• John Easton
    Hi, the question I have is do our forklift drivers need to have F Endorsements on their driving licences?

    Here is the background,

    Our company is a large manufacturing company and is a privately owned company on private property. The public can drive down our private road on our premises solely for the purposes of picking up and dropping off products. This is done though a large gate which is open during normal working hours and closed at night.
    We have around 20 OSH certified forklift drivers on site and 4 forklifts that they use. Our training provider has indicated that some our drivers should have F Endorsements because of the public access/interaction issue (also good business for them!). Note that we do not and never will be driving on any public roads so for us it is always on our worksite.
    The LTSA have a very broad definition of what a road which states "a road includes a place to which the public have access,whether as a right or not".
    Also our forklifts are not licenced/registered or have warrant of fitness. They are checked daily and services regularly by forklift providers. For F endorsements I presume all forklifts would now require licencing/WOF etc.?
    Note that We also have a traffic management system in place for our site.

  • Andrew
    I.m in a similar situation. The privately owned business on private land is a red herring - that describes most business.

    The test is: does the public have access to the place either by right or not (para phrasing here). Given you leave the gate open the public do have access. Therefore the exterior road is technically a "road". If you have a vehicle on that road you must have an appropriately licensed driver. Thus while outside your forklift operators need an F Endorsement. Inside your building you can get away with an OSH Endorsement.
  • SafetylawyerNZ
    The other thing to think about is operator competence - it is really easy for WorkSafe to assert that getting a licence is a practicable step to improve competence, even if a licence isn't otherwise needed.
  • John Easton
    Thanks Andrew, in that case do all you forklifts have WOF/registration/licence? Also if we have gate control through physical barriers and signage related to entry conditions then would this be sufficient to avoid the need for F endorsements?
  • Andrew
    Outside "yard" forklifts do have WOF / Registration. Inside forklifts are for inside use only and don't have WOFs - but subject to usual checks.

    We can close our gates during the day and turn the yard into a "non-road" but figure this is too disruptive to transport operators, customers and contractors who visit site during the day.

    SafetyLawyerNZ. The problem with F endorsement is that it is a once in a life time assessment of competence. The OSH one is much better as that is every 2 years. (Bearing in mind a F or OSH does not warranty ongoing competence)
  • Michelle Dykstra
    Our OSH course training provider told me last year that there are plans afoot to forge a happy merger between F endorsements and OSH certificates. Not sure what shape or form that would take or when it will happen.

    I agree with SafetyLawyerNZ in that F endorsements are a necessary prerequisite, remembering also that only full Class 1 licence holders can obtain an F endorsement.
  • Darren Cottingham
    The F endorsement was slated for removal by NZTA last November, but then the government changed and it seems it's not a priority at the moment. It's basic common sense you would know from driving a car and that was NZTA's rationale (this was conveyed to me at the annual driving instructor's conference). If you have an F endorsement you still need to do the operator's certificate every 3 years, as per the Code.
    Most of our clients who have gate controls or signage treat their yard as a private, enclosed area with no need for an F endorsement or a WoF on the forklifts as long as they don't exit the gates.

    @safetylawyernz - the F endorsement and operator's certificate only prove competence on the day of the test, not ongoing competence. Supervisors should be adequately trained so they can ensure ongoing competence is displayed in the workplace. This is the main problem with forklift training at the moment - if you send your operators out to a course they get some kind of assessment (but not always). The operators return, but the supervisors don't know how to assess, therefore the supervisors can't measure competence on an ongoing basis. We are the only training company that does train the supervisors to do this as part of the operator's certificate course. The other problem with forklift training is that most training companies aren't honest with clients about the requirement under the Code of Practice.

    @john - most of our clients that have open gates with signage and some level of traffic control treat their yard as a private area, i.e. not requiring an F endorsement. Some clients paint lines for pedestrian walkways or put up cones, etc, to help manage traffic flow. I've never heard of anyone being prosecuted by police for operating a forklift without an F endorsement on private property, whereas I have heard of police stopping forklift operators who are on the road to check that they have an F endorsement. We also advise clients on a right-of-way to get an F endorsement plus road-registered forklifts because the case for it being the equivalent of a road is very strong. Give me a call if you want to discuss - 021 222 0888
  • Jo Dando
    We are a large NZ Transport company and we have all of our staff that operate forklifts complete their F endorsement. Our branches are able to be accessed by the general public so we must have certified drivers, they also have their OSH F Licence.

    We only have COF's for our forklifts that actually go on the road, however all forklifts are maintained to the COF standard by our service providers
  • Darren Cottingham
    Just to clear up the terminology: there is no such thing as a forklift licence or an OSH certificate or an OSH F licence or an OSH endorsement. There is only:
    • F endorsement
    • Operator's Certificate.

    They can be combined into a course or offered separately. Anything else is either something from history or something someone is making up to sell you something (e.g. some kind of 'certificate' that says you've had a go on a certain type of machine)
  • Rowly Brown
    An OSH Certificate is in fact a Certificate of Competency for a Class / Type of forklift issued by an OSH -approved trainer. OSH verified the training was in accordance with the Code of Practice for Training Operators and Instructors of Powered Industrial Lift Trucks. Osh visited and "approved" the trainer. I don't know that OSH, now Worksafe have continued that function. An F endorsement was issued by an "NZTA" licensed vehicle driving instructor. They were able to issue certificates of competence and endorsements for operators of the range of vehicle / mobile plant types they were approved to instruct on. One class is licensed and other classes are added as endorsements. I believe licenses are required for operating on public roads, but not essential for public "spaces" i.e private spaces the public has free access to.
    However, I am sure that if an operator has an F endorsement on their driver's license, and that license is suspended or cancelled the suspension includes for all the endorsements. So if your forklift operator, truck driver or loader driver only has an endorsement(s) on their car license and that license is suspended due to accumulated demerit points or traffic infringements, for example, they lose the right to drive everything on the license!
    Still need them to operate the mobile plant? Get them through an appropriate course with an approved instructor who offers a Certificate of Competence related to an appropriate Standard.
  • Andrew

    Unless we want to get into semantics an "OSH Certificate" is something we all know about. Its a certificate issued under a code signed off by OSH. One day Worksafe might like to look at a modern amendment and then perhaps we can call it a WorkSafe8429w1a6bf2gyvlf.jpg
    Certificate. Here is an example , from the Code.

    Just on the matter of "competency" the certificate isnot a Certificate of Competency. It is a Certificate of training. If we refer to the Code it says "These certificates should not refer to "competence" as this description may be misleading when applied to someone who has, at this stage, received no more than basic training and has yet to progress to specific job training and familiarisation training"

    And to those relying on signage to avoid a definition of a "road" good luck with that. I wouldn't want to be defending you.
  • Darren Cottingham

    WorkSafe has told us several times that we are not to call it an OSH certificate and that the correct terminology is an Operator's Certificate. Personally, when I'm talking about it, I still use OSH certificate if that's what a client understands. The main issue is that the forklift training industry confuses a client's understanding of what's each qualification is, what's required, when it's to be renewed, what happens if it's not renewed, etc and I'm assuming that is simply to enable them to earn as much money as possible and not because they don't understand it. For example, in your first post, you said 2 years, but 3 years is the requirement in the ACOP. You'd be giving your supplier 50% more business than you'd be obligated to.

    Re the definition of a road, NZTA says this:
    Because of the wide scope of the definition, the courts have developed a number of principles that they apply when considering whether a place is a road. These include that:
    • 'public' means the public in general, and not just a section of the public
    • it is not enough that the place is physically open to the public - they must be shown to be actually using it.

    It would be good for NZTA to make a solid definition because if it was rigidly enforced as-is, a large number of companies with one or two forklifts operating in small and medium industrial units would need to get the F endorsement for everyone and road register all their machines. We have enough trouble convincing these types of people to renew every 3 years (if they've even bothered getting an operator's cert in the first place).
  • Darren Cottingham

    The ACOP covers all powered lift trucks, not specific forklifts. Specific training is done by the PCBU or a nominated trainer and those trainers might create some kind of certificate of training to say that a person has had some kind of training on a specific machine. This is not covered by the ACOP and it leaves it open to any company to create that kind of training. I.e. you could do some training supplied by the distributor or you could do it internally - neither proves ongoing competence and neither are a recognised 'qualification'.

    Competenz now holds a registrar of forklift trainers and provides support services, however, it does not offer forklift training.

    Note that the ACOP is a set of recommendations, it's not law. Section 226(4) of the HSWA says you can comply with the Act in a manner that's different from the Code as long as it has equal or better safety outcomes; the Code has some serious weaknesses, so many companies do use different methods to improve their H&S results.

    The F endorsement is added to your driver licence. Technically you need this if you are operating this in an open, off-road space that the public has access to.

    If a person's licence is suspended, this applies to the F endorsement, too. They can still operate a forklift off the road, but they can't drive a forklift on a road.
  • Andrew
    Thanks Darren. An error on my part - I should clarify. 2 years is our standard. Operators are one of my biggest fears. (Operators tell me they are great - but go round and count the tyre scuff marks and scrape marks the evidence says otherwise!).

    We want to do better than the code which says "It is recommended that retraining be undertaken every three years and that the certificate issued should reflect this". (This "enhanced" refresher training is but one approach, others including risk of losing job)
  • Sheri Greenwell
    At the end of the day, doesn't this risk, like every other, come down to doing everything that is 'reasonably practical' to manage the risk? In the absence of legislation that mandates requirements, we then need to look to 'tertiary' regulatory instruments, or as I like to call them, de facto laws. Guidelines, Codes of Practice, industry standards, etc would all detail what we 'ought reasonably to have known' and what would be expected as 'reasonably practical'.
  • Andrew
    OP - you might want to check out recent ticketing of drivers for not wearing seatbelts in a car park. Seems to be because car park was deemed a "road" due to its accessibility by the public.
  • Jono Johnson
    The operators should be wearing them regardless - "should" be the first thing they do when they hop in the machine.
  • Peter
    Regarding registration our research indicates that due to exemptions this isn't required yards etc, or to cross a road:

    Exemptions from registration and licensing:
    In some limited situations, you may use an unregistered vehicle on a road. An unregistered vehicle can’t be licensed, which means in the two situations that follow, your vehicle doesn’t have to be registered or licensed.
    Using an unregistered vehicle on a private road Your vehicle doesn’t have to be registered if you only ever use it on a private road. Private road means a road, place or arcade (eg a covered passage
    giving access to a number of shops) laid out or formed on private land by the owner of that land.

    Using a vehicle to cross the road
    You can also drive an unlicensed vehicle on the road only to cross
    the road.
    Crossing the road doesn’t mean you can drive down the road for
    any distance. You must be crossing in a direct line from one side
    of the road to the other.

    See https://www.nzta.govt.nz/assets/resources/factsheets/27/docs/27-exempt.pdf
  • MattD2
    Sorry to dig this one out of the bone-yard but being a new member I have been reading through some old post and this one seemed to end with no clear determination. From what I see @Peter is correct with the comment that a forklift used on a private road doesn't need to be register or licenced:
    Motor vehicles used on a private road are exempt from the requirement to be registered and licensed. — R19 (2) of Land Transport (Motor Vehicle Registration and Licensing) Regulations 2011
    With a private road being defined in the same regulation as:
    For the purposes of subclause (2), private road means a road, place, or arcade laid out or formed on private land by the owner of that land.

    interesting this also exempts forklifts on private land from requiring a WoF (but it still needs to be safe to operate) as in the NZTA Vehicle Inspection Requirements Manual (VIRM) for In-Service Certification forklifts section it specifically states that:
    A forklift that is operated on the road, ie that is registered, requires a WoF. Therefore, the vehicle inspector may inspect a forklift only if it has a registration plate attached to it.

    Note: A forklift used solely on a road that is a private road is not required to be registered (so no registration plate attached), and therefore a WoF cannot and must not be issued. Private road means a road, place or arcade laid out or formed on private land by the owner of that land. A forklift operated on a private road must still be safe and, if operated at night, must be fitted with headlamps or work lamps and rear position lamps.
    — VIRM In-Service Certification (WoF and CoF)

    As to the original question as others have pointed out if the area is open to unrestricted public access then it is considered a road and any forklift operator should have an F endorsement, as there doesn't seem to be any similar exemption to the driver's licencing requirements for forklifts on private roads.
  • Mari
    Hi, can any1 help please. What’s classed as a road? And when does f endorsement come into play?
    Work will pay for my endorsements to be put on my license but they’re saying we don’t need it on our license. They’ve done it in the past but not for a few of us now.

    It’s a port that is fenced off. Has 3 entrances/exits.
    People from other companies come through the gates all the time. I thought it was classed as a public road but this is works response.

    Hope I’ve explained this ok
  • Andrew
    Basically it is anywhere where the public has access.

    We have an inwards road and an out wards road. One road is gated and only opens when trucks/containers go through. The other entrance is open all the time. So despite the fact we are miles from anywhere and no public anywhere nearby we classify all our outsides space as a "road" and any forklift on it has to be driven by someone with F Endorsed drivers licence.
  • Mari
    K ours are restricted and need access cards or by security clearance for visitors. How do I find facts about this? I have the road information but I can’t find information if it’s private property we don’t need the f endorsement or w,t,r.
  • Andrew
    Ok. Heres a bit more of a technical explanation.

    The Land Transport Act defines a road as "blah blah blah "a place to which the public have access, whether as of right or not;"

    So at a logical level this is any place over which a vehicle can travel and is driven by a person. Its why a road can also include a "beach"

    So it makes sense that if someone can drive a forklift around a work yard it would be a road. Especially if a person can gain access (by right or not) to that place.

    However we have to remember the Land Transport Act is a macro Act - it covers New Zeland roads.

    But what about at a local level? Where we actually have our business?

    Well here we have the Local Government Act. And this Act makes specific provision for "private roads"

    A Private road is "any roadway, place, or arcade laid out or formed within a district on private land". The key element here is "private land"

    Which begs the question what is "private land". How do you delineate it from public land and therefore public roads.

    For us, we have taken a belt and braces approach and essentially said coming through our open gates makes it a public road. It really just makes life simple for us if a Forklift Operator has to go out on to the open road for any reason. Basically we say if you are operating outside the building we want an F Endorsement. Or put another way, if you don't leave the building on a forklift you don't need an F endorsement.

    However. If Worksafe visits and they decide to get all bolshy, I'd argue that actually from the place that demarks our open gate is the spot where public road ceases and a private road begins. And I'd pull out our land survey map to prove that.

    And then I would argue that my forklift, while it is on my private land and is not required to be registered and I don't need to show a registration plate. And since it doesn't need to be registered is doesn't need to have a Warrant of Fitness.

    And to cap it all off, if I go back to the Land Transport Act A person must be licensed to drive on a road and if they want to drive a fork lift on a road they must have an F Endorsement. But since my yard is a "private road" (because it is a roadway on private land) and not a "road" my forklift operator does not need an F endorsement.

    So sorry for the long explanation. Its a good argument for why we shouldn't focus on what the law says - we should focus on the right thing to keep our people safe. And frankly having an F Endorsement or an "OSH Certificate" achieves neither.

    And I also reckon it is a crying same Worksafe have not updated their forklift resources for donkeys years. Best I say no more than that.
  • jason farrow
    it is common to have an employer pay for the course and the employee to pay for the endorsement to be added to license, its $40 payable at a vtnz office.
  • Mari
    Thanks for the answers everyone. Much appreciated
  • Gail Swanepoel
    The safest option is for all drivers to obtain an "F" endorsement for their license, especially if unsure about roading.
  • Keith
    As someone with both the F endorsement and operator's certificate I can tell you that neither of these give you competence merely a basic grounding in the rules and regulations and a brief drive of a forklift. on my last course there was a new operator who had never used a forklift yet managed to pass the assessment. My last role was at a distribution centre with more than 60 MHE working on site. None of the operators were required to have an F endorsement by the company as they maintained that controlled entry to the site negated this requirement even though we had truck and trailer units driving through the yard all day long.
  • Nick martin
    I agree with Andrew above, that if you have determined your forklifts don't need to be registered or WoF'ed due to your site conditions ie closed site, private road etc, as discussed above, then an F endorsement for the driver is not needed or of much use to them.
    The F endorsement is only any good to the driver when driving a road legal forklift down a public road.
    Absolutely, get them trained and periodically reassessed by a registered instructor, authorize them to drive your forklifts and monitor their competency on an ongoing basis.
  • Rodney Grant
    Hi all, I am the CEO of the Hire Industry association of NZ (HIANZ), Elevating Work Platform Association (EWPA) and the NZ Forklift Industry Association (NZFIA). Speaking on behalf of the NZFIA, we wrote a Forklift Good Practice Guideline and published it earlier this year, see Forklift GPG . This document is currently going through an endorsement process with Worksafe, with the goal to have a guidance document to point to and allow the Minister to revoke the 1995 ACOP for forklift operations and training. The GPG covers off the topic of what is a road in regard to Forklift operation which has been well received (pages 60-62). It has been presented to NZTA who, unofficially welcomed a definition and would look to adopt it should our guidance be accepted.
    We have been lobbying and advocating the "F" endorsement be removed and that forklifts are afforded the same requirements as Agricultural tractors and the like.
    Further, the industry would like to see the determination of competency for all forklift operations, to be the same as Mobile Elevating Work Platforms, using the NZQA Unit standard framework. This requires an update and expansion of the current unit standards so that all types and operations can be assessed on a consistently applied standard across the country.
    your support and feedback on the GPG is greatly received. Visti our website for more information and contact details, even better, become a member. Good chat...
    Rodney Grant
    Hire Industry Association of New Zealand (Inc.)
    Elevating Work Platform Association of New Zealand (Inc.)
    New Zealand Forklift Industry Association (Inc.)
    1A Marsh Street | Tauranga, 3110
    P O Box 8109 | Cherrywood | Tauranga, 3145
    Tel: +64 7 575 2563 | Mob: +64 21 997 184
    e: | w: HIANZ Website
    e: | w: EWPA Website
    e: | w: NZFIA Website
  • Steve H
    Hello Rodney, just been reading your FL GPG, it seems a bit light on battery electric forklifts, safe charging practices, battery changeovers, ventilation for charging bays etc, is this covered in a dedicated Electric FL GPG?
    The forks on FLs are commonly referred to as Tynes also.
  • Darren Cottingham
    Hi all,
    In reply to Rodney's email above regarding the forklift Good Practice Guide. I contributed to the document as part of a group of trainers and others who put a lot of time into ensuring that companies and forklift operators are provided with reliable, up-to-date, relevant material. NZFIA should be commended for taking on this project.
    It's undoubtedly an improvement on the ACOP but, to clarify, 'industry' does not universally want to see the determination of forklift competency to be the same as EWPs where every type of machine has a different unit standard. This proposal has a massive number of fishhooks and complications in it, notwithstanding that there is no evidence it will reduce incident rates.
    It should be noted that for MEWPs WorkSafe says ONE method of determining competency is via unit standards, but that an equivalent or higher qualification will also suffice as long as it covers AS2550.10. The same applies to forklifts (i.e. do a unit standard, or do a course which covers the ACOP or better).
    Introducing a new set of unit standards will decrease flexibility and increase costs for business; we all know how difficult it is to get unit standards reviewed when necessary.
    NZFIA is lobbying to remove the F endorsement. This is a great idea - it's confusing for businesses to understand when they need it and when they don't, and it's pointless. The few relevant things that you learn in an F endorsement should be included in any forklift operator's certificate course.
    So, to recap (from an industry and training perspective): the GPG is a great reference document, but section 12 implies that unit standards are already required, which they are not (except for the current F endorsement), and industry (companies we have polled) do not want to have a separate unit standard for every type of forklift when current competency-based training suffices. Training companies see huge issues with the proposed training and certification regime, including the increase in training costs which will actually discourage companies from getting training, and the difficulty of getting any kind of replicable standard of assessment given the hundreds of ways in which forklifts are used. Our understanding, too, is that WorkSafe will not be endorsing any more GPGs; the last one is the Sideloader GPG.
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