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December 14, 2021

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equipment safety

CFTS issues warning to employers over dangers related to use of second-hand trucks

Employers looking to purchase or hire a used truck are being urged to check that equipment has a valid Thorough Examination Report or otherwise risk serious accidents and potential prosecution.

CFTS – the industry’s accrediting body for Thorough Examinations – is concerned that thousands of used trucks are not being regularly examined, despite the legal requirements under LOLER and PUWER.

Geoff Martin, CFTS Chairman, explains: “The market for second-hand work equipment is huge. If you are buying a used truck or renting one long term, it might be tempting to try and bag a bargain, but you could end up with a potentially lethal piece of kit if you don’t do your due diligence. The costs could end up far higher than any saving you make on a used truck.

“My advice is to ask to see a Thorough Examination Report. This will prove that equipment has been checked by a competent person with the appropriate knowledge and experience to detect defects – as is outlined in guidance from the HSE.

“In particular look for the CFTS Quality Mark, which should be visible on paperwork and on a sticker fixed to the truck. A CFTS Quality Mark is unique proof that any Report of Thorough Examination has been carried out by an experienced, accredited examiner in accordance with stringent standards and quality procedures. It’s a sure-fire way of knowing that equipment is safe, helping you comply with the law and keep clear of the courts.”

CFTS members are accredited Thorough Examination providers that will assess equipment in its entirety, inspecting lifting parts in accordance with LOLER, as well as steering and brakes as required by PUWER.

“Owners have a legal and moral responsibility to their operators to ensure that equipment is safe to use,” adds Geoff Martin. “Even if you are only borrowing the equipment, you should be confident that it is in good working order. If you are not sure of the report’s validity or legitimacy, call an accredited Thorough Examination provider.”

5-point guide for effective MEWP Thorough Examinations

  • Does your provider employ MEWP Thorough Examination documentation including a dedicated MEWP checklist created specifically for this kind of equipment? CFTS examiners never take a “once size fits all” approach to different types of workplace equipment.
  • Crucially, does the provider’s documentation meet the requirements of both LOLER and PUWER – i.e., does it cover important areas such as brakes and steering as well as the lifting gear (many don’t).
  • Is your examiner both a ‘competent person’ and an experienced engineer? And do they carry the kit to check your MEWP thoroughly? (Including trolley jack, A-frame ladders and dedicated chain-gauge).
  • Is your Thorough Examination fully and independently audited? Does the inspector undergo regular refresher training – so you can rest assured they are up to date with the latest legislation?
  • Is your examiner able to minimise disruption to your operations? Many CFTS-accredited engineers are equipped to carry out repairs so, in the event of a fault, it can be fixed without delay, keeping you operational.

To learn more about Thorough Examinations and their importance, click here. 

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