they see fit, however it could cost them a lot more (in many ways) if their failure to address H&S concerns results in an injury. If you are able to prove that staff are at risk of harm and adequate steps aren't being taken to minimise the risk, then the local EH department, or HSE (whoever is the authority responsible for your particular field of business) would no doubt be delighted to make a routine inspection in the light of those concerns and 'offer' the necessary advice to the employer! A visit would look at everything from heavy lifting equipment to the provision of first aid facilities or safety equipment for staff, and could result in an improvement notice which might prove extremely expensive for the employer to comply with.

Any advice given is done so on the assumption that recipients will also take professional advice where appropriate.

 

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