The CLARK S-SERIES lift truck is Built To Last® from the ground up. Durability of CLARK’s S-SERIES begins with the frame of the lift truck. That durability comes from features such as a one-piece fully-welded frame, heavy gauge steel, 5/8 inch thick durable fenders, integral tie-downs and more.
As managers and owners, we want a safe work environment for all of our employees. Unfortunately, all too often it escapes us. Time passes quickly, and initiatives that were once important standards become guidelines or even merely suggestions. How can we ensure that when we put safety measures in place, they will stay in place as employees come and go in a business climate that is constantly in flux?
While we lack the space to answer this question in full detail here, there are a few major approaches to providing a safe work environment that transcend industries, equipment and facilities. We outline these “hows and whys” of workplace safety below.
Since 1970, OSHA has worked to create a safer workplace for all employees, and their mission has been very successful. However, accidents still happen, and not only at companies willfully violating OSHA standards. Sometimes safety goes beyond meeting standards due to unique circumstances in certain operations.
The following are a few approaches to safety that have helped both large and small companies to achieve better workplace safety, fewer incidents and accidents, lower costs, more productivity and better workplace attitudes.
Safety is integrated with company mission
Safe companies put as much emphasis on doing things safely as on doing them productively. From day one, every employee knows they are working for a company that would rather they do their job safely than quickly. These employees will lockout a piece of equipment when something goes wrong, will replace light bulbs that need it instead of ignoring them and will report unsafe behavior or unsafe conditions.
Training never ends
Employees are involved in ongoing training – how to lift more safely, , how to operate a certain piece of equipment and so on. Your business is fluid: things change; equipment changes; and equipment, building space and employees are added. As your conditions change, your training must address these changes. Training for the safest work environments is never a one-time event or a two- or three-day training initiation. It is an ongoing pursuit of the safest possible work facility. It should be a goal of all employees to see that their coworkers go home safe every night.
Involvement at all levels
While involvement in a safe work environment must start from the corner office, the mission and strategy it is also important to ensure that every employee knows that they are involved and responsible. It is a good idea to create safety teams for every facet of your business, to revolve people in and out of those teams, and to have them conduct frequent facility or department reviews to identify potential threats. The most successful companies have reward systems for reporting anything that could be a potential threat, even if it is as minor as a sharp corner on a coat rack. This keeps all employees engaged in creating a safe work environment.
Once you have established your safety mission and mapped out your strategy, everyone involved must be held accountable. No one can shirk their safety responsibilities. If a sharp corner on a coat rack is missed and someone gets cut, find out why no one noticed. Are they doing regular inspections? If safety standards are not being met, it is the leadership’s job to find out why and fix it. Everyone must know that if an accident happens on their watch, it must be accounted for and a plan must be designed to ensure that it will not happen again.
A truly safe, productive and profitable workplace is attained through ongoing efforts, and these are just a few of the major strategies that play out in successful organizations. We encourage you to seek the assistance of OSHA, NIOSH or other private safety consultants to help you organize and strategize your safety plans.
If there is anything we can help you with in regard to your equipment and its operators, please contact us. We would be happy to assist you!
The hot summer months are upon us. With increased heat and humidity workers become more susceptible to heat-related illnesses. Workers who are not accustomed to working in the heat can quickly become ill and experience heat stroke, which can lead to serious illness and even death. There are a few things to keep in mind about heat-related illness and what you can do to help prevent it in your workers.
Train your employees about the dangers of heat-related illnesses. OSHA has excellent training information and materials to help you relate this information to all of your employees who work in the heat. Part of that training should be to recognize the symptoms of heat-related illnesses and to act upon them immediately. Never brush it off and continue working. The symptoms exist for a reason!
Understand that all employees are not equally able to resist the heat. Employees should be able to assess their own conditioning and how well they handle heat. Employees who are taking certain prescription medications or have certain chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, need to pay special attention to how they feel while working. Employees who are new to outdoor jobs are often most susceptible to heat-related illnesses. Try to ease them into the normal workload gradually, until you’re confident they are acclimated.
Improve Access to Hydration
Provide additional water stations during the hotter months, at more convenient locations, and encourage employees to drink water every 15 minutes or so, based on temperature. Never wait until you are thirsty to start re-hydrating.
Be More Shady
For employees working outdoors provide areas to escape the sun for their breaks. Some install series of smaller pop-up style protection, others will rent large more permanent tent-style protection for workers to get a short respite from the sun. Exposure to the sun increases body heat, heart rate, perspiration and likelyhood of heat exhaustion.
Give ’em a Break
Provide for more frequent breaks. In the long run employees will be more productive in the heat if they are getting proper rest to allow their bodies to cool down while also keeping themselves better hydrated during these breaks.
Air it Out
Proper ventilation and air movement inside your warehouse or material handling facility is very important in keeping the temperature at safe levels and your workers cool. Ceiling fans, screen doors for warehouse dock doors, and roof vents are great ways to keep your facility comfortable and more productive.
Under OSHA law, employers are responsible for providing workplaces free of known safety hazards. This includes protecting workers from extreme heat. An employer with workers exposed to high temperatures should establish a complete heat illness prevention program.
- Provide workers with water, rest and shade.
- Allow new or returning workers to gradually increase workloads and take more frequent breaks as they acclimatize, or build a tolerance for working in the heat.
- Plan for emergencies and train workers on prevention.
- Monitor workers for signs of illness.
OSHA has provided a wealth of information to help you provide a safe atmosphere to deal with the summer heat. While OSHA does not have a standard pertaining to preventing heat illnesses, it is up to us to be sure we have done everything that we can to help our employees stay safe and avoid heat-related illnesses.
- See OSHA’s Heat Safety Campaign and related information.
- Download OSHA’s Heat Safety App for iPhone and Android.
- NOAA’s “Beat the Heat” Campaign Webpage
Well-trained and equipped employees are more productive employees. Keeping them safe from the heat during the summer months ensures better productivity for tomorrow and years beyond. But it is ultimately up to us as the employers to be sure our employees are prepared to understand and act accordingly to ensure their own safety.
Building on over 100 years of lift truck innovations, design and industry firsts. The evolution continues…. the CLARK S-Series, the next generation of lift trucks. The the S-Series line-up in our CLARK Forklifts Showroom.
Building on over 100 years of lift truck innovations, design and industry firsts. The evolution continues…. the CLARK S-Series, the next generation of lift trucks.
Safety is one of the primary pillars of a productive and profitable material handling operation. Unfortunately, most small to mid-size companies to not have the resources for a safety and compliance manager, much less a safety department. OSHA has tools available to these companies, like yours, to help you not only gain compliance, but how to look at your operation with a “safety eye” and help you identify potential hazards before they become health, safety or legal issues.
OSHA’s Compliance Assistance QuickStart will help you identify the guidelines that apply to your operation, teach you how to survey your operation for potential hazards and violations, and assist you in developing a safety program to ensure compliance and a healthy, safe operation based on your individual needs.
Once you have established needs, OSHA’s tools help you learn how to train your employees to perform their functions safely and be on the lookout for potential safety hazards that might pop up unannounced. Finally, they help you keep records and learn how to report hazards and incidents when they occur to ensure you are maintaining compliance.
Need assistance in getting started? OSHA has you covered. The OSHA Free Consultation program provides you with access to an OSHA consultant who will schedule an appointment with you for a walk-through of your facility. During this consultation, you will receive a pre-inspection conference, a walk-through and a post-inspection conference. Following, the OSHA consultant will provide you with a written report of findings and agreed upon time frame for agreed upon abatement periods. Findings of this consultation will only be reported to OSHA if you fail to correct any serious hazards or situations that present an imminent danger. To learn more about how we can assist you with forklift operator training and compliance, please visit our training page.
The goal is to treat every potential hazard as if someone you love, were doing the job. Getting each of your employees and visitors home safely at night is the key to having them return tomorrow, ready to work, and work productively!