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Forklift Truck Training Advice for Employers: A Quick Guide

Explore this brief introduction to the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) leaflet INDG462, offering crucial advice for employers concerning lift-truck training. By examining UK regulations and the Approved Code of Practice (ACOP), it presents key aspects of operator training for lift trucks, which can significantly lower the rate of on-site accidents. This guide outlines who should be trained, what training should entail, the necessity for monitoring and assessment, and options for choosing instructors. This is vital knowledge for creating a safer working environment within industries where lift trucks are prevalent.

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This article provides a quick guide to the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) leaflet INDG462, which provides advice for employers on lift-truck training. Lift trucks are widely used in various industries, but they are involved in about a quarter of all workplace transport accidents. Proper training can significantly reduce these accidents. This guide will break down the key points of the document for easy understanding.

The Law

Under the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER), employers are required to ensure all lift-truck operators have received adequate training. This includes correct use of the equipment, understanding any risks, and taking necessary precautions. The same standards apply to self-employed individuals.

Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) for Lift-Truck Operator Training

The HSE Approved Code of Practice (L117) provides guidance on operator training for rider-operated lift trucks. The ACOP does not cover certain types of trucks, but the guidance can be used as an indication of the standard of training for all lift trucks.

Who Should You Train?

  • Potential lift-truck operators should be physically and mentally fit, reliable, and capable of becoming competent operators.
  • They should be over the minimum school-leaving age (16), except in ports, where they must be at least 18 years old.
  • Children under 16 should never operate lift trucks.

What Should Training Include?

Operator training should include three stages: Basic training, Specific job training, and Familiarisation training. Each stage has specific objectives and guidelines as detailed in the original document.

Authorisation and Certificates of Basic Training

After employees have successfully completed all three elements of training, they should be given written authorisation to operate the type of lift truck they have been trained to use. There is no legal requirement to issue certificates of basic training, but they provide evidence that operators have received relevant training.

Monitoring and Assessment

Lift-truck operators need to be routinely monitored and, where necessary, retested or refresher trained to ensure they continue to operate lift trucks safely. This monitoring and assessment should be carried out by a suitably competent person, such as an instructor.

Choosing Instructors

When choosing how to carry out training, employers have several options. They can send employees to an external training organisation, use a suitably trained employee from their company, or employ a commercial or self-employed instructor to conduct training on their premises. The competence of the instructor is crucial for successful training.


This guide provides a brief overview of the HSE's lift-truck training advice for employers. It is essential to provide adequate training to all lift-truck operators to reduce the risk of accidents and ensure a safe working environment. For more detailed information, refer to the original HSE document, leaflet INDG462.


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Richard O'Connor is a Director at First Mats. He has deep knowledge in areas like Manufacturing, Warehousing, Marine, and Health & Safety. Richard's insights have been featured in well-known publications such as Bloomberg Business, The Sun, and Reader's Digest. His blend of industry expertise and passion for sharing makes him a sought-after voice in his fields.

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