QOne of our employees says that they are not prepared to get involved with fire alarm testing unless they are sent on a fire marshal’s course. They said that doing so is a legal requirement. Are they right?

AThere is no legal requirement for those who test fire safety equipment to undergo fire marshal training. That said, the law does require those completing such tests to be competent to do so. This means that you must provide full training in how the system works, all of the emergency functions you have on your premises and what test cycles and so on must be run.

Guidance material: to identify how to run the test programme, you should use the material provided by the equipment supplier.

How can we control damage to forklifts?

QUnfortunately, our forklift trucks keep getting damaged. In most cases it is minor things such as mirrors and lights. However, the repair bills are mounting up. How can we stop this from happening?

AObviously, you don’t want your valuable vehicles being treated like bumper cars. Fortunately, there are ways to curb dodgy driving habits. The best way is to bring in daily/weekly recorded checks on the trucks. This way, the operator will have to record any damage to the truck prior to using it.

So, for example, if a light is out, they must record this. They also need to put a date against the note, which means you will be able to identify when the damage occurred and who was driving the vehicle at the time.

You should find that this will lead to a marked improvement in driving standards.

l The following documents can be downloaded from http://hse-docs.co.uk:

Fire Alarm Testing Instructions and Forklift Inspection Record