When the Fork Lift Truck Association reviewed a random sample of Fork lift truck operator advertisements, 85% of the sample asked for a ‘forklift truck license’, which is a fictional document. When employers use this as the basis employees are trained to use forklifts without and providing no forklift training, this is very dangerous and potentially fatal.

33784455 - asian fork lift truck driver discussing checklist with foreman in warehouse

Every employer has the responsibility to make sure that their employees have the right training before using work equipment under Regulation 9 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations. This should done be within the company or by an external training provider.

The training provider should issue a certificate or other document following the training which specifies the results. Additionally, before an employee uses any equipment their employee should give a written authority specific to the task to be undertaking, which includes the location and the equipment used.

It is important to remember that the authorisation cannot just be transferred to another company and also the time the authority remains valid for is down to the employer.

In various countries, (eg Poland), fork lift truck operators are issued with licenses. When hiring people from other countries in the UK as fork lift operators these documents should not be taken at face value, even if there is no reason to doubt the authenticity. This is due to the skills required to obtain the license potentially not been appropriate to the kind of truck or operating environment the individual is wanting to be employed in.

When handling foreign licenses it is best to arrange for the employee to be formally assessed and then any additionally training needed should then be provided.

For details of legal training required in the UK please check the Approved Code Of Practice. (April 2013).