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As you prepare to observe National Gratitude Month, you realize that good workers are sometimes hard to find. You want your workers to know that you appreciate what they do for your business day in and day out. You also want to inspire all your workers to invest in your company, so they will work harder. Another goal you have is to achieve and maintain high morale in your workplace. Do not worry about how much it will cost you. You do not need a large budget to show appreciation. You can be frugal and still make what you do meaningful for your employees. In the end, whatever you spend will be worth it to you.

Give Time Off

lady leaning on office door

Grant off days to employees for their personal errands

One easy way to show appreciation is by giving paid time off. You may not be able to give employees a whole day off with pay, but that would let your workers know you are thankful for what they do. An alternative is to allow them to leave one or two hours early, or come in one or two hours late. If your company operates during regular business hours, your employees may have personal business they need to tend to. This will make it easier for them. Your employees will in turn, appreciate your thoughtfulness in giving them this gift.

Let Them Recognize Each Other

Many times, the workers themselves know who is putting in the extra effort that makes your business successful. Not many business owners are on the floor, but your employees are. Set up a weekly or monthly recognition program where workers nominate each other as outstanding employees. You could have a drawing for the prize where you pay for the winner’s lunch or even assign them a parking spot.

Listen to Them

When you own the business, your focus is often “the bottom line.” Sometimes, you are so focused on doing business, you may not be seeing different ways to do it. Your employees have ideas because they are doing the work. Give them the opportunity to share their ideas. Then, act upon them when able. You can create a forum where employees give input into upcoming decisions you are considering. Another way to get ideas is to have a suggestion box. With this option, you need to make sure you read the suggestions and act on them. You need to let them know you have read them and considered them.

Make Them Family

Get to know your employees by name and learn something about them. Workers will be more committed to a job if they feel like they are a part of something bigger. Compared to them feeling as if they’re just another employee. You could also host a “chat and chew” lunch where fellowship is the focus rather than business. Of course, you pay for the meal. Another idea is to plan an event for everyone and include their families. You can also allow them to flex their hours if they ask to attend a function at their child’s school or their spouse’s job. Knowing that you value their family time will only build their commitment to you.

Give Little Gifts

wrapped gift boxes

Small gifts are an amazing token of appreciation

Sometimes smaller means more. Rather than doing this for one month, stretch your recognition of National Gratitude Month throughout the year. Set up a week every quarter as Gratitude Week or a day each week, like Thankful Tuesday. Give small, useful gifts or sweet treats they can enjoy as they go about the workday. You could set up a free coffee and tea bar. Another idea in this category is to give a variety of small denomination gift cards. $5 off is still $5 you have saved them.

These 5 suggestions for observing National Gratitude Month are ideas that are easy to put into place. As you carry out your plans, you will see the benefits. If you follow through, you will see a rise in morale and quality work. You need to invest your time and some of your money to make this happen. Remember, your employees make your business what it is. The leadership starts with you. When workers are invested in their place of employment, they will be happier and work harder. Everyone wants to know someone sees the good things they are doing and appreciates their effort.

Curling up with a good book after work is a great way to relax and escape the stresses of the day. To celebrate National Book Month, you can explore all the benefits found between the pages at home. These same benefits can also boost professional skills and relationships in the office. Implementing a reading program and encouraging people to read may take time and effort. As a business team leader, encouraging the group to read more can have surprising effects. Reading can benefit the entire department or company.

What Does Reading Do For You?

man reading a book during lunch

Reading can be a great way to relax

Although reading non-fiction books can help you learn about specific topics, reading any book provides benefits in general. Even the latest fiction beach read can give you a boost. Encourage your team to read if you want them to improve in the following areas:

  • Improved intelligence and knowledge base
  • Larger vocabulary and understanding
  • Automatic development of writing skills
  • Expands the ability to analyze complex situations
  • Eases interpersonal relationships
  • Reduces stress

3 Tips to Encourage Solitary Reading

Reading by yourself is more for entertainment, though some prefer informational texts. The best way to encourage employees to pick up a book is to leave the subject matter and title to them. Don’t make it sound like homework or something they must do, or risk their job.

–Make free books available throughout the building. The more visible they are, the more likely people will be to pick one up and read. Every break room should have a mini library where people can take and give back. It makes it easy to stock, as well as keeps the selection fresh from library sales and thrift shops.

–Inform people of the benefits and set a good example. Post small posters near the bookshelves that list how reading can help them. Pick up a book yourself and read it on break and discuss it with others.

–Make books and bookstore gift cards a coveted prize for productivity goals met, or for special situations, holiday gifts, and fun giveaways.

How to Make Reading a Team-Building Exercise

Any time you can get your team to do something together, work-related or not, the strength of the whole becomes stronger than its parts. Book groups are a natural choice for encouraging your team to improve reading and social skills.

Provide the same book to the entire team, but make reading it voluntary. No one wants to be forced to do at-home work for their job. Schedule a regular book group meeting in the break room or even at a local bar or café. Make it fun. You could even hold it at your house if you are comfortable with that. As employees improve their knowledge and vocabulary from the book, they will improve their communication skills. It can also boost respect for fellow team members.

Employees work harder when they are enjoying the project or receiving rewards. For example, your business team got a client’s order out three days ahead of time. Reward them all with a gift card to a bookstore.

pile of books

Make sure any work space has an abundance of great books

Turn reading into a game at work as well and give prizes for it. If you are all reading the same book, create daily quizzes or reading progress charts. This can foster a bit of friendly competition. Post a quiz question about the book on the wall and ask people to email the answer. Whoever gets the most right by the end of the week gets an extra-long lunch or a special prize.

There are many ways to encourage reading in the workplace. Books and magazines offer so many benefits for cognition. Other benefits include vocabulary and writing skills. These skills are much needed in any workplace, so it makes sense to push your team to read.

National Book Month is the perfect time to start making changes which will positively impact the success of your team. It does not matter what industry you work in or what niche you fill. Reading entertaining books will boost productivity, interpersonal skills, communication abilities, and reduce stress. These benefits help everyone, and they are all found within the pages of a book.

24 Oct 2017

5 Tips for Avoiding Warehouse Accidents

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Avoiding warehouse accidents is one of the most crucial aspects of working in a warehouse. Common accidents in warehouses are preventable with proper maintenance and safety procedures. What can you be doing to ensure you are using safe warehouse practices as an employer?

#1: Make Safety Part of the Workplace Culture

Employees will take their cues from superiors about what they should prioritize. If you only talk about the bottom line, your employees could feel pressured to make some unsafe decisions in order to help the company profit.

woman in a warehouse with safety clothing

Make sure safety clothing is worn at all times

The best thing you can do is stress the importance of everyone’s safety. Make sure your employees are trained, have safe equipment, and have someone who can address any safety concerns that may arise. Address any warehouse safety hazards in a timely manner to prevent work-related injury.

Warehouse Injury Statistics

The United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) records warehouse injury statistics. According to OSHA, 5 out of every 100 full-time warehousing and storage workers had a recorded injury in 2015. Over 3 out 5 injuries resulted in days away from work. How can you work to get your company below the national average?

#2: Train Employees to Lift Safely

A frequent work-related injury in warehouses is back strain from improper lifting. While employees are still in training, review the proper ways to lift heavy objects.

Slips, Trips, and Falls

Common accidents in warehouses include slips, trips, and falls. Workers can slip and fall if there are spills on the warehouse floor. Workers are also more likely to slip if they are walking on two different surfaces. Some floors are naturally slick, while others can be more dangerous if they have recently been waxed.

#3: Check Your Floors

Slips, trips, and falls can also be caused by slopes and changes in walkways, poor lighting, and unsecured mats or stray cables in walkways. Check your workplace for any loose flooring or uneven surfaces that could be hazardous.

This safety step is especially important when the weather is changing. If there has been a recent rainstorm or snowfall in your area, make sure all workers are not tracking water in on their shoes. This can help prevent slips. Mark any newly mopped or waxed areas to alert workers of a slippery surface.

#4: Wear Proper Shoes and Protective Gear at All Times

If protective gear is required for any duties an employee may have, ensure the employee is wearing the protective gear before starting a task. Protective gear cannot work if worn improperly. Untied shoelaces and compromised gear can do more harm than good.

#5: Clear the Workspace of Any Obstacles

This is good safety advice for workplaces in all industries. If you leave something out on the floor, you have put your fellow co-workers in danger of having an accident. If you know someone is driving a forklift in your area of the warehouse, make sure they will have a clear path through your area and a safe route to reach the pallets they may need to move.

Forklift Safety

man unloading a truck with a forklift

Forklift safety should be a priority in any warehouse

Forklift accidents can happen to both novices and experts, so forklift safety should be reviewed with all employees operating this machinery. This type of warehouse accident can be caused by a problem with the forklift, the person operating the forklift, or the workplace environment.

You can prevent forklift accidents by tackling problems in all three of these areas. Check any vehicles like forklifts for any faults before starting the workday. Make sure all employees who operate forklifts or similar machinery have proper and up-to-date training. Complacency is a big factor in workplace accidents. All employees should be vigilant while operating a forklift, whether it is the first time or the thousandth time. Inspect the environment in the warehouse for safety hazards. If you work on improving safety and training, you may also see an increase in productivity and effectiveness of your team.

Reno Forklift, Inc.

At Reno Forklift, forklift safety is our priority. Our 20 trained specialists can be dispatched to service forklifts in the field or in our shop. We offer complete forklift cleaning and repair to keep your fleet running safely and efficiently.

Our preventative maintenance program maintains your fleet with basic services and periodic inspections. If you need a replacement forklift, we carry the top brands of forklifts. If you need a single part replaced, we use the Promatch® parts program to get you quality replacement forklift parts.

Contact us to rent forklifts and learn more about avoiding warehouse accidents.

Many people believe that learning stops once a person graduates from high school or college. Every October, people are encouraged to celebrate adult learners during National Learning & Development Month (NLD Month.) If you’re an employer, this information should hold special significance with you.

According to Forbes, employee dissatisfaction due to a lack of training and development is a key reason why good employees quit. If you suspect that some of your employees have left for the same reason, take heart. Here are ways to foster a learning culture at your workplace.

Some Background Information

great ideas for National Learning & Development Month

Skill development keeps great ideas flowing

According to the eLearning Industry website, adult learners have specific traits that make them different from child learners. On the whole, adult learners want to learn something practical. In the workplace, this means they need to learn something that impacts their daily work or help them advance. Employees should learn what the benefit will be from what they are learning.  For example, a videographer who’s asked to learn Adobe After Effects, should be taught about the special effects they can create with that program.

It’s also important to remember that adults wrestle with a lot of responsibilities. When creating a training and development program for the workplace, employers make the lessons flexible and relevant. This might include integrating social media learning or instructional games. The best instructional designers also allow adult learners to learn from their mistakes.

Finally, whatever instruction adults are given, it should be in small chunks. This method of training works with the brain’s learning capacity instead of against. Pushing too much new information all at once causes cognitive overload.

Problems with Career Development Programs

If career training and development is such a critical factor in keeping employees, why don’t more employers do it? A lack of time is a primary reason why more time isn’t devoted to helping employees reach their potentials. Yet, as the Forbes article points out, it is human nature to make time for a person’s most important activities.

Sometimes obstacles like corporate bureaucracy can get in the way. Aside from companies not wanting to spend the money for training, many programs are too hard to implement. These training systems sound nice in theory, but leave something lacking in practice. Often, they’re difficult for already overworked managers to put in place. Again, one of the ways around this issue is to keep the adult learner in mind. Even the most gifted learners do better if the information is presented in smaller chunks that are easy to absorb.

Why Companies Should Develop Career Training

Companies that embrace employee training also create a work place that promotes constant learning. This approach to the work environment actually encourages closer employee relationships. As employees become better trained, they can pass their knowledge on to other employees.

These companies also end up with employees who know what to do when the pressure is on. Many jobs by nature are high stress. Employees who are properly trained and who regularly get to use their new skills are in a position of readiness when things turn difficult.

Final Thoughts and Takeaways

a reading list for National Learning & Development Month

Reading good books keeps you sharp

For managers trying to promote a better workplace, National Learning & Development Month offers a good “excuse.” Most people think of formal classroom training when they think of job training. But, as the NLD Month website points out, learning can be watching TED Talks or hosting business related book clubs. It can also be playing structural video games or attending online classes. Fortunately, today’s technology has made training adults easier than ever.

Adult learners count as the most eager learners around. They learn because they want to grow. They’re self-directed, though appreciate guidance and support. Once trained, they have more job satisfaction and are more likely to contribute to a culture of growth. To sum it up, adult learning is both personally and professionally rewarding for all involved.

24 Sep 2017

7 Quick Tips for Driving a Forklift

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Some forklift driving tips may seem self-explanatory, while others may come as more of a surprise. Here are some forklift do’s and don’ts before you get started!

DO: Read Forklift Safety Rules

Whether you are a seasoned pro or are driving a forklift for the first time, it never hurts to familiarize yourself with the rules. Operation instructions can change over the years. The first thing that can go wrong with operating most technology is not reading directions or rules connected with that technology. Stay safe and stay sharp when it comes to forklift safety.

Are you wearing proper attire for driving a forklift? Loose clothing can get caught on machinery. Suggested attire for driving a forklift can include a hard hat, safety shoes, and a high-visibility jacket. This is even more important for the people who are surround you as you drive a forklift.

DO: Make Sure the Forklift is Safe to Operate

man fixing a forklift

Before you drive, make sure your forklift is in good condition

Before you operate a forklift, make sure the forklift is in operating condition. You wouldn’t step on the gas in a car that had didn’t have working headlights! Are there any warning lights on? Check the tires for wear and look around the forklift for any oil leaks. Take a look at the coolant, engine oil, and transmission fluid levels before you get started.

Make sure the brakes, steering, and controls are all in working condition. If something’s not right, do not risk putting yourself and others in danger. Contact a supervisor to inform them that the forklift is out of order and in need of repair.

DON’T: Operate a Forklift Without Certification

According to OSHA requirements, you need to be certified before you can be driving a forklift. Federal OSHA does not require you to have a valid driver’s license to operate a forklift, but you do need proper training and certification.

You do not need to be trained on every make and model of forklift, but it does help to be familiar with how various forklift models operate differently. If you have only trained on a sit-down rider forklift, you will need training to switch to another type like a stand-up truck.

DO: Practice

Certification should come with training, which means supervised practice. If you are driving a forklift for the first time, one crucial thing to remember is that forklifts are steered by the rear wheels, unlike most cars.

Before starting the forklift, make sure your seat belt is fastened and you can reach all of the controls to drive the forklift. When turning a corner, go slowly and use your horn to let pedestrians and other forklift operators that you are on the other side of the corner. This action can help prevent any collisions.

Think about the load’s destination and the path you need to take to get there. These factors may affect how you pick up the load.

DON’T: Drive Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs

This seems like a no-brainer, but it still needs to be said. Are you taking pain pills for a recent injury or surgery? Check your prescription information to see if there is a warning about operating machinery while taking that prescription.

DON’T: Lift Your Load Too High

Proper load balancing is imperative to driving a forklift safely. If you lift a load too high, you can cause the forklift to tip over. If you are carrying a heavy load, you will want to make sure that the load is secure beyond the tip of the forks. Counterbalance your load by driving with back tilt or mast vertical. The load should be titled back, and the forks should sit low. Some loads may require ropes or bindings in order to safely transport them.

DO: Use Designated Roadways

two forklift drivers picking crates

Be alert for people and objects when driving a forklift

When driving a forklift, use approved roadways designated by your workplace. If you go off the path, you can run into surfaces that are not forklift-friendly. Avoid bumps, uneven ground, and slippery surfaces while operating a forklift. If you drive too close to the edge, you put yourself and others in danger.

Reno Forklift

At Reno Forklift, we carry the top brands of forklifts to fit your needs. Reno Forklift offers service and repair as well as preventative maintenance for forklifts, trash compactors, floor scrubbers, and more. Reno Forklift is a licensed contractor in both Nevada and California, so we can help with any of your Tahoe or Truckee construction projects.

Reno Forklift has been in business for nearly 50 years and also offers consultation and training services. Contact us to learn more about what Reno Forklift has to provide, from driving a forklift to storage systems!

Poor lighting in an office can demotivate employees and lead to health issues. But poor lighting in warehouses has even greater and far reaching implications. Proper lighting improves safety for workers and protects the health of your business. It is imperative to follow warehouse lighting standards to protect your employees and your warehouse.

Why does good lighting improve safety in your warehouse?

Reduces Heavy Equipment Accidents

OSHA warehouse lighting requirements

Good lighting reduces the risk of damaging goods

Warehouses deal with a lot of heavy equipment that you need to handle with care. One wrong move and a single accident can cause serious damage to the warehouse and cost the business a lot of money. Proper lighting is necessary in preventing these accidents.

Reduces Work Errors

Proper lighting creates an environment where workers make less mistakes. Employees need to see in corridors and shadowy corners. Sometimes they need to read small labels or maneuver around very cramped places. Having enough light will reduce the chance of making mistakes.

Reduces Losses and Damages to Property

Your products are essential to your business, and they need to be protected at all costs. Businesses can’t afford to lose or have damaged goods due to low visibility. With adequate lighting, the employees are likely to see all of the product labeling. Damage is then less likely to occur.

Cools Down the Warehouse

Not all lighting fixtures are appropriate for your warehouse. Other than light, the fixtures also contribute to the temperature of the room. Poor bulbs can cause temperatures to fluctuate. This can affect the employees’ mood and concentration. And can increase the likelihood of making mistakes that jeopardize their safety.

Reduces Dangers Caused by Poor Stacking of Products

On average, two workers die in warehouse accidents every month in North America. Stacked products can topple, fall and injure workers around the warehouse. Inadequate lighting makes it hard to see these stacked products.

Reduces Chances of Forklifts Striking People

Forklift drivers are always in a hurry due to the overwhelming time pressure. They want to load or unload fast, and they often exceed the set speed limits. In a busy warehouse that is not lit to standard, this can lead to disaster. The drivers have a greater chance of running over workers and visitors walking on foot.

Protects Workers Health

warehouse lighting standards

Forklift accidents are reduced in a well lit warehouse

Poor lighting affects workers’ eyesight. Although the damage may not be permanent, workers may find it hard to focus in the short term. Inadequate lighting can cause headaches and poor posture among workers.

How much can I spend in warehouse lighting?

One of the biggest mistakes made is throwing caution to the wind. Proper lighting is important, and you may need to invest enough resources to achieve it. Spending as little as possible to cut on costs can be costly in the long run. You can lose more through accidents and lack of efficiency. Don’t be afraid to spend a little more on warehouse lighting fixtures. They could save you a lot of trouble and losses in the end.

How do I light the warehouse?

How you light the warehouse will depend on many factors. For example, the size of the structure will determine the number of lighting fixtures you use. The closer your storage is to the roof, the more lighting you will need. The lighting should also fit your aisle layout. Follow a design guide for warehouse lighting to achieve the recommended levels of illumination.

It can be difficult to know the number of lighting fixtures you need to install. It will depend on the light required and the total square area of the warehouse. This decision is too important to rely on guess work. Any mistakes can mean the difference between life and death. A warehouse lighting calculator will cut guess work and improve accuracy.

Industry Requirements

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration sets the smallest illumination intensities needed. Warehouses should not go beyond 5-foot candles. This is according to the OSHA warehouse lighting requirements

Proper lighting improves safety. The quality of lighting you install will impact employees’ safety and productivity. It will also affect product loss and damage. To improve efficiency and reduce losses, your business needs to invest in proper lighting. The cost shouldn’t be the deciding factor. You stand to lose more if you don’t invest enough.

Are you operating a warehouse in Reno, Nevada? Are you in search of forklift and warehouse safety experts you can rely on? We provide various equipment. Including forklifts, conveyor systems, work benches, scales, pallet racks, and compactors. We offer installation, repair, training, and consulting services to our customers. For these and much more, please feel free to contact us .

It starts with a little annoyance. Then the blinking, headaches, and dry eyes creep in. We’ve heard it before – take a screen break, rest your eyes. But did you know that ignoring these suggestions could be affecting your team’s productivity at work?

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reports that nearly 80 percent of us report at least one visual disturbance at work each day and over half of us actually have to rest our eyes due to the discomfort or pain.

August is National Eye Exam Month and a good time for a reminder that eye strain at work lowers productivity. Poor eyesight and other vision problems can cost you.

Here’s how vision problems may affect your work performance and team productivity:

Computer Vision Syndrome

How vision problems may affect your work performance

Eye problems can lower productivity at work

Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) happens from staring at a screen too long without taking a break. You can treat it by using a set of eye exercises each day (Try these) and taking regular screen breaks. You may think that taking regular screen breaks are what cause the drop in productivity for your team. It’s quite the opposite. Taking a break every 20 minutes to look away from the screen allows your eyes to rest and relax the strain put on them by office work. If you’re using the restroom or prowling the break room for water or a snack, you’re also relaxing the neck which means you’ll be avoiding the aches and pains that often come from sitting too long. When we sit and stare for too long, we end up having to take longer breaks or eventually days off work. This is far more damaging to productivity as you can’t contribute if you’re not there.

Headaches

Headaches related to vision can be a product of CVS, eye strain, or simply not having the right eyewear. Millions of Americans have changes in their vision but don’t take the time to get their annual eye exam. Wearing the wrong lenses causes the eyes to work harder and lead to strain. You may also not be seeing things as clearly as you should. This can cause headaches. What happens if you can’t see clearly? You might be missing something in meetings.

Ergonomic Issues

Many of us wear bifocals or have the wrong prescription all together. This means we make adjustments like leaning closer to the screen. You may tilt your head up and down to see the words right too. These adjustments can cause us ergonomic issues that lead to neck and head pain or even joint pain. This pain causes a loss in productivity as we then spend more time stopping to stretch, re-position, or rub those sore muscles. Many organizations have an ergonomics consultant that can assess the work space and make recommendations. Recommendations that could increase productivity.

You Think About It All the Time

The headaches. The neck pain. The fuzzy vision after staring at the computer screen all day. You think about these things so often that you’re costing valuable work time. You’re not mentally present. When you’re not thinking about them, you’re physically trying to adjust to avoid them, again wasting valuable productivity time. Encouraging employees to get a routine eye exam can be a great start to stomping out this cause for discomfort.

Glaring Issues

eye strain at work lowers productivity

Glare from a computer screen can cause problems

Glare on the computer screen can compound any of the other potential vision issues we’ve already discussed. If your team members are constantly battling the sun, poor lighting, or improper monitor settings, it could be affecting their productivity. This comes with a simple fix. Assess the work space. Come up with cost effective solutions like blinds, stick on screen glare protectors, or even a simple (and free!) adjustment of the brightness/contrast settings on the computer’s monitor. Sometimes it’s not the most costly solution that saves time and money, it’s the simple one that wins. Removing these barriers for your employees sets them up to spend less time fidgeting with workplace conditions and more time getting their tasks done.

So what does it all mean? August is National Eye Exam Month, right? Go ahead and take a minute right now (yes, we’ll wait) and call your eye doctor for an exam appointment. Making sure vision loss, eye strain, or other interferences aren’t bogging you and your team down is an important and worthwhile contribution you can make today. Do it for yourself and your work.

The forklift is the staple of the modern warehouse. A well-functioning forklift makes operations both efficient and profitable. Yet, if a company’s forklifts aren’t up to par the site’s performance will suffer as well. Even worse, the work site can be at risk for serious safety issues. Regular maintenance of forklifts is of the utmost importance. Here, we’ll look at five ways forklift maintenance can impact warehouse safety.

  1. The Dangers of Emissions

    carbon monoxide from a forklift | Reno Forklift

    Always check the forklift emissions

    Some forklifts, like cars, emit exhaust fumes during use. These fumes contain dangerous air pollutants that can cause cancer and respiratory disease. Diesel forklifts produce dangerous gases such as nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide. The effects of carbon monoxide poisoning are nausea, vomiting, headaches and vision problems. Carbon monoxide from a forklift can even cause unconsciousness or death.

    When it comes to harmful emissions the most effective forklift maintenance is prevention. Warehouse employees should keep accurate records of the truck’s usage and mechanical issues. Exhaust fume measurements will help ensure compliance with forklift emission standards. In some cases, it is better to use a clean fuel or electric vehicle. Exhaust fumes from propane powered forklifts are a lot safer.

  2. Hazardous Tire Conditions

Don’t overlook the condition of a forklift’s tires. Tires play a major role in stabilizing the load and maintaining fuel efficiency. Inspecting tires daily is important. Damaged tires should be removed or replaced as soon as possible. A flat tire can make the forklift tip over and cause an accident. This would likely cause serious injury to the driver and nearby employees.

Unsafe tires can also cause problems for the warehouse facility itself. Bald tires can affect the driver’s ability to control the vehicle. If a driver spins or skids out of control it can result in property damage to racks, doors, manufacturing machines and walls. It can also destroy nearby inventory or other forklifts.

Another tire hazard to check for is chunking. Unlike car tires, forklift tires tend to lose chunks of rubber due to driving on rough surfaces. Chunking will affect the smooth ride of the vehicle. It also causes the load to bounce around and become unstable. It can also make the driver more fatigued because they will have to take extra care while driving. Chunking on tires can increase the likelihood of accidents.

  1. Hidden Fluid Leaks

Regular fluid checks can help keep your forklift in tip-top condition. Even a new forklift needs top-offs of hydraulic fluid, engine oil and transmission fluids. These substances help the motor and other parts to function efficiently. Drivers should check fluid levels on a consistent basis. Regular checks will ensure that no flammable liquids are leaking onto the work site or floor. By making sure fluid levels are at an optimal level will also help extend the life of the vehicle.

  1. Faulty Gauges and Warning Lights

Newer forklifts are unlikely to have problems with warning lights or gauges. However, drivers should inspect older machines to make sure the devices are functioning properly. Lights and gauges are an employee’s first line of defense against forklift accidents. It is impossible to perform preventative maintenance when these features are not working. Inoperable gauges also give a driver a false sense of security while working. This can cause unsafe situations for everyone in the warehouse.

  1. Battery Charges and Changes

new forklift | Reno Forklift Services

Always check the Forklift’s battery

Care must be taken when working with a forklift battery. This is especially true with electric forklifts which use heavy, lead-acid batteries. Warehouse safety rules should designate one part of the facility for battery charging and changing. This will minimize the risk to staff and inventory if something should happen.

Certain employees need to be specially trained to handle battery issues. These employees will need to understand the dangers associated with handling batteries. This includes understanding how to deal with battery acid leaks, hydrogen gas emissions, and battery cell burns. Protective clothing and gloves are also essential to a safe battery changing process.

A Final Word on Forklift Safety

Forklift safety starts with daily inspections. It also requires a thorough scheduled maintenance plan to address potential problems beforehand. Maintaining a forklift should not be taken likely. Industrial trucks are powerful machines that can become dangerous at any time.

If you need assistance with forklift maintenance in Reno contact us for additional information. We can help you find the best solution for your warehouse needs.

Why is July anti-boredom month? It’s a natural time of year for the doldrums. The holidays are far away and there are no urgent rush seasons going on. Summer days drag by, as workers leave for or return from vacation time. For an office job, it’s the worst season, because it is bright and sunny, a perfect day for recreation, and you’re wasting it in an office cubicle. In addition, the kids are out of school, which makes parents feel like they’re missing out on spending time with their kids.

The Benefits Of Fighting Boredom

boredom | Reno Forklift Services

Strive to keep employees happy

Companies should care about employee apathy because the quality of work sometimes suffers. More mistakes happen that need to be corrected and more productivity gets lost due to lagging performance. Surprisingly enough, investing in just a little frivolous diversion can help your workers buckle down to work later.

Some studies have also shown that a brief period of mental stimulation helps clear the cobwebs and improve attention and cognitive performance. At the very least, some diversionary tactics help break the stress and routine of the long summer days and weeks.

Creative Ideas to Fight Boredom

Team building exercises are often just manager-speak for “we need to get you out of your cubicle and moving around.” You can justify many fun activities as team building and cajole everyone into participating. But here are a few off-hand ideas to stimulate your employees during the dull summer months:

* Organize a company sports team.

This can be as silly or as serious as you want. An official sports team for your department gives you a great reason to hand out matching T-shirts, rally everybody together, and get them cheering for each other. Simple low-impact sports like volleyball, softball, or bowling are ideal here.

* Have a company contest.

This can be something silly like organizing a scavenger hunt, or a contest tied to work productivity. Here’s the catch: instead of some practical company gift, have the prize be something a little “out there”.  Maybe two tickets to a local rock concert or a case of gourmet coffee. Pick something that will get your employees talking. The important thing is that everybody has fun doing this.

* Have an Employee Appreciation Day.

Maybe take one day to have a break from the usual work schedule and organize an event. It doesn’t take much; a pizza and movie party is just right. A company picnic is even better if you have a local park available. Some larger companies go all out and host a carnival, with small party kiosks rented from a local vendor. This can be a big event you can build up to in advance, giving everybody something to look forward to.

* Give Your Employees Random Surprise Perks or Gifts.

What would your employees think if they encountered an ice cream vendor cart in the lobby for one week? Or came in Thursday morning to find a gift card for the local mall on their desks? Or you suddenly announced, “Bring your pet to work day”? Or you just hired a clown to wander through the office handing out balloon animals for one day? Make your office an interesting place to work.

* Sponsor board or table games.

team building | Reno Forklift Services

Organize fun office games

You can stock the company break room with board and card games. Perhaps even one day of the week, give everyone an extra half hour devoted to games. It’s important that they’re playing physical entertainment together rather than just zoning out playing on their phones. Similar to the sports team idea, you can even organize a competitive company team revolving around their favorite game.

A Little Goes A Long Way

You’d be surprised what an impact any of these methods have. By at least encouraging a little fun on the company clock, you’ll not only fight burnout, but boost employee morale by showing them that at least the boss has some heart. By showing you have a human side and a soul, your employees are more likely to put up with the drudgery of the day-to-day job; you’re telling them that you know the work is tiresome and thanking them for doing a good job.

There are many more ideas out there. Just try to avoid being predictable with your measures; nothing says “boring” like handing out pens and paper-clip wells with the company logo. Come up with perks and activities that are imaginative enough, and your employees will be talking about anti-boredom month until the holiday season!

28 Jun 2017

7 Tips for New Forklift Operators

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When driving a forklift for the first time, the task may seem a little daunting. You’ll want to make sure you correctly follow all rules to ensure a safe work environment for yourself and those around you. Check out the list below for 7 tips to consider when operating a forklift. While they may come across as basic, they’ll serve as a great starting point for new forklift operators.

  1. Be preparedMove to Trash

    driving a forklift for the first time | Reno Forklift Services

    Be attentive at all times

    It may seem silly, but putting yourself in the right mind set makes all the difference. Make sure you are awake and alert. It is never safe to operate machinery while drowsy. Quickly check yourself over to ensure you’re wearing proper clothing for the job. The operator’s handbook states that operators are to wear the following appropriate safety equipment: hard hat, safety shoes, and a hi-visibility jacket. Clothing should be reasonably fitted to avoid getting caught in the machinery. Long hair should be tied back. Operators should also make sure their hands are clean of grease so their grip is strong and doesn’t slip.

  2. Examine equipment and surrounding area before use

    It’s important to check your equipment before use. Forklift safety rules state that you should check the breaks, warning devices, steering, mast, and tires for faults. If problems are detected, immediately notify management. Make sure the forklift control levers are within reach upon sitting. Plan a visual journey before you start to move. Have a clear vision of where you will be moving within the designated roadways, and be aware of signs that dictate load height restrictions.

  3. Operate at a safe speed and avoid hazards

    The Logistics & Materials Handling Blog states that you should never drive over the designated speed limit. Always proceed around corners and turns slowly to avoid tipping. If you need to change your direction or path, do so slowly and gradually. It is always best to steer clear of bumps and uneven ground. Avoid slippery areas as well. Keep a safe distance from loose objects on the ground and other trucks or machines. Use the horn when approaching a corner or doorway to signal caution to those around you.

  4. Have clear visibility

    If visibility is poor, do not attempt to continue driving. Call for assistance and have a lookout guide you. You may choose to drive in reverse, but remember to never drive in reverse up a ramp. Check that you can see your loading area clearly to ensure proper positioning. Again, if you are unable to see properly, have someone assist you with placing the load.

  5. Make sure all loads are safe and secure

    Examine loads carefully before driving for stability and damage. It’s important that loads be stacked and positioned across both forks correctly. Use ropes or binding materials if needed. Know the carrying capacity of your fork before loading, as an overload can cause tipping. Check for overhead obstructions before lifting, and remember to never lift a load that is unsafe or unstable.

  6. Keep clear of the Mast

    Under no circumstances should anyone be permitted to stand or walk under the load. If a load falls, it can cause severe injury or death. Make sure to keep all hands and feet clear of the cross members of the mast. If you lower the mast while your hands are on it, this too can lead to serious injury.

  7. Refill and return

    forklift safety rules | Reno Forklift Services

    Always ask for help when you cant see

    Yale’s article on safe handling states that you should only re-fuel at specially designated locations. Make sure the machine is turned completely off before fueling. No open flames or sparks are permitted for IC engines. Fueling should also take place in a well ventilated area. After a shift, be sure to park in an authorized area. Lower the forks completely and apply the parking break. Always remember to never leave machinery running while unattended.

With these tips in mind, new forklift operators can rest assured that they’ll be on their way to safe and easy operation in no time. Remember that machinery may only be operated by those trained properly and licensed. Always refer back to the manual if you have any questions about how to operate a forklift’s controls or feel free to contact us.


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