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KEYLIFT FORKLIFT TRUCK TRAINING Professional Fork Lift Truck Training

What’s the legal Age to operate a forklift truck in the UK?

What’s the minimum age you need to be to operate a forklift truck? Well, if you look on the Health and Safety Executive website the answer you’ll find once you find it will be ‘past school leaving age’
 Right…So we have found the official answer but that answer isn’t good enough for us, is it?  We want an an actual figure in black and white on the age you need to be to operate and obtain a forklift truck licence.  Because what is school leaving age anyway?  16? 15 years 9 months? Does this include further education…18?
So there is no black and white answer but here are 7 key facts that should clear up how old you need to be to operate a forklift truck in the uk.

7 key facts to clear up the legal age to operate a forklift truck

Person getting on a forklift truck
Person getting on forklift

1- First of all despite what the legal age is. Most insurance companies won’t insure us forklift truck training providers to train any candidates under the age of 18.

2- Any novice forklift truck operator needs supervision following any training. This is even more so with candidates who have obtained their forklift licence who are below 18 years of age.

3- Along the same lines as point one, employers should check with their insurance providers to make sure they are covered for candidates under the age of 18 operating a forklift on site

4- If candidates are operating lift trucks in ports, the legal minimum age is 18 years old.

5- If the candidate is under 18 years of age, a maximum fork lift truck weight of 3.5 tonne should not be exceeded. This is crucial when operating lift trucks on public roads.

6- We strongly recommend 18 years old. However, you are allowed to operate a lift truck at 17 years old.

7- On going supervision and guidance must be given to candidates operating a forklift truck below 18 years of age. This must be on going even after training has taken place. This includes Familiarisation training and job specific training.

So when we get asked can a 17 year old drive a forklift ? Our answer is, yes. You have just got to remember your responsibilities as an employer.

The Employers Responsibilities

Question mark next to man

1- Make sure you contact your insurance company to clarify the operators age is OK.

2- You provide the employee with basic training.

3- Training must be on going. This includes job specific and familiarisation training.

4- Make sure the candidate is not operating the forklift truck in a port.

5- Monitoring of the candidate while carrying out forklift duties.

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