What should I consider when selecting a forklift driver?

Care should be taken when selecting potential forklift drivers and consideration should be given to the following (as per the Approved Code of Practice and Guidance published by the HSE).

  • They should be reasonably fit, both physically and mentally, to safely control and operate lift trucks with the learning ability and potential to become competent operators
  • They should be reliable and have a responsible attitude to work
  • They should be over the minimum school leaving age (for more information look at hse.gov.uk/youngpeople/index.htm)

People selected to operate lift trucks should be free from disabilities, either physical or psychological, that might pose a threat to their own health and safety or the safety of others who might be affected by them operating lift trucks. Fitness for operating should always be judged on a case-by-case basis. A risk assessment should be carried out to identify any hazards associated with the job and working environment and to identify the areas of concern. Never allow anyone who is unfit because of alcohol or drugs (prescription or recreational) to drive a lift truck.


The HSE is not prescriptive about the need for medical assessment for fitness to drive lift trucks and there is no legislation relating directly to this topic. However, companies may choose to screen potential operators before placement and then follow the guidelines for Group 2 licences in the DVLA publication “At a glance” which require medical examination every five years from age 45, and every year from age 65 (in line with licence renewal periods). Always seek medical advice where there is any doubt about a person’s fitness to operate a lift truck.


Stackers Training can provide you with advice regarding a selection test for potential operators to avoid wasteful attempts instructing unsuitable trainees.


The above information is taken from the HSE’s Approved Code of Practice and Guidance.