Discussion:
Forklift Safety- Proactive Companies

Hi all, first time on this forum and was hoping some of you could share some of your wisdom and expierience. My company has over 80 operators and has requested I do some reserch into developing an internal program for Lift Truck Safety. We currently use a third party for operator safety training certification, however as you know this is not enough; I wish to develope an additional program internally to remind operators more frequently the importance of operator safety. Ideas so far are: Lift Truck Competitions, Awards for Safe Driving, Supervisor Training, etc.
My question.... can anyone share informatoin regarding sucessful programs being utalized with other large companies in their area?
Any ideas would be of help...
  • Posted 13 Oct 2004 09:25
  • Discussion started by RCD450
  • Alberta, Canada
Showing items 1 - 15 of 22 results.
I suggest you visit www.speedshield.com.au This product is the only one I knoe of that fully addresses speed controller and safety.

Also this publication is excellent from Australia
http://www.workcover.vic.gov.au/vwa/publica.nsf/docsbyunid/f27c2af239dc19ddca2570270011dad5
  • Posted 6 Sep 2006 11:16
  • Reply by JohnG
  • Victoria, Australia
I'm probably repeating what I have mentioned in other safety threads here but I firmly believe that active supervision is by far the most important part of your safety program. Gadgets like impact switches/alarms sell like hotcakes but are usually eventually turned off or tuned down to the point where they never go off because of the annoyances of frequent false alarms. Keypad starter systems designed to prevent unauthorized use are the best example of crutches used by companies that are afraid of their employees. If you tell you're employees they will lose their job if they use a piece of equipment they are not authorized to use (and you mean it), they will not use the equipment. That's really all it takes.

I'm a big proponent of employee training, but without accountability, training doesn't mean a **** of a lot. I've gone into plenty of places where operators weren't using vehicle restraint systems (wheel chocks or other), weren't using their seatbelts, were driving too fast, were riding around on man-up equipment without their safety harnesses, were having a couple of guys stand on the back of the lift truck to help move a load beyond the capacity of the truck, lifting people on the forks, etc. All (well most at least) of these workers understood what they were doing was not in line with how they were trained and I would bet that if an OSHA inspector was there (and they knew he was an OSHA inspector) they would immediately (though temporarily) change their behavior.

They were doing all this unsafe stuff because they were allowed to do it, not because they didn't know it was wrong. And you would be amazed how little effort is required to correct this. If supervisors/managers stop and discipline employees for not obeying the rules, it will stop immediately. It does not require endless hours spying on the operators. If your operators are not following the rules, you'll spot it pretty quickly. If they know they will be disciplined for not following the rules, they will follow the rules.

And you shouldn't need to "reward" workers for following the rules. I like incentive programs for productivity and quality/accuracy where workers can be rewarded by performing above and beyond the base standard. With safety, I don't really see how you can have "safer" workers. You have workers that follow the safety practices you put forth (the rules) and those that don't. Those that don't, shouldn't be working for you. Those that do, are just doing their jobs.
  • Posted 16 Jun 2006 01:41
  • Reply by InventoryOps
  • Wisconsin, United States
This might be a bigger answer than you're looking for, but this is a pretty interesting document on the broader topic:

http://www.workcover.vic.gov.au/vwa/home.nsf/pages/so_forklifts/$File/MUARC+Guidebook.pdf

Hm. Seems pretty odd that the system removes web links. How do you share info?

uh, I'll try it another way. You'll have to remove the spaces.

www. workcover. vic. gov. au / vwa/home.nsf/ pages/ so_forklifts/ $File/ MUARC+Guidebook.pdf
  • Posted 14 Jun 2006 02:19
  • Modified 14 Jun 2006 02:20 by poster
  • Reply by kevin_c
  • Illinois, United States
Safety Training is necessary for people working/walking around lift trucks. If you really want to prevent accidents and you only train the drivers, you will not see the results you are looking for.
It's called orientation, but more specifically, training for people that could "come-in-contact" with a lift truck.
For an in-house program, I highly encourage pedestrian training with their do's and don'ts and basically how to act around lift trucks.
  • Posted 5 Dec 2005 21:20
  • Reply by garry_p
  • New Brunswick, Canada
joe

re statement #5
Unfortunately, companies will not give more than 1 day of their staffs time to train them on the forklift. Although they should, there are no laws or enforcements to require them to do so. I agree with you however my theory takes approx 6 hours (forklift/propane) which doesn't leave alot of time for practical. Although the courses do end up being one l-o-n-g day, I would prefer to spend more time with them on the truck. However, I still do have to cover off the required info and that takes time.
  • Posted 14 Oct 2005 03:58
  • Reply by dan_m
  • Ontario, Canada
At LIFTOR we have found the following best practices that work to affect the actual injury rate in larger companies:

1. Submit operators to a content valid on-truck performance test that reflects skilled use of the make and model truck they are using, as well as the job tasks they are required to perform.

2. Administer the on-truck test by a specially trained front-line supervisory authority.

3. Require that the operator practice the criteria on-truck BEFORE attempting to pass the test.

4. On the test, ONLY include items that are important enough to safe operation that the administrator will Suspend further testing untill the operator practices the questionable criteria to a mastery level.

5 Replace classroom time with on-truck coaching/practice time.

For more information about the principles and practices of the National Lift Truck Operator Registry, you can use your web brouser to search LIFTOR.

Thanks for the informative discussion...and especially thanks to 'etharp' for his personal assistance to this first-time user!

Best wishes
  • Posted 14 Oct 2005 03:47
  • Reply by joe_m
  • New Jersey, United States
www.LIFTOR.com
Operator/Examiner Certification for In-House Supervisors
jmonaco@LIFTOR.com
I must first say, based on my experience, that in-house trainers have to be the worst. Take HOME DEPOT. Need I say more?
Most forklift dealers are looking at the bottom line and it does not seem to be a priority. Sales, service, parts, rentals all seem to come before training however if they can pick up a few extra $$$$, they will provide training.
And the fact that "trainers" are not required to pass a government certified test or presentation format with standard tests, that leaves the field open to misinformed, ill-trained operators (individuals).
I don't do training to become rich. I do it to hopefully minimize the risk of incidents in the workplace.
Management has it done for a piece of paper and that is all they care about.
And remeber those companies who procrastinate (re training) because a supervisor is off ill.
  • Posted 14 Oct 2005 03:17
  • Reply by dan_m
  • Ontario, Canada
I must first say, based on my experience, that in-house trainers have to be the worst. Take HOME DEPOT. Need I say more?
Most forklift dealers are looking at the bottom line and it does not seem to be a priority. Sales, service, parts, rentals all seem to come before training however if they can pick up a few extra $$$$, they will provide training.
And the fact that "trainers" are not required to pass a government certified test or presentation format with standard tests, that leaves the field open to misinformed, ill-trained operators (individuals).
I don't do training to become rich. I do it to hopefully minimize the risk of incidents in the workplace.
Management has it done for a piece of paper and that is all they care about.
And remeber those companies who procrastinate (re training) because a supervisor is off ill.
  • Posted 14 Oct 2005 03:17
  • Reply by dan_m
  • Ontario, Canada
I am an outside consultant, and I agree that the the training from outside consultants pales in effectiveness when compared to well-designed training and management practices that are administered by INHOUSE supervision. For ideas or suggestions on an inhouse process that has been proven to work in larger companies, there is allot of useful stuff you can download for free at www.LIFTOR.com. Best wishes.
  • Posted 14 Oct 2005 01:59
  • Reply by joe_m
  • New Jersey, United States
www.LIFTOR.com
Operator/Examiner Certification for In-House Supervisors
jmonaco@LIFTOR.com
I also blame it all on management. As a highly respected forklift trainer (independent), whose rates are extremely competitive, lost a smallish contract at a business who decided to opt for a competitior who is $200.00 less TOTAL. I know this trainer and all he is interested in is the money. Get in fast. Get out faster.
I find that most management are simply interested in having their employees 'certified'. As long as there is a piece of paper on- file stating that they have done their due diligence, that is all they care about. They want the cheapest, the quickest and the simplest. And you ask what can you do to keep interest in safety on the same level as management's prime interest of 'revenue building' for the company?
  • Posted 14 Oct 2005 01:23
  • Reply by dan_m
  • Ontario, Canada
I agree with last 3 replies. Unless the management has clear objectives and assigns an ownership for the project, the system will not help. The tools such as electronic checklist, Impact detection and utilization can minimize process owner's time to gather and analyze data. The most important part is to take appropriate action based on available data.

User friendly system and intelligent software can address most issues such as lying to checlist questions or giving out his/her password to a buddy. The person who gives out password should know that any alarm occurs will be linked to that password. But again, its all about how concerned and committed the management is to these issues. If they are not serious, there is no reason to spend money and other resources since the system/software will not save money or headaches on its own.
  • Posted 28 Apr 2005 01:31
  • Reply by arun_p
  • New Jersey, United States
I agree with your comments guys..

"It's all about people"
  • Posted 28 Apr 2005 01:01
  • Reply by RCD450
  • Alberta, Canada
Nice post Steve W. Systems are an aide only and do not fix the problems if management is not prepared and committed. I have sold systems and have had them fail when no used the data they gathered or even bothered to discipline when problems were identified. All the systems are worthless without the commitment and effort, with those they can be valuable though. There is no magic bullet to forklift problems and there never will be unless you plan on taking the human operator out of the equation entirely. There is no substitute for hard work.
  • Posted 27 Apr 2005 10:45
  • Reply by Panthertrainer
  • Ohio, United States
I believe everyone has missed the real issue, these are human issue's that can't be fixed with a program, training, shock system, etc...

The fix needs to be driven from senior management, ask yourself this when was the last person fired for not stopping, or pedistrian walks in a forklift aisle? Most corporations try fixing the problem by software or operator code system $$$$$$, none of which help if management doe's nothing with it.

The are so many factor to a safe program, rotation of the fleet, right type of fleet, the right training, operators and management, the product flow, facility design, maintenance of the fleet. etc.... good luck don't waste your money on these's system with out doing your homework first

Ask yourself this are you going to track this information? Is your company prepared to hire staff for this? Doe's your company have a WMS if so who looks at the data and how often? Do you feel your operators won't lie on the checklist or give out thier code to their buddy? HUMAN ISSUE"S , Lifelead international is a good leadership company. There are others if needed.
  • Posted 27 Apr 2005 05:35
  • Reply by steve_w
  • Texas, United States
RCD450, Access Control Group offers total fleet management system Assetor and Vigilant G2. One inmportant feature is pre-shift inspection checklist. The system can be programmed with user-defined checklist which must be answered PRIOR to lift truck operation. The operator must enter PIN to get access. If operator response to the checklist question is not what system expects, the system sends an alert to a PC via wireless link. Email can also be sent to the supervisor. Optionally the truck can be disabled if not safe.

Additionally, the system keeps track of operator training by the class of vehicle. Operator can be restriced by their certification dates.

The system offers many other benefits and can be an ideal tool for busy fleet manager.

Please visit www.assetor.net
  • Posted 22 Apr 2005 12:13
  • Reply by arun_p
  • New Jersey, United States

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