1. What is a Thorough Examination?

A Thorough Examination is a mandatory  inspection to ensure that the mechanical parts and safety devices on your Forklift are in safe working order. A Thorough Examination could be regarded as a Forklifts equivalent of the National Car Test (NCT) although in many ways it’s more comprehensive. Just as a motor vehicle of a certain age requires a current NCT Certificate, a Forklift truck must also be examined and hold a current Report of Thorough Examination.

2. Do I have to have it?

Yes. It is a legal requirement enforced by the Health & Safety Authority that Thorough Examinations must be carried out on all Forklift Trucks that you own or lease. As an employer you have two overriding legal responsibilities when it comes to your Forklifts.

Both a Thorough Examination and an NCT are means of certifying that, at the time of testing, all components which have a bearing on safety have been formally inspected and assessed as being in a safe condition.

  • To ensure your employees have adequate and appropriate training.
  • To provide your employees with safe working equipment.

Failure to comply with these requirements can leave you open to prosecution by the H.S.A. and fully liable in the event of an accident.

3. Specifically, what does the HSA say about these Examinations?

The law in relation to this is very clear:

‘The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations of 2007 (S.I. No. 299 of 2007) treat forklift trucks as “lifting equipment”. Under Regulations 30 and 52 employers must ensure that forklift trucks hold a current “Report of Thorough Examination” following examination by a competent person.’

‘The examination must be carried out and report compiled every 12 months (6 months if the equipment is used for lifting persons)’

For more information on the legislation please see www.hsa.ie

4. Whose responsibility is it? The owner of the Forklift or the supplier?

The responsibility for obtaining this Report of Thorough Examination lies with you, the user of the truck whether you own, lease or hire. The only exception may be for a truck operating under a short-term contract of less than a year, in which case the hiring company should provide you with a copy of the current report of Thorough Examination.

A new Forklift should always be provided with the relevant documentation from the supplier.

5. How often must a forklift undergo a Thorough Examination?

Generally, every 12 months for a Forklift that lifts regular loads, pallets etc.

If your Forklift is used to lift people, is working in environments where there are corrosive elements in the atmosphere (for example salt) or if your forklift is used in excess of 40 hours per week, they will be subject to examinations every 6 months.

6. But we regularly service our Forklift(s); does that not make us compliant with the law?

No. To use the NCT analogy again, a car that has been serviced isn’t necessarily NCT worthy. While a Forklift service is primarily focussed on maintaining the machines functionality, a Thorough Examination focuses on Safety Critical aspects of the machines condition. Although there may be some crossover with what’s checked, unless specifically stated, a document recording a Routine Service is not valid as a Report of Thorough Examination. A properly conducted Thorough Examination has numerous items to be checked, many of which are not on a Routine Service checklist. Just as a car’s NCT and 10,000 mile service are two different things, equally Thorough Examination is distinctly separate from a truck’s regular maintenance programme. It is not part of maintenance, it is a separate examination embedded in legislation.

As a result, Thorough Examination would not normally be included in a maintenance agreement, unless specifically requested.

7. Has this work not been carried out by my Insurance provider?

Not necessarily. Insurance company representatives may carry out inspections of your Forklift(s) periodically but if they haven’t issued a Report of Thorough Examination then you may not be meeting your legal obligations.

Be aware also that not all will be adequately qualified to carry out a Thorough Examination, and as such they may very well overlook critical defects that affect the safety of your equipment. Your supplier for Thorough Examinations must be competent and experienced enough to carry out a full, complete and accredited Thorough Examination.

The documentation you receive after a HSA Accredited Thorough Examination will leave you in no doubt that your machine has been rigorously inspected, with an audit trail and report to prove this and an approved quality mark. Master Lift Forklift Training complies fully with the HSA Quality Assurance Code and has been actively promoting Forklift safety for almost 20 years.

If you do not use an accredited member you leave yourself open to;

  • Inadequate or incorrect advice
  • Inconsistent standards (imagine no national NCT standard)
  • Superficial examinations that do not fully comply with legislation
  • Potential Legal problems
  • Dangerous unsafe machinery resulting in accidents

By using a person who is trained and accredited you can be assured that:

  • Your Thorough examination has being administered efficiently
  • Has been carried out to the highest standards
  • Meets all legal and safety requirements
  • Your Forklift carries the HSA Certification mark and seal of approval

8. If I book a Thorough Examination, what do I get for my money?

We are conscious that this may be an unforeseen expense at a time when there are severe financial pressures on most businesses. We strive to give extra value for your outlay by offering the following.

On successful completion of your Examination you will receive the following:

  • A Certificate of Thorough Examination endorsed by HSA and signed copy of GA1 HSA Form
  • A Health and Safety Authority Report of Thorough Examination
  • A list of recommendations of any work needed
  • A badge to affix to your Forklift with the date of inspection and the due date for the next inspection

9. What happens if faults are found during the Examination?

If the defects do not immediately affect safety, a Report of Thorough Examination will still be issued. However, it will identify the defects and state a time by which they must be rectified. The user is responsible for ensuring that the necessary repairs are undertaken within that time.
If the defects are imminently dangerous, the report will state that the equipment must not be used until they have been rectified.

Remember, it is an Employers legal obligation to provide Safe Working Equipment to his Employees. Our service will ensure you are compliant.

10. How much will it cost and how long will it take?

The cost of forklift certification is from €150 per forklift.

11. Where are these inspections carried out?

At your workplace nationwide.

A qualified examiner will visit at a time that suits you and carry out his work in an efficient manner without disruption.

Thank you for taking the time to read this guide. We hope you found it useful and informative. However should you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact us.

To book your Thorough Examination or if you wish to discuss things further: