Forklift Legislation and Training

Forklift Legislation and Training

Irish Legislation, Regulation & Codes of Practice – Forklifts & Forklift Training


Safety, Health & Welfare at Work Act 2005 Requires;

  • Employers manage & conduct their work activities in such a manner as to ensure the safety & health of their employees or others who may be affected by the business activities
  • To carry out a Risk Assessment or Workplace Vehicles including Forklifts
  • Transport hazards in the workplace must also be assessed
  • Appropriate steps to be implemented to eliminate or reduce any risks identified

Vehicles are defined as a workplace under Section 8 of the Safety, Health & Welfare at Work Act 2005. Therefore, Employers must ensure in so far as is “Reasonably Practicable” that;

  • Vehicles are designed, provided & maintained in a condition that is safe & without risk to health
  • Safe means of access & egress to & from the vehicle is designed, provided & maintained
  • Safe Systems of Work are planned, organized, performed, maintained & revised as appropriate (e.g. Vehicle Loading & Unloading)
  • Information, Instruction, Training & Supervision is provided for all employees who operate work related vehicles 

Safety, Health & Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007

Under Part 2 of these Regulations, which is applicable to fixed workplace premises, Employers must ensure that pedestrians & vehicles can move in a safe manner. Traffic routes are clearly identified & appropriately dimensioned. Traffic rules for mobile work equipment is also required.


Approved Code of Practice

In Ireland, we also have the Rider Operated Lift Trucks (Operator Training & Supplementary Guidance) in place. This covers the 3 main types of training required for operators – Basic, Specific & Familiarization. Other important sections covered in this code of practice are Written Authorization (for Operators) Maximum numbers attending courses (Max. 3 per course) as well as what should be covered on Forklift Training Course.


Vehicle Accident Statistics

In Ireland, between 2003 & 2012, almost half of the 573 reported deaths arising from workplace accidents were vehicle related. The Transport & Storage sector reports an average of 1,000 injuries each year, resulting in up to 100 lost working days from injuries including being struck by vehicles. The activities most commonly associated with vehicle related deaths & injuries are as follows;

  • Driving for Work
  • Reversing & Slow Speed Manoeuvres
  • Coupling & Un-coupling
  • Vehicle Maintenance & Repairs
  • Loading, Unloading & Load Securing


Work Related Vehicle Risks – Most Common Types

  • People being hit by moving vehicles
  • People falling from vehicles
  • People injured by objects falling from vehicles
  • People injured by vehicles overturning
  • People being injured during vehicle maintenance


Causes of Vehicle Overturns – Forklifts

  • The vehicle not being suitable for the task
  • Driving on slopes that are too steep OR Slippery surfaces
  • Driving on poor or uneven ground conditions (e.g. Potholes, Over curbs)
  • Speeding, especially going too fast around corners
  • Untrained & In-experienced Employees been allowed to use them without proper training
  • This is a non-exhaustive list


Roll Over Protection Systems (ROPS) are available on some types of vehicles. They can reduce the risk of injury in the event of a vehicle overturning. However, they are not usually fully effective unless the operator is wearing a seatbelt.


Forklift Trucks

Forklift Trucks are one of the most common & most hazardous vehicle type in the workplace, frequently found in warehouses, workshops & factories. Incidents involving Forklift Trucks are usually serious & often fatal. There is very little protection for pedestrians.


Vehicle Maintenance

Under current Safety & Health Legislation, all vehicles used for work should be maintained & in good working order. They must be safe to use & fit for purpose.

Whether you own, lease, hire or borrow a vehicle for work purposes, you must ensure that the vehicle is safe for use by those who use work vehicles.

They should be fit for the purpose for which they are intended to be used.

Regular preventative maintenance is a vital step in preventing accidents.

Operator pre-use checklists can prove effective in helping to prevent & reduce accidents.


For more information on Forklift, Reach or Power-pallet Truck Training, Contact Pearse in Annbrook Safety Training on (086) 0600 747 for course details.