Introduction to this document

Fork lift truck operations

The use of fork lift trucks can present risks in the workplace to both drivers and pedestrians alike which, left unmanaged, could cause accidents and potentially put you on the wrong side of the law. 

Managing the risks

To help you identify the hazards and appropriate ways of controlling them, use our example Risk Assessment - Fork Lift Truck Operations document. It covers the generic hazards associated with the use of fork lift trucks and then suggests control measures to reduce risks to an acceptable level.

You should ensure that your document only addresses “significant” hazards, i.e. any that could and more importantly are likely to, cause an accident or injury.

Make your instructions clear

There is no point putting activities on the document that simply don’t need to be there.  Work to the principle that if there is any chance of your staff being unaware of the safe way of operating a fork lift truck, then you will need to make it clear on your document. Having said that, your truck drivers must be suitably trained so that they are competent to drive the type of lift truck that you have provided for them. Where you have prepared risk assessments, then you must bring them to their attention.

Finally, always ensure any control measures you identify and follow only go so far “as is reasonably practicable”. 

Note. The list of potential hazards is not exhaustive. For your risk assessment to be considered suitable and sufficient in the eyes of the law it must accurately reflect the “significant” hazards associated with the use of the particular types of lift trucks in your workplace.