Forklift Trucks are widely used in many industries. They also contribute to accidents in the workplace, which may cause costly damage, personal injury or even death. This has an impact on colleagues causing disruption to production and services. It is good practice for forklift drivers to have medical health assessment on a regular basis to ensure that they are fit for the work they do.
According to HSE L117 Rider Operated Lift Trucks, Drivers that operate forklift trucks should be free from physical defects that might pose a threat to their own health or safety or the safety of others who might be affected by their operation of lift trucks. However, people with disabilities need not be excluded from work with forklift trucks, and medical advice should be obtained about their suitability for the particular duties that will be required of them. As such, reasonable adjustments may be required to enable some disabled people to work as lift-truck operators.
HSE is not prescriptive about the need for medical assessment for fitness to drive lift trucks and there is no legislation relating directly to this topic. According to the above HSE L117 Rider Operated Lift Trucks, fitness for forklift operating should always be judged on a case-by-case basis.
Guidance contained in Appendix 2, of the Health and Safety Executive publication ‘Safety in Working with Lift Trucks’ recommends that all Forklift Truck (FLT) operators, occasional and regular users are screened for fitness to work before and during employment. The Health and Work Consultancy can support companies to comply with this recommendation by medically assessing each operator for their fitness to operate Forklift Trucks, or to advise on workplace adjustments.
Forklift truck medicals take approximately 45 minutes and include:
- A confidential driver questionnaire
- Blood pressure & pulse
- Height and weight
- Diabetes UK - Diabetes risk assessment (Body Mass Index and Waist circumference)
- Vision screening (distance, night, colour, visual fields and double vision)
- Musculoskeletal assessment
- Hearing test
- Certificate of fitness, restrictions and recommendations
Further sources of information
- Health and Safety Executive guidance on the requirements for Fork Lift Driver Health Assessments
- Health and Safety Executive guidance on medical standards for vocational drivers
- Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency - Assessing fitness to drive - a guide for medical professionals
- ForkLift Truck Association - Medical Standards for Fork Lift Truck Operators
If you have any questions about Forklift Truck Operator or any other occupational health services for your business in South Wales or the South of England, don't hesitate to call us on 02920 682028 or Contact us.