24 Oct 2017
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.
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 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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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 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.
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.
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.
The Dangers of 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.
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.
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.
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.
Battery Charges and Changes
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
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.
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
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.
Be prepared Move to Trash
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Refill and return
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.
22 Jun 2017
June is National Fresh Fruit & Vegetables Month, which means it’s a perfect time to make improvements to your diet.
During this month, you’ll have an easy time finding fresh, delicious produce in supermarkets, farmer’s markets, and maybe even your own backyard garden. And while you probably already know that eating more fruits and veggies will make you healthier, that’s not the only benefit you’ll notice. Eating a healthy diet will also make you more productive and give you more energy to excel at work, play with your kids, and connect with your loved ones. These tips will help you clean up your diet and become more productive along the way.
Swap refined carbs for fresh, whole foods.
Processed carbs, such as white bread, soda, and candy, might give you a quick burst of energy right after you eat them. However, the energy boost soon fades away, leaving you feeling groggy and irritable. Why? Your body processes the simple sugars in these foods quickly, which causes your blood sugar to rise and then drop sharply again.
To avoid this happening to you, cut sugary foods out of your diet wherever you can. Replace them with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These natural foods aren’t just more filling than highly processed foods – they’ll keep your brain going for longer, too. Here are some examples of simple swaps you can make:
- Make your lunchtime sandwich on whole-grain bread or a whole-wheat pita instead of white bread.
- Trade your afternoon candy for a carton of fresh, ripe blueberries.
- Instead of soda, drink filtered water or seltzer infused with strawberries.
- Cook brown rice for dinner instead of white rice.
- Swap your morning glass of orange juice for a more filling piece of fresh fruit.
There’s a reason breakfast is referred to as the most important meal of the day. A healthy breakfast kick-starts your brain, while an unhealthy one can leave you feeling foggy at ten in the morning. According to the University of Illinois, an ideal breakfast should include carbs, fat, and protein. The carbs give you energy and help you focus, while the fat and protein help you stay satisfied until lunchtime. If you need ideas, give these breakfasts a try:
- Make an omelet with your favorite vegetables, like spinach and mushrooms, and a little cheese. Have a piece of whole-wheat toast on the side.
- In a hurry? Make a quick piece of peanut butter toast. Eat it with a banana or some berries.
- Cook up a bowl of satisfying oatmeal. Top it with honey, sliced almonds, and cut-up fruit.
Don’t wait until you get hungry to decide what to eat. According to the Harvard Business Review, people make better food choices when they’re not ravenous. Spend a couple of minutes every morning thinking about what you’ll have for lunch, dinner, and snacks. A little planning can save you a lot of time, brainpower, and calories in the long run.
Use a smaller plate.
Have you ever felt sluggish and slow after eating too much? Everyone overindulges sometimes, but if you do it regularly, you won’t be at your most productive. Instead of putting less food on a large plate, which can make you feel subconsciously deprived, try this simple trick: just put your food on a small plate instead. You’ll still feel satisfied, and you won’t get a case of afternoon brain fog from eating too much. MIT also recommends sticking to light, healthy foods, such as fruits, veggies, and lean protein, instead of heavy fried foods.
Don’t let yourself get too hungry.
In terms of brainpower and productivity, eating too little is just as bad as eating too much. When you under-eat, your brain doesn’t get the glucose it needs, which can make you feel light-headed, anxious, and irritable. Maintain your energy and focus by eating small, balanced meals and snacks throughout the day. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Instead of eating a heavy pasta dish at lunch, go for a salad or a light sandwich with veggies on it. Skip the fries.
- Keep a healthy, nonperishable snack, such as a bag of almonds, in your car. That way, if your stomach starts growling when you’re stuck in traffic, you won’t be tempted to hit the drive-through.
- Bring carrot sticks and hummus to work for when the afternoon munchies hit.
June is the perfect time to clean up your diet by incorporating plenty of fresh, in-season produce. These easy tips will help you make the most of National Fresh Fruit & Vegetables Month!
25 May 2017
Workplace safety is a concern in the modern world because many industries have outgrown their office cubicles. Because of mobile technology, employees may be in a warehouse or out in the field for most of the day. A factor that comes into play right now is weather.
Your workforce must deal with hot weather, especially as the spring and summer months move in. Take a moment to understand the five ways that warm weather affects a safe workplace. The facts might surprise you.
Removing Workplace Safety Clothing
Warm weather affects workplace safety by compromising everyday protocols. Your employees might wear gloves, long sleeves and steel-toed boots on the job. As the temperature rises, employees slowly peel those items off. With no gloves on and shorts worn in lieu of pants, your employees are instantly vulnerable to injury.
Equipment maintenance might be on the to-do list today, which involves crawling across a machine or vehicle. Without the proper clothing, injuries occur that are otherwise avoided. Dropped items on exposed toes and singed fingers could occur.
As one person peels off their protective clothing, the rest of the workforce sees an opportunity for themselves. Workplace psychology dictates that one person will emulate another. Removing any protective clothing on one employee will only encourage others to follow suit.
Lack of Attention
The heat plays with the mind as the temperature and humidity increase. Workplace safety is definitely compromised in the heat because the natural, human tendency is to focus on the physical strain.
You might worry about sweating too much in your work clothes or looking for a sip of water. Concerns over operating a machine or helping a client will take second place to the heat stress. This lack of attention quickly leads to accidents in the workplace.
Forklifts might be in operation where the heat is the worst. The operators aren’t paying attention to the warehouse floor. Consequently, warehouse workers are focusing on the heat instead of their proximity to the machines. Collisions, mishaps and other issues are now at the forefront of concerns for any managers.
When the temperatures rise, a safe warehouse isn’t on workers’ minds. Although they may try to fight the fatigue, heat stress significantly reduces productivity. Workers’ bodies will sweat while slowing the heart rate down. The body is trying to cool off by reducing movements in the heat. Workplace safety continues to suffer as long as the heat remains steady. Slow productivity leads to mistakes that are resolved with even slower movements.
Ideally, workers should take multiple breaks during the hottest part of the day. Drinking plenty of water will help their productivity levels, but they won’t return to normal. Managers might consider an earlier starting time. When the sun rises early in the spring and summer, starting work at 6 a.m. is a clever idea. Workers break for lunch or stop activities altogether as the hottest part of the day settles in.
Workplace safety is also an issue as the heat increases because medical conditions become aggravated. Some of your employees may have heart-related diseases. These hard workers are often under medical care, but they offer some of the best productivity in the industry. When the heat rises, however, these medical conditions show their true colors.
It’s not unheard of for a heart attack or diabetic episode to occur at the workplace when the employees are under medicinal care. Heat stress is incredibly stressful on the body, and it simply triggers ailments to rear their ugly heads. If any employees appear pale or faint, they need water and cooler conditions right away.
Some of your employees may work in the field for most of the day. Workplace safety becomes an issue when their skin isn’t protected with either sunscreen or clothing. Ideally, they should be wearing long sleeves and pants when all-day work is part of the plan.
Clothing protects the skin and keeps it cool. You might see issues with heat stress when the workers remove part of their clothing in the sun. A sunburn is difficult to see as it develops so the person will work well until the stress suddenly strikes them.
Encourage breaks throughout the day with water available at all times. Provide sunscreen if necessary along with extra clothing so that everyone is protected from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation.
If you have any concerns about safe warehouse practices, contact us today with your questions. Alleviating difficult conditions is the main goal when it’s hot outside. Workplace safety must change with the times so that your employees are as comfortable as possible.