CFTS explains why it is so vital that managers and supervisors responsible for the safe operation of industrial equipment are aware of — and fully understand — their legal obligations.

Although legislation around inspection of lifting equipment demands Thorough Examination at regular intervals, the laws still leave room for interpretation.

Since the introduction of Fee for Intervention (FFI), the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act, and the updated the Approved Code of Practice (L117), compliance for managers has never been tougher.

With the costs for non-compliance higher than ever, it’s important that those at risk are fully informed and aware of the danger.

Complete and consistent

Companies will often be happy with their insurance inspection or hear that they’re getting a ‘thorough examination’ and simply assume that everything will be checked. When you’re busy it’s understandable that you might take this as face value, but not all inspections are created equal. Without a quality-controlled procedure for Thorough Examination — such as that employed by CFTS-accredited companies — you have no guarantee that your equipment will get the same level of inspection each time.

Occasionally, we even hear of these vital checks taking as little as 15 minutes. These are complex inspections which should cover a wide number of areas. For example, a typical check of a 1.5-tonne 3-wheel electric forklift should take upwards of 45 minutes. If it’s finished in a third of that time, how thorough can it be?

And the inspection times go up as a truck’s complexity goes up. A conventional telehandler for example may take three hours to inspect properly.

A CFTS thorough Examination takes longer as examiners have a strict quality-controlled process, and this process requires performing accurate physical examinations on key components.

Your lift truck’s chains, for example, are a vital component of the lifting mechanism. That’s why every CFTS examiner is required to use an accurate self-calibrating chain gauge which precisely judges wear and tear and allows for these results to be replicated.

Reliably thorough

CFTS examiners are experienced, specialist engineers who possess the in-depth knowledge to identify and categorise defects clearly and make you aware of actions needed to rectify any issues.

Their training includes a demanding Thorough Examination course, which is refreshed once every five years. In addition, they must meet CFTS’ nationally agreed criteria.

Likewise, high levels of training and experience are expected and required of their managers – ensuring that businesses, like yours, choosing CFTS for their Thorough Examination, receive the highest quality service.

Get peace of mind

Making a poor choice of Thorough Examination provider could result in a heavy fine, a Health and Safety Executive FFI (Fee for Intervention), or even a serious accident and prosecution under the Corporate Manslaughter and Homicide Act. It certainly isn’t something that can — or should — be rushed or compromised.

CFTS is a national standard for Thorough Examinations in the UK forklift truck industry. For details, or to find your closest CFTS examiner, please visit

Adrian White

CFTS, Technical Manager

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