4 Good Reasons to Have a Robust Planned Maintenance Program

In any given market, there are many sources to obtain forklift and lift equipment service. Some are “as needed” while others, like Tri-Lift put together a comprehensive plan to perform periodic or “planned” maintenance on forklift fleets all over North Carolina. Forklifts generally do a lot of work, produce a tremendous amount of pressure and heat and internal working parts take a lot of wear on a daily basis. When we talk about planned maintenance to customers, there are many reasons to engage a reliable source, and have a robust program. But it boils down to four main reasons:

  1. Safety – First and foremost, forklifts that are operating within manufacturers normal parameters are safe to operate. Worn chains, forks, tires, brakes or other critical parts can create dire safety hazards and accidents can turn horrible in a moment. In addition, when operators know they are using safely maintained equipment, they are more comfortable, more productive and have a better sense of “having their backs” as company management seeks to provide them with safe equipment to operate.
  2. Lower Costs – Like the old Fram Filter commercial…you can pay me now, or pay me later… usually a LOT more, later. Catching small maintenance issues before they blossom into giant repair headaches reduces your overall costs.
  3. Improved Productivity – Forklifts that are in good working order break down far less than those that are not. Forklifts that don’t break down, spend more time in productive capacity. It also reduces rental forklift needs down time and other hidden costs of break downs.
  4. Increased Equipment Useful Life – If maintained properly a forklift will last longer allowing you to get more “bang for your purchase dollar.”

Of course, none of these will apply unless you’re trusting your maintenance to a provider with a history of professional service, well trained technicians that can show you exactly what is performed on a routine Planned Maintenance visit. A professional company will work with you to set up service intervals that make sense for your operation since no two are exactly alike.

Visit our Planned Maintenance Webpage to learn more about our approach. Then Contact Us or give us a call for a quote tailored to your program.


Would Your Forklift Operator Training Hold Up in Court?

We know that forklift operator training is required by OSHA. While your training may meet OSHA’s requirements, you need to look further to determine if your training is adequate for your operation and would your training hold up in court under the scrutiny of a civil court case.

This article, written by an attorney for Lift and Access Magazine, highlights what trial attorneys will target and the kinds of questions he and his clients have faced in a civil trial. While this article focuses mainly on Aerial Work Platforms, our clients with forklifts face the same exposure if their training doesn’t do more than meet OSHA standards. This article addresses a few particular questions faced in a civil trail where damages are being sought:

  • How long did your training take, and what materials were used?
  • What was the content of the practical exam and could anyone fail?
  • What equipment was used?

With the myriad of different types of forklift equipment our customer use, we must also ask?

  • Are all of your operators trained to use ALL of the different equipment types in your facility?
  • Did you provide facility-specific training for your operators to address all the potential dangers in your facility?
  • Do you have a system to identify when refresher training is needed and is it being followed?
  • Is your program ongoing, or was training a one-time occurrence, and certificates issued?
  • Who performed your training and was the source experienced and credible?

The goal of your training should be not to meet OSHA standards, but to ensure that each of your employees that operates lift equipment, can do so safely and the effort is placed on bringing everyone back to work tomorrow safely.


Four Decades of OSHA; See the Results

History has taught us that quality, safety and productivity result from the setting of and adherence to high standards. Although OSHA has at times, been a much-maligned agency, the results on workplace safety speak for themselves. Their setting of high standards for workplace safety has resulted in a dramatic drop in worker injury and death. Their agency has also made a tremendous effort to not only create and enforce high standards of safety, but also to provide education and information to actually help companies in their efforts to create a safe and productive workplace. Below are the results.

  • In 1913 there were a recorded 23,000 industrial deaths among 38 million US workers (source: Bureau of Labor and Statistics)
  • Between 1935 and 1960 there were over 400,000 workers killed in industrial related accidents in the US.
  • In the 1960’s there was a 20% increase in reported workplace accidents.
  • Although the workplace doubled in size between 1970 and 2009, worker deaths DECREASED from over 14,000 to about 4,400.
  • Reported workplace injuries and illnesses decreased from 10.9 incidents per 100 workers in 1972 to less than 4 incidents per 100 workers in 2010

Much of the ground that has been made in workplace safety is a result of creation and enforcement of strict workplace safety. These standards are enforced through a consistent measure of inspections. Many standards called for requirements of employers to provide a wide variety of PPE’s (Personal Protective Equipment) not previously required by employers.

While there have been times that OSHA and it’s many regulations have seemed like a burden, and indeed they can be. No one can discredit the results. One of the most important tasks we take on as employers is the duty to bring all of our employees back safely to work, tomorrow.

Top Cited OSHA Standards for 2012

The following were the top 10 most frequently cited standards in fiscal year 2012:
  1. Fall protection, construction (29 CFR 1926.501)
  2. Hazard communication standard, general industry (29 CFR 1910.1200)
  3. Scaffolding, general requirements, construction (29 CFR 1926.451)
  4. Respiratory protection, general industry (29 CFR 1910.134)
  5. Control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout), general industry (29 CFR 1910.147)
  6. Powered industrial trucks, general industry (29 CFR 1910.178)
  7. Electrical, wiring methods, components and equipment, general industry (29 CFR 1910.305)
  8. Ladders, construction (29 CFR 1926.1053)
  9. Machines, general requirements, general industry (29 CFR 1910.212)
  10. Electrical systems design, general requirements, general industry (29 CFR 1910.303)

As you can see, powered industrial trucks received frequent citations from OSHA. Be sure your fleet is safely maintained and your operators are trained. Learn more about our Service and Training Capabilities, then give us a call. We would appreciate the opportunity to work with you to make your operation safer, more productive and more profitable.


Keep Your Cool This Summer with OSHA’s Heat Safety Tool App

When you’re working in the heat, safety comes first. With the OSHA Heat Safety Tool, you have vital safety information available whenever and wherever you need it – right on your mobile phone.

The App allows workers and supervisors to calculate the heat index for their worksite, and, based on the heat index, displays a risk level to outdoor workers. Then, with a simple “click,” you can get reminders about the protective measures that should be taken at that risk level to protect workers from heat-related illness-reminders about drinking enough fluids, scheduling rest breaks, planning for and knowing what to do in an emergency, adjusting work operations, gradually building up the workload for new workers, training on heat illness signs and symptoms, and monitoring each other for signs and symptoms of heat-related illness. Visit OSHA to learn more and download the app for your Android, iPhone or iPad.


America’s 10 Most Dangerous Jobs

Training goes a long way in keeping your forklift operators, and pedestrians safe in your facilities. But there are inherent risks in certain vocations that can not be dismissed. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, following are the 10 most dangerous jobs in America, based on number of deaths per 100,000 employees:

  1. Fishing – 127.3 per 100,000 workers
  2. Logging – 104 per 100,000 workers
  3. Aircraft Pilots and Engineers – 56.1 per 100,000 workers
  4. Refuse and Recycle Material Collectors – 36.4 per 100,000 workers
  5. Job Roofers – 34.1 per 100,000 workers
  6. Structural Iron and Steel Workers – 30.3 per 100,000 workers
  7. Job Helpers, Construction – 26.8 per 100,000 workers
  8. Farmers and Ranchers – 26.1 per 100,000 workers
  9. Truck Drivers – 25.9 per 100,000 workers
  10. Natural Resources and Mining – 22.1 per 100,000 workers

While forklift operator did not make the list, and we’re thankful, training goes a long way to ensure your employee safety and reduce product damage and loss.

Visit our Forklift Operator Safety Training Webapge, then contact us to discuss a training program for your operators at 800-929-0561.


OSHA Forklift Operator Training Program Outline

OSHA has an excellent eTool for powered industrial trucks. One of the most useful components is their outline for a successful forklift operator training program. Below are the major components.

  1. Introduction
  2. Types, Features and Physics
  3. Inspecting the Vehicle
  4. Driving the Truck
  5. Load Handling
  6. LPG Lift Trucks
  7. Battery and Charging
  8. Safety Concerns
  9. Specific Truck and Workplace Training (Hands-On)
  10. Certification of Completion of the Course

See the details of each section HERE. Visit our Operator Safety Training Page then contact us with any questions at 800-929-0561.