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For people with limited mobility and those who have difficulty with staircases, accessing rooms on different levels of a building can be a real challenge. The good news is that platform lifts provide a safe solution mobility issues. A platform lift is designed to provide an easy floor to floor access when stairs aren’t a viable option.

When you think about buying a platform lift, some of the major factors you should consider are the convenience and safety of the user. Some manufacturers offer a variety of designs that integrate specific features based on the needs of the user. To help you decide on the platform lift to buy, here are some points to keep in mind.

Space and the loading capacity

An important item to consider is the loading capacity of the device. Check to make sure that a wheelchair can fit inside the lift. Platform lifts vary according to type and model and it is crucial that you pick the model that will meet your wheelchair requirements.

Lifting height

When buying a platform lift, also consider the lifting height of the building. This is something that can be derived by measuring the floor to ceiling height in the building. This information is especially critical for indoor wheelchair lift installation. On the other hand, if you’re doing an outdoor installation, measure either the floor height or the vertical height of the stairs. This is the lifting height. Be very accurate with your calculations and measurements, otherwise, it could result in the failure or malfunction of the platform lift.

Drive system

There are different drive systems used in platform lifts. These include the screw drive, guided chain and hydraulic. Discuss the drive system with your platform lift manufacturer.  Different drives will affect the space requirements, the ride, as well as the longevity of the components. For example, choosing a hydraulic drive system would mean that you need to allocate extra space for the fluid tank.

Design of the platform lift

When choosing the design of the platform, there are two significant factors to consider – the access to enter the platform and the wheelchair structure. Check if the size of the platform can accommodate the size and structure of the wheelchair. In addition, try to allow for enough space for easy wheelchair maneuverability inside the lift during the lowering and lifting process.

Auto doors

Auto doors are also something to consider based on the individuals who will be pushing and pulling the door. There are different types of automatic door closers. To ensure you select the one that meets your requirements, take the time to discuss the differences with your lift provider.

Safety features

There are platform lift models that integrate several features making the ride safe and convenient for users. Most platform lifts are designed to make sure that users are protected from injuries. Some of these safety features include a manual lowering valve, over-speed governor, non-skid platform with side safety flaps, sensor system on the platforms, remote control, safety doors with interlock, emergency stop button and more. To ensure the safety of lift users, be sure to discuss the safety features needed with your platform lift with the lift provider.

Budget

After deciding on the type of lift to buy, select one that fits in your budget. There are a lot of reliable dealers that offer good quality devices. Their platform lift models also incorporate the safety features you need.  Shop around, you may even come across a gently used one that will fit your needs and your budget.

With the help of these tips, choosing a platform lift should be easy. And if you are in need of a reliable dealer that can provide quality platform lift and other forklift products, please consider Reno Forklift Services.

The first National Snack Food Month was celebrated in February 1989. It was initiated by the Snack Food Association and National Potato Promotion Board. The intent is to build snack food awareness and increase consumption of snack foods during a time when their sales are typically low.

Snack food doesn’t have to mean “junk” food

Are you and your team among the thousands of Americans trying to find balance in their eating habits? You may decide to skip the celebration, but why not choose guilt-free snack food instead?

Instead of boxes of little donuts or bags of greasy chips – or in addition to, no judgment here – add a wide variety of healthy foods that everyone can enjoy.

Here’s how to celebrate National Snack Food Month with your co-workers:

Plan your snacks

Are you the team manager, company owner and/or the person who’s been nominated to the task? Put together a quick list of possible fun and healthy snack ideas, print it out, and send it around the office for everyone’s input.

Focus on color, crunch and healthy fats

What makes a delicious snack? When coming up with your initial list of snack food ideas, remember — you and your peers may think very differently!

In addition to including special requests made by your co-workers, pull together a variety of healthier options that most people will enjoy.

Non perishable snack ideas

These snacks can be added to desk drawers or the break-room cupboards – perfect for those quick “working at my desk” moments in busy work environments.

  • Whole wheat crackers
  • Rice crackers
  • Pretzels
  • Microwave popcorn
  • Trail mix – commercial or homemade
  • Chex mix
  • Canned fruit
  • Dried fruit
  • Nuts and/or nut butters
  • Peanut butter

Perishable snack ideas

While the non-perishable snacks are a great way to break an afternoon slump, sometimes you need just a little bit more:

  • Dips – cheese, cream cheese, yogurt or sour cream with ranch dressing mix, hummus
  • Fresh fruit – grapes, bananas, oranges, etc. make a great snack. Save time with pre-cut fruit at your neighborhood grocer.
  • Low fat cottage cheese in individual packaging
  • Low fat, low sugar yogurts
  • Sliced bell peppers
  • Carrots
  • Snap peas
  • Celery

Keep calories in mind

Yes, calories do matter, even if they’re from a healthy source.

Post a helpful resource list of the calories found in your office snacks where everyone can see it, such as the shared refrigerator or bulletin board.

Try to keep your own calories consumed from any snacks at the office to between 100 and 200 calories. Save them for those times you’re really hungry as opposed to just bored or stressed.

For the longest staying power, combine a protein with a carbohydrate whenever possible.

Keep it going

If National Snack Food Month has you and your co-workers eating healthier snacks this February, don’t stop now!

Avoid the nasty side effects from unhealthy fare such as weight gain and/or low energy. Continue to keep a variety of healthy snacks on hand to power you and your co-workers through the year!

Forklifts are very useful machines and are essential equipment in every warehouse or storage facility. It is also a large investment. To protect this investment, regular preventive maintenance must be done. Certain parts and components of a forklift are prone to wear and tear due to constant use. Regular maintenance can help you ensure the optimal performance and operation of the equipment.

One of the most important parts of a forklift is the forks. This part transports the materials efficiently. Thus, the forks should always be in good shape. Another essential component of a forklift is the brakes. Brakes work in a similar way to the brakes of a car like brake drums and brake shoes. These parts need inspection and attention when doing forklift maintenance. Brakes play a significant role in the performance of a forklift.

Here are some reasons why forklifts require preventive maintenance to ensure a smooth running business.

Forklifts help to ensure safe warehouse operations.

Gone are the days when heavy objects are lifted and moved around with the use of cables, ropes, and pulleys – thanks to the invention of forklifts. The workers today won’t have to worry so much about their safety since forklifts were introduced. Now, heavy objects can easily be picked up and moved to the desired location with ease and efficiency.

Forklifts are easy machines to maneuver.

When it comes maneuverability, forklifts are very easy to drive. They are relatively compact and can fit in small areas. Forklifts are also easy to maneuver in different directions. Carrying or transporting heavy loads to any place in the facility is a lot easier with forklifts.

Forklifts make warehouse operations more efficient.

When forklifts are not properly maintained or broken, your production efficiency is directly affected. Forklifts enable you to move goods around easily and move products to locations that can’t be reached by hand. With properly working forklifts, you are reducing the time required to move the goods around the facility. And reduced time means higher efficiency and productivity.

Because you want to increase the longevity of this machinery, you should know how to maintain them and keep them in good shape. Ensure the proper attention and care is given so that you can get the most value out of it. Here are few tips on how to keep your forklift properly maintained.

  •         Change your oil regularly. Just like any vehicle, you should also change the oil in your forklift regularly. To increase fuel efficiency and avoid combustion problems, be sure to change the oil at least once every three months. This will also help maximize its performance.
  •         Check the tires. To reduce the risk of potential damage to forklifts, check the tire pressure all the time. Tires should not be underinflated or overinflated. Check your tire pressure and overall condition of the tire at least once a week.
  •         Check the fluid levels. Checking the fluid levels is another crucial step that shouldn’t be overlooked. This includes fuel, hydraulics, and antifreeze. Maintaining proper fluid levels will help ensure that the forklift does not overheat or freeze. Check the reservoir and under the machine to make sure there are no leaks.
  •         Don’t forget to lubricate. Forklifts also need oil or grease in their moving components. This will make it move with ease and prevent any friction that may result in harmful effects.  If you hear squeaks or grinding, something probably needs to be lubricated.
  •         Check your brakes. Check your brakes frequently so that you can identify issues that need to be addressed immediately. Be sure to hire a forklift mechanic if you find any issues with your brakes or other parts.

Forklifts are a crucial piece of machinery in any warehouse facility.  Making sure that all equipment is well taken care of and properly maintained, will extend the life of your forklift. To maximize a forklift’s operations, preventive maintenance should be a priority.

 

Love to knit or do you prefer whitewater rafting?

Maybe you love to sell your jewelry on Etsy or you give scrapbooks to your family as gifts each Christmas.

Whatever it is that you – and your co-workers – love to do on your time off, one of the most surprising ways to learn more about your co-workers is to discover their hobbies.

For example, maybe you’ll find out that the soft spoken receptionist for the sales department loves to scream out rock and roll songs at the neighborhood karaoke bar. Or you’ll learn that your “tough as nails” supervisor has won the Annual Chili Cook-off for the past three years running.

When you take the time to share your hobby with others you deepen their understanding of what you enjoy which can increase their appreciation for who you are as a team member.

Why it’s important to choose a hobby

While some hobbies are more expensive than others (e.g. collecting antique cars), all of them offer many benefits with little to no drawbacks.

Can relieve stress

Hobbies allow us to disengage from our everyday work and other obligations, relieving stress and helping to rejuvenate our minds and our bodies.

Challenge your brain

While some hobbies require more thought than others (e.g. playing chess) when you ask your brain to do something different, such as learning a new hobby, it stimulates your mind and forces it to form new thought patterns.

Allow you to leave a legacy

A homemade quilt, passed down through the family, a story about your childhood, a scrapbook filled with your dreams, travels, family photos and stories…all of these are wonderful ways to leave a legacy for the generations that follow you.

And they’re all a type of hobby that is easily learned and can also be passed down from generation to generation.

Make a little extra cash if you want

Whether your goal is to make your hobby pay for itself, or you’d like to earn some extra income doing what you love, hobbies can be an enjoyable way to make money.

If you have a hobby that you love to do, use this month – National Hobby Month – as a good excuse to share that information with your co-workers.

You may find out that one or more of them have similar interests outside of work, or each of you may be entirely different. It doesn’t really matter what kinds of hobbies you enjoy, the most important thing is taking the time to learn more about each other and find ways to forge connections that help you function together as a well oiled machine.

 

In any warehouse, maximized warehouse space, as well as an optimized organization is paramount. There are many reasons why organization in a warehouse is important. One reason is that you want to ensure smooth operations so that your customers and clients aren’t kept waiting. Otherwise, it could disrupt your sales and negatively impact your business. Organizing your warehouse translates to effective operations of your company which results in higher revenues. To make these things possible, the essential components you must have in your warehouse are racking and shelving systems.

forklift organizing a warehouse

Make sure your warehouse is well organized

Warehouse racking and shelving systems are crucial to a warehouse’s infrastructure. These systems are usually closely connected which means that when a shelf or a rack falls, it could result in an entire row falling. Prevent warehouse racking and shelving accidents before they cost you extra time and money. It will cost more in the long run if you don’t find ways to prevent accidents from happening. A single accident can result in more losses due to an interruption in production or operations, damaged products, injuries to workers, loss of customer orders, etc.

If you want to know how you can prevent a shelving collapse, try these warehouse shelving tips worth taking note of.

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National regifting day is celebrated each year on the Thursday before Christmas. The date was chosen, because that’s when many companies hold their Christmas parties.

Interestingly, what was once thought of as “tacky” has now become popularized by such shows as the Seinfeld episode, The Label Maker.

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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.

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.


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