In order to be deemed safe to operate certain warehouse and manual handling equipment and also to drive forklift trucks and other vehicles then it is important that outlined medical standards are met. All forklift truck operators have an appropriate level of medical fitness that they need to meet for the work that they carry out.
All medical considerations to bear in mind are detailed on pages 8 and 9 of HSG6 and this guidance book explains that potential employers should actually screen any potential forklift truck operators before they choose to employ them as well as at regular intervals throughout their employment. This would be seen as good practice and the older the person gets the less time you should leave between intervals.
If you have a forklift truck operator who is over the age of 65 then these should be screened annually as their health can deteriorate quite quickly and if this happens they could put someone’s life at risk.
As an employer you are responsible for your employees and where material handling equipment is involved it is important that the correct supervision is given but also highly important that those in charge of operating these dangerous machines have their health kept in check.
If an employer believes a person to be not safe then they should take action and ensure that until they meet the medical standards deemed safe they do not operate the forklift truck.