The ACOP gives advice on how to comply with the law. There are many regulations within health and safety law which apply to the working of rider operated lift trucks. The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSW Act), the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER), the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998, the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 (LOLER), the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) and the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 (CDM).
The first thing the ACOP concerns is training. Employers should not let anyone operate fork lift trucks if they have not had the proper basic training. Operators must also be fully trained before they are allowed to teach. Lift trucks used for training must be in good mechanical condition. Records should be kept of each employee who has completed the basic training and testing in accordance with the ACOP. Lift truck operators should be physically and mentally fit and to be safely able to control the vehicle. People with disabilities need not necessary be excluded from working with lift trucks. Reasonable adjustments may be ok to do providing operation of the lift truck is safe; the Equality Act 2010 will apply. Even though there is no legal requirement to issue certificates for basic level training, they do provide evidence that operators have received the relevant training. There is no such thing as a lift truck ‘licence’.
When lift trucks are in operation, their safe use is utmost. Pedestrians should be prohibited from being in these areas. Audible warning notices and flashing beacons should be used where necessary. All surfaces used by lift trucks should be firm and level. Some lift trucks are designed to operate on uneven surfaces. The work areas must be adequately lit.
There are various approaches to controlling the use of lift trucks. There should be a device fitted to prevent unauthorised use, such as a programmable fob. On LPG trucks, the gas supply should be turned off if the truck is left for some time. There should be enough parking areas so that lift trucks are comfortably parked. They should not be used in areas where there are flammable vapours or gases. Direct ignition could cause an explosion. LPG fuel cylinders should be changed outside buildings and away from sources of ignition.
People should never be lifted on the forks or on the pellet. To allow people to work at height, lift trucks can be used with integrated working platforms. This isolates the truck controls so that only the person on the platform can control the truck movements. A non-integrated platform is one where the platform is controlled solely by the truck operator. If driving a lift truck on the public road, the driver must comply with the appropriate legislation. The law requires that all vehicles should work correctly and non-lifting parts (e.g tyres, brakes, lights) should be regularly be inspected. Before the beginning of each shift, the lift truck operator should check the tyres, pressure, fuel levels, lights and look for any cracks or damage.