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    "If you've been injured through no fault of your own you could be entitled to compensation. If you're unsure if you could claim, I recommend you call Accident Advice Helpline."

    Esther Rantzen

    Do you need to be given training to operate a forklift?

    According to, it is believed that every year, around 8,000 accidents at work involving forklifts are reported. Many of these forklift accidents are serious and some result in fatalities.

    Common causes

    A great deal of forklift related accidents are caused by operator errors, lack of knowledge concerning equipment and/or the working environment and lack of adequate training as a whole. This, of course, makes it clear that sufficient training is a necessity before you are asked to operate a forklift.

    Legislation for employees who operate a forklift

    Employers and employees preparing to operate a forklift need to be aware of relevant legislation within the 1974 Health & Safety at Work Act and the regulations for:

    • Provision & Use of Workplace Equipment
    • Lifting Operations & Lifting Equipment
    • Health, Safety & Welfare in the Workplace
    • Personal Protective Equipment
    • Control of Hazardous Substances

    It is illegal for anyone under the age of 16 to operate a forklift and all operators must be provided with training in the use of a forklift.

    Forklift training

    This training must be provided by an experienced, accredited trainer. Initially carried out within a safe training area, as opposed to real working situations where the risk of work accidents would be unacceptable. Training should be divided into several individual stages and include:

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    • Basic skills and knowledge necessary to operate a forklift safely
    • Specific training related to handling attachment and knowledge concerning the working environment
    • ‘On the job’ training under close supervision

    Refresher courses for qualified forklift operators should also be provided, and training records must be kept and regularly updated.

    Other causes of forklift incidents

    Not all forklift related work accidents are the result of poor or lack of training. Other common causes of workplace accidents involving forklifts include:

    • Poor truck maintenance
    • Unsuitable premises or gangways (too narrow, uneven ground likely to cause work injuries by forklifts tipping)
    • Poor lighting

    Lack of safety signs in areas where forklifts operate and lack of safe working procedures are also common causes of injuries at work.

    The law

    Legally bound to prevent forklift and other work-related accidents by providing adequate training, maintaining forklifts and other equipment in good working order and having safe working procedures in place, employers who do not provide training or maintain their forklifts and other equipment could be held liable to pay employees work injury compensation if an accident in the workplace occurs as the result of their negligence. Discover how to claim industrial injury compensation by calling our team on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 now.

    Date Published: December 9, 2015

    Author: David Brown

    Accident Advice Helpline (or AAH) is a trading style of Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited. Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited is a company registered in England and Wales with registration number 07931918, VAT 142 8192 16, registered office Dempster Building, Atlantic Way, Brunswick Business Park, Liverpool, L3 4UU and is an approved Alternative Business Structure authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

    Disclaimer: This website contains content contributed by third parties, therefore any opinions, comments or other information expressed on this site that do not relate to the business of AAHDL or its associated companies should be understood as neither being held or endorsed by this business.

    No-Win No-Fee: *Subject to insurance costs. Fee payable if case not pursued at client's request.