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What is a Safety Manager?

At warehouse work sites, safety is always the #1 priority. But safety doesn’t just happen by itself. In fact, maintaining a safe job site requires three key elements.  A commitment to safety from senior management. Training that complies with OSHA process safety management guidelines. And someone to make it all happen. That someone would be the safety manager – a trained professional who has full oversight of a company’s safety program.

The safety manager job description contains a long list of duties. First and foremost is protecting the safety of all workers by providing a safe work site. This broad goal includes:

– Setting clear safety guidelines. Every company needs safety guidelines for workers to follow. The safety manager has the task of installing an OSHA-approved safety program. This includes having a manual that outlines all safety policies and procedures.

– Self-education. The safety manager job description also calls for ongoing education. This helps managers stay current with new OSHA process safety management guidelines. It also keeps them up to date with new safety equipment and techniques.

– Management training. A well-trained management team supports a safer workplace. Safety managers provide health, safety, and accident prevention training for all senior execs.

– Employee training. Safety managers see that all workers are trained to OSHA safety standards. This includes basic safety guidelines and the hazards related to equipment workers use on the job. With some equipment, like aerial lifts, OSHA requires workers to be trained and certified.

– Workplace inspections. Once a year, the safety manager inspects the workplace to assure safe working conditions. He or she also conducts spot checks as needed.

– Safety promotion. Safety managers provide materials to keep workers up to date on safety guidelines. They also oversee recognition systems that reward workers who abide by company safety rules.

– Accident investigations. When accidents occur, safety managers first look for the cause. Then they create a detailed report of the incident. Afterward, they develop measures to prevent a repeat of the accident.

– Claims management. When workers get injured on the job, they file claims to cover the cost of medical care. Safety managers oversee the handling of these claims. They also ensure all injuries are posted in the OSHA logbook.

Creating A Safe Working Environment

On a daily basis, a top priority for safety managers is keeping the workplace free of hazards. If hazards can’t be removed, safety managers strive to reduce their risk. For example, adding extra lighting in dimly lit areas. Putting non-slip tread strips or anti-slip coating on slippery floors. Adding pallet rack guards in storage areas. Safety managers also need to make sure all hazards are clearly marked. This can be done with signs, posters, labels, floor markings, color codes, and more.

The next order of business is making sure workers adhere to company safety guidelines. All workers need to know the company’s safety procedures. They also need to have the training to safely operate equipment. This includes having the proper aerial lift certifications. It also involves enforcing lockout/tagout procedures. These help safeguard workers from the unexpected startup of machines or equipment.

Safety managers job also analyze job hazards to reduce risk. This starts with listing the hazards related to each job. The next step is to determine what triggers those hazards. Then the manager takes steps to improve safety. One of these is encouraging workers to report “near misses.” These are accidents that almost happened, but didn’t. These close calls reinforce the need to work safely.

Other common daily tasks for safety managers include:

Reinforce safety training. Safety managers can provide workers with daily reminders about safety. These can come in the form of booklets, brochures, fact sheets, posters, and more. Live workshops and online training courses also help keep safety top of mind with workers.

Keep the workplace clean and neat. OSHA states that all working surfaces should be free of hazards. These include sharp objects, loose floorboards, leaks, spills, snow, ice and more. “Clean” best practices include:

– Keeping all floor surfaces clean and well-maintained

– Seeing that storage areas are not crowded with items that belong elsewhere

– Discarding seldom-used and unnecessary tools

– Keeping frequently used tools in a common area

Enforce the wearing of safety equipment. First, safety managers see that the company provides the right personal protection equipment (PPE). This can include everything from hard hats and safety glasses to fall protection gear for aerial lifts. The safety manager also makes sure workers wear their PPE on the job.

Make sure floors and pipes are properly marked. Floor marking can increase warehouse safety and worker efficiency. Safe floor marking consists of:

– Having separate paths for forklifts and pedestrians

– Marking posts, speed bumps, and other hazards with reflective tape

– Using striped hazard tape around loading docks, curbs, and other exposed edges

– Having dedicated storage areas for inventory, machines, and other equipment

All pipes should have color-coded labels to indicate what’s inside them.

Conduct safety inspections and audits. A safety inspection looks for hazards and unsafe practices at the work site. It should also ensure safety measures are in place. A safety audit takes a big picture look at the entire safety program. This includes measuring the results to see if they meet the stated safety goals. Audits also identify:

– Outdated safety procedures

– Safety problems that keep recurring

– Best practices that aren’t being used

– Ways to improve safety training

Use signage to promote safety awareness. Safety managers should post hazard warnings in highly visible areas. Signs that remind workers to wear PPE should also be posted. Signs that direct floor traffic and point out emergency exits are also important.

Reward workplace safety. Workers that follow company safety practices should be recognized for their good work habits. This will reinforce the desired behaviors and encourage other workers to practice good safety habits.

How To Become A Safety Manager

Most companies require safety managers to have a bachelor’s degree in engineering. The discipline could be electrical, chemical, mechanical, industrial, or from some other area. Many employers will accept a degree in industrial hygiene or environmental safety. Employers also value real-world experience such as apprentice training programs during college.

High school students wondering how to become a safety manager would do well to take a heavy course load. It should include advanced math and science courses such as calculus, chemistry and physics. Entry level safety manager jobs require a B.S. degree. Higher level jobs usually require a Master’s degree.

Many safety manager jobs require certifications. For example: Certified Safety Professional (CSP), Occupational Health and Safety Technologist (OHST), or Associate Safety Professional (ASP).

Be Safe: Train and Certify

You can’t over-emphasize safety in the workplace. One way to keep it top of mind is with refresher aerial lift training and certification courses. OSHA requires re-certification every three years. Workers who shift to a different type of aerial lift also need new training. Right after an accident is another good time for re-training.

Aerial lift certification improves safety. It can also help your company avoid OSHA penalties. The highest fine for serious violations is $13,260. Willful or repeated violations can cost more than $132,000. Why take a chance with worker safety or your bottom line? Get all your aerial lift workers certified the easy way with

How Many Miles Does an Average Forklift Travel in a Year?

Have you ever wondered how many miles a forklift gets driven in a year? As the workhorse for many warehouses, they’re “on the road” eight hours a day, often more. They may not travel very far with each trip. But over time those small trips can add up to a lot of miles.

There’s only one problem with answering this question – forklifts don’t come with mileage indicators. So there’s no way of knowing how many miles they rack up each year. Instead, forklift “age” is measured in hours of use, not miles. And that can be easily tracked.

Assuming an 8-hour work day, the average forklift runs 2,000 hours per year. Throw in some overtime hours on a regular basis, and that number will increase. With the average lifespan of a forklift around 10,000 hours, that comes to about five years of reliable service. The best-made forklifts can last as long as 20,000 hours.

What Determines the Life Span of a Forklift?

As with autos, two forklifts of the same model can age at very different rates. Forklift types and their lifespan are determined by four basic factors.

Type of engine. One of the biggest factors is whether the forklift uses internal combustion (IC) or electricity as its source of power. The electrics have a real advantage in terms of longevity, mainly because they have fewer moving parts. The simpler mechanical setup and alternating current motor reduce the risk of fire. Electrics also tend to need fewer repairs. Their weakness is the batteries. They last for around 1,500 charging cycles, or about five years before they need to be replaced.

Forklift environment. Aside from the type of engine, where the forklift works have the biggest impact of aging. A truck that works indoors in clean conditions will have a much longer life span than one working outside in rough terrain and extreme weather. Consistently heavy loads can also speed up the aging process. If you use forklifts for inside and outside work, it’s a good idea to rotate them every few months. This will slow down the aging process. It will also help your trucks wear out at the same rate.

Other forklift environment factors that can lead to rapid aging include:

– Working in cold temperatures (i.e. freezers in food warehouses)

– Working multiple shifts on a daily basis

– Using attachments

– If you maintain your car on a regular basis, it will last longer. The same is true with forklift maintenance. Keep your trucks clean and well-tuned and they will provide many more hours of use. This means checking fluid levels before each shift. Tires, belts, and other parts that wear out should also be checked for wear-and-tear. Changing the oil and refilling water levels in the battery of an electric truck will also help it last longer. If you wait until a problem occurs to perform forklift maintenance, you can expect performance problems and shorter service life. You can also expect costly repairs and reduced productivity.

– Operational hours. On average, well-maintained forklift engines last 10,000 to 20,000 hours. Forklifts that work in extreme conditions will rack up fewer hours before needing replacement.

The Benefits of Forklift Maintenance

A complete forklift maintenance program includes the following:

Daily inspection. This involves checking tires pressure, fluid levels, brake performance and more. A daily inspection makes sure the forklift is safe to use before starting the shift. It helps spot small problems before they become big ones. And they’re required by OSHA. Using a standardized checklist will ensure you don’t overlook any safety elements.

Scheduled maintenance. This involves oil changes, replacing filters and spark plugs and other longer-term maintenance tasks. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommended schedule when performing these tasks. Some recommend service based on time. For example, change the oil every three months. Others schedule maintenance by hours of use. Either way, servicing your forklifts in a timely manner will help keep them safe and make them last longer. It will also save on repairs.

Regular cleaning. Clean your forklifts at least once a week. This does more than keep them looking good. It also improves safety by preventing the buildup of combustible materials on the truck. Cleaning should include blowing out the radiator, wiping down any dirty parts, and changing filters when needed.

The easiest way to stay on track is to sign up for a forklift maintenance plan. You pay an annual fee to a company that specializes in forklift maintenance. They service your forklifts as scheduled, using trained technicians. Your maintenance is performed on schedule. It is done right. The fee covers all necessary maintenance, but repairs cost extra. However, keeping your forklifts well maintained will reduce the need for repairs.

The company will also provide detailed records so that you know what procedures were done and when.

A good program of forklift maintenance does more than just extend the life of your trucks. It improves safety. It reduces downtime and lowers the cost of repairs. If an accident occurs, you can show that it wasn’t due to lack of maintenance. This can help avoid OSHA penalties. Finally, regular forklift maintenance also sends an important message to workers that, “We do things the right way in this company.” Conversely, slacking off of maintenance sends a message that it’s okay to cut corners in other parts of the business.

When to Replace A Forklift

Knowing when to replace a truck relies heavily on forklift types and their lifespan. Even when properly maintained, forklifts will become older and less efficient over time. This can impact fuel costs, productivity and result in more downtime. All of which increase operational costs and affect your bottom line. Knowing what to expect can help make the right decision for your business.

As forklifts begin to wear down, many companies continue to repair rather than replace them. Forklifts are a big capital expense, and even major repairs cost less than buying a new truck. So they continue using the aging forklift until it is no longer serviceable. In reality, this approach can cost more than replacing an aging truck. That’s why industry experts say the decision to replace should be based on the economic value of the truck rather than its age.

Once the cost of maintaining a forklift exceeds the cost of buying a new one, it’s time to replace it. This requires tracking all the costs involved: fuel, labor, maintenance, repairs, replacement parts, downtime, and more. The best approach is to have a planned replacement strategy. This involves tracking all costs related to forklift use throughout its lifetime. Then determine an “optimum replacement threshold” based on economic value, not the physical condition of the truck.

Forklift Safety

Whether your forklifts are old, new or in between – the safety of your workers always comes first. Proper forklift maintenance is a key safety factor, but safety starts with training and certification. You can have the best maintained fleet of trucks in the U.S. But if operators don’t know how to use the trucks properly, their safety will be compromised. offers fast, affordable online training for all types of forklifts. Our training is OSHA-approved. And you can take it anywhere you have Internet access. Visit us online, or call us at 888-699-4800 today.

Expert Tips for Construction Safety Week 2018

tips for construction safety week

Construction Safety Week runs from May 7-11 this year and aims to highlight the importance of a safe and hazard-free workplace for construction workers across the country. Construction Safety Week 2018’s slogan, “We are stronger and safer together,” serves as a reminder of how powerful a mutual understanding and respect of safety can impact the workplace. Continue reading

Aerial Lift Accidents Waiting to Happen [Video]

aerial lift fails are aerial lift accidents waiting to happen

The epic forklift fail has gained international attention over the past few years. Dangerous speeds, mind-boggling forklift configurations (including using a forklift to elevate another forklift) and other boneheaded near-blunders are viral videos waiting to happen.

But don’t forget about aerial lifts and scissor lifts – or both at the same time, as we’ll see in a minute. Continue reading

Global AWP Market Research Report 2017-2022

Global AWP Market Research Report

With a continued increase in the construction industry worldwide, and with industry technologies becoming more advanced and systems more mechanized, the global aerial work platform (AWP) market is growing at a steady pace and expected to continue. The market is projected to grow by nearly 7% by the end of 2026.

Learn more about the top factors influencing the market and its projected growth, where the market is heading, and which AWP vendors and manufacturers are leading the way in our report below.

Continue reading