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What is a ‘thorough examination’ forklift inspection?

A thorough examination is vital when it comes to owning and operating forklifts to ensure the safety and functionality of your equipment at all times. Here, we run through exactly what these inspections constitute and what they cover:

What is it?

The thorough examination under LOLER – Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations – is a systematic and detailed examination of the forklift equipment including its safety-critical parts, which is carried out at specified intervals by a competent person. This person will then go on to complete a written report of the examination’s findings, detailing the ‘health’ of the forklift as well as the following information:

  • The date of the examination
  • The date when the next examination is due
  • Any defects found during the examination which are currently – or could potentially become – a hazard to people operating them

The test itself covers the following aspects of these machines:

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What happens if defects are found?

Should a serious defect be identified, the competent person who has carried out the examination should report this immediately to the dutyholder. Following this, a written report should be created, and a copy of this report should also be sent to the relevant enforcing authority.

What is a competent person?

This term is defined in the LOLER Approved Code of Practice and guidance. The guidelines state the following:

‘You should ensure that the person carrying out a thorough examination has such appropriate practical and theoretical knowledge and experience of the lifting equipment to be thoroughly examined as will enable them to detect defects or weaknesses and to assess their importance in relation to the safety and continued use of the lifting equipment’.

How often should these checks be carried out?

The specified intervals for regular thorough examinations are as follows:

  • Every 6 months for lifting equipment and any associated accessories used to lift people
  • Every 6 months for all lifting accessories
  • Every 12 months for all other lifting equipment

These tests are a legal requirement for anyone in charge of or operating forklifts at their premises, so make sure you book your forklifts in for an examination at the relevant times throughout the year.


Here at East Midlands Forklifts, we are proud to offer an expert thorough examination service as well as professional forklift testing and training. For more information on any of the services we offer including servicing and repairs, or for any other enquiry, don’t hesitate to contact us today. Our friendly team of experts will be more than happy to help with any queries you may have.


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