COVID-19 Lift Truck Training : HL Training Statement

After a lengthy wait from our accrediting bodies, two worked together to get the answers required within the Lift Truck Training Industry. Adam Smith of AITT, and Nick Welch of RTITB put their heads together and managed to get a response from the HSE regarding advise for training within the current COVID-19 epidemic.

Firstly, we would like to thank them for their time and effort in getting this statement, and their own comments. Additionally, we would like to outline what has been discussed, and what the statement means for Lift Truck Training in the UK currently.

Please see the statement in FULL, by clicking here.

***IMPORTANT NOTE*** All below quoted elements are from the document linked above.

Existing Trained Staff

As training certificate do NOT have an expiry date, “it may be reasonable and practicable to extend
the validity of current certificates by up to 3 months.”

If you do so “they should be able to demonstrate that they are meeting their legal duty to monitor and supervise lift truck drivers to ensuire that they continue to operate safely.”

Training of new staff

It may be required within businesses where existing workers roles have changed, or new workers have been employed to keep up with demand “the duty remains to ensure that staff are trained and competent to operate any industrial lift
truck equipment, and this includes driver training and the employer must be able to demonstrate
that the driver is trained and competent.”

On that basis, as long as training providers which “activities are critical to supporting key workers” and activities are adjusted to “follow Public Health England’s advice regarding good hygiene practices and separation distances,
and if relevant accommodate any site-specific rules to manage the risk of COVID-19 infection” – then training can proceed

Below we have the comments from the two influencers in getting a response, along with Vince J Hueston one of our Directors. Taking the above into account, if you are within a key industry and have training requirements that HL Training Services can assist with, please contact us on 0117 9255625 or email

COVID-19 NEWS Forklift Training
Pallet Stacker Training

“Forklift operator training is required by law and employers have a legal obligation to ensure the safety of their staff. During this time, those who supply essential items such as food and medical resources are classed as critical workers, so it is extremely important that they receive appropriate training on the equipment they are required to use. “

Adam Smith, Managing Director of AITT

“Training for lift trucks must continue as it will help critical workers do their job safely and effectively.” 

“Ideally training should be on a one-to-one basis, in line with government instructions to limit gatherings to no more than two people. Instructors and trainees should also keep two metres apart and follow all Public Health England guidance.”

Nick Welch, Technical Director at RTITB

“We are committed to delivering training to Critical Workers following HSE and Public Health England guidelines

For any companies who fit the criteria outlined by the HSE, we are here to help and have Instructors available by accredited by either AITT, RTITB or ITSSAR”

Vince J Hueston, Director at HL Training Services

Pre Use / Pre Shift Checks

Do you undertake a pre use / pre shift check prior to operating Mechanical Handling Equipment (MHE)? Were pre use checked covered in your original training? How do you record pre use checks within your organisation? These are all questions we ask candidates who attend our centre for training. Its surprising how many are not aware this is a legal requirement.

Whilst being trained to operator MHE, whether its a Counterbalance Forklift, Reach Truck or a Pallet Truck, the requirement remains. Not only does the candidate need to carry out a pre-use check, they need to demonstrate a clear understanding of it. Being a visual and functional check, there are a lot of aspects required to complete a check – these are always in accordance with the Lift Truck manufactuers recommendations and/or the company procedures in place.

During the pre shift check, the candidate will be examined by a qualified instructor as to whether they meet the minimum standard required to carry out the check correctly and efficiently.

Below is an example of some elements that may be required to be checked on a Counterbalance or Reach Truck as per the ABA requirements;

  • Fork Arms/Attachments
  • Carriage Plate
  • Mast
  • Mast Rollers and Slides
  • Lift Chains
  • Lift Chain Pulleys
  • Rated Capacity Plate
  • Hydraulic Systems
  • Wheels
  • Tyres
  • Hydraulic Controls
  • Drive & Braking
  • Steering

There are plenty of other elements that require checking, however the above list are the elements that have been deemed safety critical.

If you are not sure as to what your companies procedures are for checking Forklift Trucks, be sure to find out prior to operating. Additionally, if you could benefit from implemented an approved daily check log book (contents follows approved ABA Guidelines) – we have developed a Daily Check Log Book, with Fault Criteria Reporting including so managers and supervisors are aware of going issues with forklifts within the organisation. This helps to know what needs trucks need repairing, who found the fault, and who it has been reported to.

If you would like a sample of our book, please email

Welcome to the family…

HL strive to improve our service to our customers in every aspect, and 2019 was no different. We have always improved our facilities, IT, and most importantly our trucks.

Since we have been in our Barton Hill address we have acquired some amazing trucks. See below our amazing acquisitions throughout our time in Barton Hill.

(In no particular order)

A3 Pedestrian Counterbalance. This was acquired from a customer, however we only had for a short while due to Wilmat themselves approaching us to purchase it.

A3 Pedestrian Counterbalance Forklift

A3 Pedestrian Counterbalance Forklift

A5 Pallet Stacker. Acquired from a different customer who were moving premises and changing how their warehouse works, making Stackers surplus to requirements. This is an amazing Jungheinrich truck as per below picture.

F1 VNA Operator Up.Acquired and fitted with a wire system, this truck has truly given HL something unique.

VNA Forklift Training @ our Barton Hill Centre

VNA Forklift Training @ our Barton Hill Centre

Lorry Loader.In 2018, we purchased an ex Travis Perkins lorry to replace our existing Lorry. We’ve always had a high demand for HIAB training, but everyone now prefer to use a truck with remote control. This was our 2018 investment. And so far, it’s worked out perfectly. We have candidate come from all over the UK just to be trained on remote control.

Lorry Loader, with Grab in use and remote control

Lorry Loader, with Grab

2019 was the turn of our D1 Reach Truck.We have had a very reliable Linde R16 Reach Truck which we’ve had for many years. It truly was part of the HL family. Unfortunately, the age of the truck came hand in hand with the issues that kept arising. We struck up an incredible deal with a local Forklift Truck provider, Solution MHE, and we’re excited to be able to utilise an incredible trade to upgrade our a Reach Truck to the Phenomenal Yale truck below.

New Yale Reach Truck, in Yale colours

New Yale Reach Truck, in Yale colours

Not only that, for the FIRST time ever, we have had the new truck painted in HL colours. See below.

New Yale Reach Truck, in HL Colours

New Yale Reach Truck, in HL Colours

If you need reach truck training, contact us today. Remember, we have a wide range of trucks, and even offer instructor training.

Welcome to the HL family, to our new Yale Truck.

A bright future for forklift training

December 2019

HL Training Services has opened new opportunities for workplace transport training in the South West following our recent accreditation by the Association of Industrial Truck Trainers.

We are accredited by industry bodies ITSSAR and RTITB, but we have made the major decision to gain a third accreditation, after noticing a lack of availability for AITT courses in the West Country.

“Anyone in the South West looking to attend AITT training courses would have to travel to the Midlands or further east,” said Shane Richardson, Director at HL Training Services. “But our new AITT Accreditation means we can provide courses from Bristol, and give people in the surrounding counties, or even those along the south coast, a more local option. We’re essentially creating a South West hub for AITT training that wasn’t there before. It’s a really exciting development.”

Two-thirds of HL Training Services’ instructors will receive AITT registration. In addition, we are aiming to have one Category 4 tutor accredited to AITT, who will be qualified to teach operators and instructors, a significant move that will allow HL Training Services to offer a greater number of courses.

“We ‘train the trainer’, so by ensuring that our instructors are taught to accredited standards, then in turn they will go on to teach forklift operators how to work safely in accordance with HSE guidelines,” said Shane.

“Our aim is to help produce the best instructors, which will benefit the industry in the future, and AITT will help us do that. One of the reasons we chose AITT was the outstanding level of guidance that the organisation provides to training providers and instructors. The team is very friendly and registering with AITT was simple and straightforward; we really enjoy working with them.

“What also stood out to us was the great work that AITT has been doing recently to spread the message about the importance of accredited training. AITT wants to make a difference, and so do we, so it made perfect sense to join. It’s a win-win really.”

Managing Director of AITT, Adam Smith, said: “It’s great to have HL Training Services onboard as this is big step in expanding our network in the South West region. Shane and his team are really committed to ensuring that forklift instructor and operator training is the best it can be, which is an ethos AITT shares.”

Shane believes that providing a greater availability of local options for forklift training will be key for encouraging people to choose accredited courses, as opposed to choosing less reliable non-accredited training.

“Using accredited providers is essential because it gives you proof that the training has been completed to a defined standard, whereas non-accredited training isn’t registered,” explained Shane.

“Accredited training includes an in-depth check and the paperwork is audited to prove that it has been done properly. It gives you peace of mind more than anything. Ideally everyone would choose it, but training organisations such as ours have to make it as easy as possible for people by providing local centres and instructors. The cost of registering to AITT is a nominal fee and it’s insignificant compared to the huge benefits accreditation brings.”

Adam added: “AITT welcomes training providers from any area of the country who are looking to make the easy switch to a supportive accrediting body. Our focus is always on providing the advice and resources that enable providers to deliver exceptional courses to the highest industry standards. I’ve no doubt that HL Training Services will do just that.”

For further information on training contact Shane Richardson on 0117 952 5625 or email

For more information on being AITT Accredited yourself, call Adam Smith of AITT on 01530 810867 or email:

HL Training Services receives AITT accreditation
(Tyrone Williams from AITT, left, and Shane Richardson of HL Training Services, right)

Festive Period – 2019 Opening Hours

See below list of our Festive Opening Hours

23rd Dec – Office Open
24th Dec – Call 0117 9525625 to speak to the team
25th & 26th Dec – Closed
27th, 30th & 31st Dec – Office Closed – call 0117 9525625 to speak to our team.
1st Jan 2020 Closed

2nd Jan 2020 Office Opened as Normal

Any questions or queries you may have in the meantime, please call as above, or email


From all the HL Team, we would like to wish all of our customers & suppliers (Old and New) a Very Merry Christmas, and a fantastic 2020.

Remember, we are now ITSSAR, RTITB & AITT Accredited so we are here for all your training needs for the New Year and Beyond!

Do I need to wear a seat-belt when I operate a forklift truck?

It is a legal requirement to wear a seat belt whilst driving a car or other motor vehicle in the UK, but is it a legal requirement to wear one whilst operating a fork lift?

The answer to this is, for counterbalanced trucks, rough terrain trucks and sideloading trucks, an operator restraining system (e.g. seatbelt) must be fitted since 1998. Older trucks should have a restraining system fitted if the risk assessment indicates there ‘is a risk of the vehicle overturning and where the operator may be trapped between the truck and the ground’ (HSE Website – Lift Trucks – Frequently asked questions) and must comply by 2002 (PUWER 1998).

The HSE also state that ‘where restraining systems are fitted they should be used.’ (HSE Operator Approved Code of Practice – INDG 457).

For trucks manufactured prior to 1998, if the risk of overturning (as outlined above) may cause the operator to be trapped between the truck and ground – which in most cases of the outlined trucks will be true – a seat belt MUST be fitted by 2002 – therefore should be worn to comply.

In addition, any truck which is fitted with a ROPS – Roll-Over Protective Structure, should be fitted with a restraining system. Remember, a Seatbelt is an example of a restraining system, and therefore if present in this instance MUST be worn.

The ONLY exception to NOT wearing seatbelt is when reversing as per the DVSA advise for reversing Motor Vehicles, which allows the operator to comfortably and accurately operate the lift truck in reverse, a medical reason or where a risk assessment indicates an increased risk due to the seat belt – all of which are subject to risk assessment.

As the HSE Operator Approved Code of Practice is not law, the wearing of a seatbelt is NOT a legal requirement, however it could also be used as evidence in any relevant legal proceeding. Our advice is to wear a seatbelt unless a risk assessment states otherwise.

**PLEASE NOTE** It IS a legal requirement to wear a seatbelt on a Forklift Truck on public highways. This is however subject to the Road Traffic Act 1988.

If you have any questions regarding this article, are seeking advice regarding operator training on any of the stated forklifts, or are looking to booking basic operator or refresher training for your chosen forklift truck, please call the office on 0117 952 5625 or email