The Costs of Not Protecting the Workforce: A New Report from OSHA

Cost of Workplace InjuriesA new report generated by OSHA highlights the real costs associated with on the job injuries, who pays them and how this impacts the employee and taxpayers.

Whether an employee is working on a high-rise building or driving a forklift, employers have the responsibility, and what we feel is an obligation to protect their employees from injury. By investing in training and safety, employers get fewer injuries, lower costs, more productivity and an improved satisfaction which often leads to less turn over. But all companies do not feel that way. Many are finding ways to avoid responsibility for providing safe working conditions for their most dangerous jobs.

The report highlights what some companies do to avoid responsibility and what this does to not only the employee, but his/her family and taxpayers when an accident with injury occurs. Shifting the financial burden however does not make it go away. It shifts it to over-burdened worker’s compensation and government systems. In addition, a worker who is injured can expect to make an average of 15% less income after the injury. And while the creating of OSHA in 1970 by President Nixon has greatly reduced on the job accidents, injuries and deaths dramatically, we still have approximately 4,500 deaths every year due to workplace accidents.

As a full-service forklift dealership, safety is one of our most important topics. Forklifts are dangerous pieces of equipment for the operator and anyone working around the forklift. Forklift Operator Training and Pedestrian Training is not only the law, it is our obligation to those that operate forklifts. While manufacturers work hard to innovate and make them safer, nothing can replace a well trained and cautious operator.

We have posted the Executive Summary of the report on our website and feel it is certainly worth a read. The full report can be found HERE.

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Tri-Lift NC Inc. Awarded New Territory by Linde Material Handling

Greensboro, NC, January 9, 2015– Tri-Lift NC Inc. has been just been announced the authorized full line dealership for Linde Material Handling Products in all of North Carolina and 23 counties in South Carolina.

We are very pleased with the announcement and proud to represent such a quality, world-class brand of products in our entire market. We appreciate the confidence that Linde has placed in all of our associates to represent the Linde brand and look forward to a great deal of success for both of our companies. Bob Bond, President, Tri-Lift NC Inc.

Tri-Lift NC Inc. has been representing Linde Material Handling products as the authorized dealership in a portion of North Carolina for over two years. Due to the professional commitment and customer focus demonstrated by the dealership and all of its associates, Linde has expanded Tri-Lift NC’s territory as the authorized full line Linde Material Handling dealer. These additional responsibilities for Linde fit well with Tri-Lift NC’s plans for future growth.

Linde Material Handling, part of the Kion Group, U.S. Headquarters is located at their Summerville, South Carolina manufacturing facility. Linde produces a full line of quality forklifts and material handling equipment.

Tri-Lift NC Inc., based in Greensboro, North Carolina is a full service material handling company with branches in Greensboro, Raleigh, Charlotte, North Carolina and Roanoke, Virginia.

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Robert Bond at 336-691-1511 or email at rbond@tri-liftnc.com.


Is Your New Employee Ready to Operate Your Forklifts Under Your Operating Conditions?

So you’re looking for forklift operators, order pickers or materials handling pros. Your new hire checks off on the application “5 years experience operating a forklift.” Is that sufficient for your operation? If so, you’re wading into dangerous waters unless you have a training plan to ensure that this new employee is has sufficient experience and is trained to operate YOUR type of equipment under YOUR set of operational circumstances.

Section 1910.178 of the OSHA forklift standards regarding refresher training requires that any time new equipment or new a new condition is presented in the workplace, that each forklift operator be trained to operate the new equipment and/or operate with the new condition that been presented. Ensuring that your new hire is familiar with your equipment, your attachments and your operating environment is a very important part of maintaining a high level of safety within your facility. It only takes one under-trained operator to create an unsafe environment for everyone in your facility.

With this in mind, we have developed this Tri-Lift Forklift Operator Questionnaire to assist you in assessing your new hire’s exposure to lift equipment and the conditions that lift equipment was operated under. If you have very unique conditions in your facility or operate very unique equipment with attachments that require training, we encourage you to develop additions to this form to ensure you’re fully assessing your new hire’s ability to maintain facility safety.

Our goal is to help you maintain the highest level of safety, productivity and efficiency. Well-trained forklift operators have proven time and time again to be the answer to improved operations.

If you need assistance with forklift operator training, visit our Training Page, then Contact Us or give us a call at 866-393-9833.


When is Forklift Operator Refresher Training Required, and Recommended

By now we all know that anyone that operates lift trucks in your facility MUST be trained to do so. This training needs to be done on YOUR type of equipment, operated in YOUR facility. But when does and operator need to be “refreshed” on forklift operator training, and why? OSHA States:

1910.178(l)(4)(i) – Refresher training, including an evaluation of the effectiveness of that training, shall be conducted as required by paragraph (l)(4)(ii) to ensure that the operator has the knowledge and skills needed to operate the powered industrial truck safely.
1910.178(l)(4)(ii) – Refresher training in relevant topics shall be provided to the operator when:
1910.178(l)(4)(ii)(A) – The operator has been observed to operate the vehicle in an unsafe manner;
1910.178(l)(4)(ii)(B) – The operator has been involved in an accident or near-miss incident;
1910.178(l)(4)(ii)(C) – The operator has received an evaluation that reveals that the operator is not operating the truck safely;
1910.178(l)(4)(ii)(D) – The operator is assigned to drive a different type of truck; or
1910.178(l)(4)(ii)(E) – A condition in the workplace changes in a manner that could affect safe operation of the truck.
1910.178(l)(4)(iii) – An evaluation of each powered industrial truck operator’s performance shall be conducted at least once every three years.

This means that when you hire a new forklift operator, or someone that might operate a forklift for any reason in your facility, you need to find out what type of equipment they have been trained to operate, how and under what conditions. If your new employee previously operated electric order pickers in a distribution setting and your operation utilizes IC forklifts used outdoors, your new employee will need refresher training using your type of equipment under your conditions. This condition would apply under sections D and E as outlined above.

This could also be said for a current employee transferring from another facility that uses different types of attachments or moves different kinds of products. You would need to provide hands-on training and evaluation for your equipment, how to use it, what it does to capacity rating and how to safety maneuver your goods around your facility.

A new employee may have had training at a previous job, using similar equipment under similar conditions. If however, you as a supervisor determine that the new employee is not exhibiting sufficient knowledge of forklift safety, complete training may be an order. OSHA doesn’t address every situation and condition in it’s standard 1910.178, but it is up to us to carefully evaluate our operators on a regular basis and determine if we think refresher training is needed, or if an employee needs to undergo complete training.

Our goal is to help you achieve the safest and most productive workplace in North Carolina. if you feel you could use a partner in Forklift Operator Training, please Contact Us, or give us a call at 866-393-9833.


OSHA Announces 2014 Most Cited Standards

Patrick Kapust, deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs, and Kyle W. Morrison, S+H’s senior associate editor, announced OSHA’s Top 10 list in front of a crowd gathered on the Expo Floor.

For the fourth year in a row, OSHA’s Fall Protection Standard (1926.501) is the agency’s most frequently cited violation.

The entire list is as follows:

  1. Fall Protection in Construction (1926.501)
  2. Hazard Communication (1910.1200)
  3. Scaffolding in Construction (1926.451)
  4. Respiratory Protection (1910.134)
  5. Lockout/Tagout (1910.147)
  6. Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178)
  7. Electrical – Wiring Methods (1910.305)
  8. Ladders in Construction (1926.1053)
  9. Machine Guarding (1910.212)
  10. Electrical – General Requirements (1910.303)

The data is preliminary. S+H will publish the finalized data.


Long-Term Forklift Rentals Getting More Attention

Conventional wisdom dictated that when you needed a forklift, you look for the best model to fit your operational needs, then arranged financing or purchased the forklift outright. That paradigm seems to be shifting. The reasons aren’t clear to us completely. But it seems that more companies are looking for flexibility and ways to keep cash readily available for use in their growing businesses, instead of tying it up in depreciating equipment that could be obsolete tomorrow.

Long-term renting, unlike leasing puts the owness of maintenance of us, the company renting the forklift. The forklift remains in ownership by the dealer unless there are options otherwise. This flexibility by the equipment owner (us) allows you the renter to budget easily and free yourself of unexpected repairs and service calls. What you’re responsible for can be flexible as well, depending upon your situation and requirements. We can even tailor upgrades for your forklifts should you anticipate business changes that would require alternate equipment.

If you’re looking at forklift equipment acquisition, ask about a long-term rental program for your equipment, then discuss it with your financial adviser to ensure it’s best for your business. Then contact us or give us a call at 866-393-9833 to discuss a plan that fits your operation and budget.


Why Daily Forklift Inspections Improve Your Bottom Line

We’ve addressed proper inspection techniques in this Feature Article some time ago. We even have Inspection Form free to download HERE, copy and use/distribute as needed, to help you perform complete inspections. We even have a VIDEO to help you train your drivers visual how to inspect a forklift before each shift. Beyond the obvious employee safety aspects of having operators thoroughly, what other benefits does your business gain?

Fewer accidents means less down time. Down time equals reduced productivity, which reduces your effectiveness, increases your costs and impacts your bottom line.

Less damage to product, equipment and facility. Forklifts and lift equipment are kept in better working order, less product has to be returned, repaired or tossed out, and your facility needs fewer repairs. All of this equals a healthier bottom line.

Lower worker’s comp and general insurance costs. A business with fewer accidents will generally pay less insurance costs, and certainly lower worker’s comp. insurance.

Improved productivity. Operators that understand how the equipment works, doesn’t work and knows your facilities strengths and weaknesses are more productive employees. Improved productivity equals an improved bottom line.

Increased useful life of your lift equipment. This is a great benefit often overlooked. Just like your car or anything else you own, if you take better care of it, it will last longer and have greater value when you trade it in. Daily inspections and catching small items before they blossom into giant repair headaches increases the useful life and value of your forklifts.

But this is all predicated on an effective and ongoing training program. Having a partner that’s dedicated to training and has experience training forklift operators is the key to an effective program. Visit our Forklift Safety Training Webpage. Contact Us for more information or to speak with someone, just give us a call at 888-393-9833.