The British Industrial Truck Association (BITA), the UK trade association for manufacturers and suppliers of forklift truck and associated components and services, has updated two of its most important industry Guidance Notes.
Both GN15 – INDUSTRIAL TRUCK LEAF CHAINS; MAINTENANCE AND INSPECTION and GN62 – MAINTENANCE, INSPECTION AND REPAIR OF FORK ARMS & ATTACHMENTS have been revised.
BITA Guidance Notes are the foundation of best practice for the Thorough Examination of fork lift trucks. Regular Thorough Examination is a legal requirement under LOLER and PUWER. The requirements are laid out in detail in BITA GN 28 – THOROUGH EXAMINATION AND SAFETY INSPECTIONS OF INDUSTRIAL LIFT TRUCKS.
David Goss, Technical Manager, BITA said: “The updated guidance on inspection of Chains and Forks is timely because BITA’s latest analysis of fork lift truck accident reports shows that these two items account for half of all dangerous equipment failures.
“Fortunately, very few of these failures result in injury, and only around 6% of all RIDDOR reports relating to Fork Lift Trucks are due to failures of the truck.”
However, this is only part of the picture.
“Both the severity and frequency of impact with a pedestrian/co-worker is far more serious, accounting for more than 43% of all reports,” said Mr Goss. “This is followed by handling of insecure/inappropriate loads (15%), poor planning and lack of supervision of lifting operations (14%) and tip-over incidents (10%).
“Clearly, comprehensive Thorough Examination, as is assured by the CFTS scheme, is only one part of ensuring safe operations. Operator training and, most importantly, effective supervision and management oversight, are also essential. BITA will continue with its pledge of ‘lifting industry standards’ by regularly updated guidance, industry partnerships and promotion of National Forklift Safety Day.”
See below for a graphic representation of the failures.
National Forklift Safety Day (NFSD) took place in the UK for the first time this June and was an unqualified success. Complementing BITA’s goal to lift safety standards across the industry, the message delivered by the campaign was a simple and straight forward one, that seat belts save lives and that were restraints are fitted to a truck, management has a responsibility to ensure they should always be used.
The campaign message remains relevant and is being promoted industry-wide for the remainder of this year and beyond. Next year’s NFSD will take place on June 9th and will have a fresh message, which will be accompanied by BITA’s incisive thought leadership.
Guidance Notes can be ordered by visiting the online Shop on the new-look BITA website – www.bita.org.uk
 Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998
 Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998
 RIDDOR reports 2016-2019
 Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations