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Contractors: “Who Is Responsible For Their Safety?”

If you hire contractors, perform contract work, or work at a multi-employer work site, it can be difficult to determine what your safety responsibilities are. Use this infographic to gain a better understanding of how multi-employer rules apply in common situations and what you should look for when hiring a contractor.

Contractors: Who's Responsible for Safety?

Contractors: Who’s Responsible for Safety? by Safety.BLR.com

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“The Cost of Accidents & Not Reporting Near Misses”

 

Near misses happen every day in the workplace. Regardless of their potential for personal injury and property damage, all near misses should be taken seriously and consistently reported.
There are many terms which essentially mean the same thing – accident avoidance, close call, mishap or even narrow escape. It doesn’t matter exactly what terminology your business chooses to use when referring to a near miss. What matters is whether everyone understands exactly what constitutes a near miss and why it’s essential to make a record of it so it can be investigated and addressed.

Overcoming barriers to reporting

Many obstacles stand in the way of operating and utilizing an efficient and effective near-miss reporting program:

Fear of blame: Many employees are afraid to report near misses because either they don’t want to admit that they didn’t follow safety procedures or they will be mistakenly accused of doing something wrong. To create a truly effective near-miss reporting program, this stigma must be eliminated.

For near-miss reporting to work well, employers need to create a safe and comfortable atmosphere. The goal is to make employees so comfortable about the process that they report them as easily and freely as they would report a garbage can is full or a light bulb is burned out. Blame cannot be part of the equation – period.

Incoherent indifference: Another enemy of effective reporting is indifference. When a near miss occurs, some employees may question whether the situation was substantial enough to be recorded. When this happens, employees often simply disregard the event. This mindset can be lethal to a near-miss reporting program.

Hazards that are overlooked or dismissed as minor are lost opportunities for valuable insight. Employees should be trained on the importance of reporting each and every near miss. A clear definition should be provided on what constitutes a near miss, including any situation that appears to be “unsafe.” Once employees understand the importance of reporting and are clear on the definition of what defines a near miss, they will feel confident about their judgment and empowered to report.

Lack of supervisor support: Employees usually follow their direct supervisor’s instructions in most job-related situations. If a supervisor does not treat near-miss reporting as a priority, there is a good chance their personnel won’t either. Supervisors need to encourage this type of reporting and set an example by reporting near misses themselves. When employees know that their supervisors are completely on board with near-miss reporting, it is easier for them to feel comfortable to report, as well.

Near-miss reporting is a critical component of any well-organized and effective safety program. Over time, near-miss programs have been shown to save millions of dollars in medical care and equipment replacement costs. More importantly, they save lives.

Reporting near misses should not just be considered an “extra” thing or something the employee is ashamed or embarrassed to do. Instead, employees should feel proud that they are part of an effective process of prevention and incident management and thanked for their proactive safety behaviors.

Near Miss Additional Resources:

[PDF]Near Miss Reporting Systems – National Safety Council

http://www.nsc.org/…/NearMissReporting-Systems.pdf

National Safety Council

A Near Miss is an unplanned event that did not result in injury, illness, or … Near miss reporting is vitally important to preventing serious, fatal and catastrophic.

[PDF]Non-Injury and Near-Miss Incident Reporting Form – CMU
https://www.cmu.edu/…/Non-Injury%20%20NearMiss%2…
Carnegie Mellon University

Non-Injury and NearMiss Incident Reporting Form. Instructions: … http://www.cmu.edu/hr/benefits/benefit_programs/forms/WCforms.pdf. • In each of the sections …

[PDF]Near Miss Incident Information Report

http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/680-017_fillable.pdf

Boy Scouts of America

Near Miss Incident Information Report. (A near miss does not result in injury, illness, or damage by definition, but it had the potential to do so.) Near miss incident …

[PDF]“near-miss” reporting – CEBC

https://cebc.ku.edu/sites/cebc.drupal.ku.edu/files/…/nearmiss.pdf

University of Kansas

accident, and reduce the consequences if the accident does occur. –Following the plan. –Reportingand learning from “near-misses”. • NearMiss reporting …

[PDF]Employee’s Report of Injury Form

https://www.osha.gov/…/3_Accident_I…

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Instructions: Employees shall use this form to report all work related injuries, illnesses, or. “near … I am reporting a work related: ❑ Injury ❑ Illness ❑ Near miss.

[PDF]Near Miss Reporting Instructions

http://www.memphis.edu/ehs/pdfs/near_miss_report.pdf

University of Memphis

Near Miss Reporting Instructions. If you experience or witness an event that could have resulted in an injury or illness, but did not evolve to that point, you are …

[PDF]Near Miss Report

https://www.ndsu.edu/fileadmin/…/UPSO-NearMiss.pdf

North Dakota State University

Near Miss: a potential hazard or an unplanned event that did not result in an injury, illness, exposure or damage – but had the potential to do so. There was NO …

[PDF]Near Miss Reporting presentation

▫Define what is a near miss. Defined – so everyone is on the same page. ▫ Practical reporting. How do we apply this and make it work? Objective …

Accident and Near Miss Report | North Dakota Workforce Safety …

https://www.workforcesafety.com/…/acci…

North Dakota Workforce Safety & Insurance

Incident And Near Miss Procedures (Word) (PDF) Incident Report (Word) (PDF) Near Miss Report(Word) (PDF)

[PDF]HOW to INCREASE NEAR MISS REPORTING – DKF Solutions

What Are the Barriers to Reporting Near Misses? If You were asked to define what a … NEAR MISS – Near misses describe incidents where no property was damaged and no …… http://www.workforcesafety.com/safety/sops/NearMissReport.pdf .

“How You Can Prevent “Slips, Trips & Falls.”

It’s probably happened to most of us. That momentary lapse of inattention thinking about a personal problem or distracted by an activity that ends in a slip, trip or fall. A stumble down a stairway. A trip over an uneven surface. Slipping on the ice. It can lead to a variety of regrettable events ranging from a simple bruised shin to an extremely serious injury. It’s just one of a variety of conditions and situations that set the stage for slips, trips and falls in the workplace.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, slips, trips and falls make up the majority of general industry accidents, which account for:

  • 15 percent of all accidental deaths per year, the second-leading cause behind motor vehicles
  • About 25 percent of all reported injury claims per fiscal year
  • More than 95 million lost work days per year – about 65 percent of all work days lost

In general, slips and trips occur due to a loss of traction between the shoe and the walking surface or an inadvertent contact with a fixed or moveable object which may lead to a fall. There are a variety of situations that may cause slips, trips and falls.

  • Wet or greasy floors
  • Dry floors with wood dust or powder
  • Uneven walking surfaces
  • Polished or freshly waxed floors
  • Loose flooring, carpeting or mats
  • Transition from one floor type to another
  • Missing or uneven floor tiles and bricks
  • Damaged or irregular steps; no handrails
  • Sloped walking surfaces
  • Shoes with wet, muddy, greasy or oily soles
  • Clutter
  • Electrical cords or cables
  • Open desk or file cabinet drawers
  • Damaged ladder steps
  • Ramps and gang planks without skid-resistant surfaces
  • Metal surfaces – dock plates, construction plates
  • Weather hazards – rain, sleet, ice, snow, hail, frost
  • Wet leaves or pine needles

Here are six guidelines to help you create a safer working environment for you and your employees.

1) Create Good Housekeeping Practices
Good housekeeping is critical. Safety and housekeeping go hand-in-hand. If your facility’s housekeeping habits are poor, the result may be a higher incidence of employee injuries, ever-increasing insurance costs and regulatory citations. If an organization’s facilities are noticeably clean and well organized, it is a good indication that its overall safety program is effective as well.

Proper housekeeping is a routine. It is an ongoing procedure that is simply done as a part of each worker’s daily performance. To create an effective housekeeping program, there are three simple steps to get you started

  • Plan ahead– Know what needs to be done, who’s going to do it and what the particular work area should look like when you are done.
  • Assign responsibilities– It may be necessary to assign a specific person or group of workers to clean up, although personal responsibility for cleaning up after himself/herself is preferred.
  • Implement a program– Establish housekeeping procedures as a part of the daily routine.

2) Reduce Wet or Slippery Surfaces
Walking surfaces account for a significant portion of injuries reported by state agencies. The most frequently reported types of surfaces where these injuries occur include

Traction on outdoor surfaces can change considerably when weather conditions change. Those conditions can then affect indoor surfaces as moisture is tracked in by pedestrian traffic. Traction control procedures should be constantly monitored for their effectiveness.

  • Keep parking lots and sidewalks clean and in good repair condition.
  • When snow and ice are present, remove or treat these elements. In some extreme cases, it may be necessary to suspend use of the area.
  • Use adhesive striping material or anti-skid paint whenever possible.

Indoor control measures can help reduce the incidence of slips and falls.

  • Use moisture-absorbent mats with beveled edges in entrance areas. Make sure they have backing material that will not slide on the floor.
  • Display “Wet Floor” signs as needed.
  • Use anti-skid adhesive tape in troublesome areas.
  • Clean up spills immediately. Create a procedure for taking the appropriate action when someone causes or comes across a food or drink spill.
  • Use proper area rugs or mats for food preparation areas.

3) Avoid Creating Obstacles in Aisles and Walkways
Injuries can also result in from trips caused by obstacles, clutter, materials and equipment in aisles, corridors, entranceways and stairwells. Proper housekeeping in work and traffic areas is still the most effective control measure in avoiding the proliferation of these types of hazards. This means having policies or procedures in place and allowing time for cleaning the area, especially where scrap material or waste is a by-product of the work operation.

  • Keep all work areas, passageways, storerooms and service areas clean and orderly.
  • Avoid stringing cords, cables or air hoses across hallways or in any designated aisle.
  • In office areas, avoid leaving boxes, files or briefcases in the aisles.
  • Encourage safe work practices such as closing file cabinet drawers after use and picking up loose items from the floor.
  • Conduct periodic inspections for slip and trip hazards.

4) Create and Maintain Proper Lighting
Poor lighting in the workplace is associated with an increase in accidents.

  • Use proper illumination in walkways, staircases, ramps, hallways, basements, construction areas and dock areas.
  • Keep work areas well lit and clean.
  • Upon entering a darkened room, always turn on the light first.
  • Keep poorly lit walkways clear of clutter and obstructions.
  • Keep areas around light switches clear and accessible.
  • Repair fixtures, switches and cords immediately if they malfunction.

5) Wear Proper Shoes
The shoes we wear can play a big part in preventing falls. The slickness of the soles and the type of heels worn need to be evaluated to avoid slips, trips and falls. Shoelaces need to be tied correctly. Whenever a fall-related injury is investigated, the footwear needs to be evaluated to see if it contributed to the incident. Employees are expected to wear footwear appropriate for the duties of their work task.

6) Control Individual Behavior
This condition is the toughest to control. It is human nature to let our guard down for two seconds and be distracted by random thoughts or doing multiple activities. Being in a hurry will result in walking too fast or running which increases the chances of a slip, trip or fall. Taking shortcuts, not watching where one is going, using a cell phone, carrying materials which obstructs the vision, wearing sunglasses in low-light areas, not using designated walkways and speed are common elements in many on-the-job injuries

“The DuPont Integrated Approach (DnA) For Safety”

A Focus on ‘Why?’ Accelerates Safety Performance

DuPont tests a new safety approach that goes beyond traditional behavioral-safety programs.

By: Bob Krzywicki, Global Practice Leader for Employee Safety, DuPont Sustainable Solutions

Instead of taking a sprawling corner office when he joined the company, former Alcoa Inc. CEO, Paul O’Neill, settled into his new role by taking his place in a cubicle. This wasn’t the only untraditional move O’Neill made as CEO of the aluminum giant.

Unlike other CEOs, O’Neill didn’t place profit or sales on the top of his agenda. Instead, he made safety his top priority and mission, saying that in order to be considered a world-class company; it first had to become the safest. His goal was to see that no employee was injured in the workplace. In 1987, when O’Neill joined Alcoa, the company’s rate of time lost due to employee injuries was one-third the U.S. average. Today, the time lost due to injury is less than one twentieth of the average and profits of the company broke records upon O’Neill’s retirement at $1.5 billion on sales of $22.9 billion. Today, Alcoa holds itself to the same standards and saw revenue increase to $6.4 billion in 2011.

Companies like Alcoa are no longer making safety a priority, but a value. Many of these same companies already have in place robust safety procedures and practices and have industry leading performances to match. That said, a growing number are looking for the next opportunity to move beyond plateaued safety performance, which for many is at or below a total injury recordable rate of 1.0 per 200,000 hours worked.

Take the DuPont Spruance plant in Richmond, Virginia. Since the 1960s, this plant has been producing Nomex, a flame-resistant meta-aramid fiber that is employed as a dielectric insulator for high temperatures. The plant is DuPont’s largest manufacturing site by employment and capital investment. The 550-acre plant, located on the James River, is the global headquarters for one of DuPont’s fastest-growing businesses, DuPont Protection Technologies.

The Nomex business at the plant has a great track record of growth and improvement over the last decade. Last year, its safety performance was considered better than the DuPont corporate average. But plant management wanted more – they were looking for something to take them to the next level of safety management. They wanted to ensure that plant operations didn’t get stale and stagnate.

A New Approach to Safety

Companies can and should look for a renewed approach to safety. With more than 210 years of experience as an owner/operator, DuPont continues to evolve its safety practices with a commitment to achieving zero workplace injuries and illnesses. Most recently, the company introduced the DuPont Integrated Approach (DnA) for Safety– a methodology designed to facilitate organizational transformation through the individual. Its basis is a “below-the-waterline view” of people’s values, attitudes and unobservable beliefs, in addition to their observable actions and behaviors. For companies that find themselves in a safety plateau, DnA offers a way to go beyond traditional programs by integrating behavioral, social and cognitive science as a means of more effectively influencing individuals’ values and, ultimately their behaviors.

Behavior-based safety programs and other traditional methods for managing workplace safety rely on clear expectations, an observation process, and feedback. This approach places emphasis on compliance and is dependent upon an observation / feedback process. What it doesn’t address, however, is why behaviors change in the absence of an authoritative figure or when employees leave the workplace. What is needed is an approach that drives not only compliant behaviors, but individual commitment. No one plans to go to work and injure themselves and yet, despite all the procedural and behavioral reinforcement measures in today’s workplace, accidents still happen. Companies should not accept these as “human error” and move forward with business as usual

DuPont Integrated Approach (DnA) for Safety

DnA for Safety is a new approach to safety because it takes into account how and why people make decisions. It accounts for motivational factors, which are both intrinsic and extrinsic, and addresses the means by which high-risk habits are formed. DnA enables companies to build a more effective, tailored safety program, based on the specific needs of a business and its personnel, using a more holistic understanding of what drives human behavior.

This core element is what differentiates DnA for Safety from traditional safety programs. Traditional programs are about shifting behaviors within an organizational culture; DnA is about shifting an individual’s own beliefs and values. This technique aligns an individual’s attitudes and values with those of an organization, thereby ensuring that they believe and act in the safest manner possible. This transformation process is a journey and takes place one day at a time, one individual at a time.

The next frontier in terms of safety is not necessarily related to breakthroughs in safety management practices. To reach new levels of success is going to require more effective safety leadership; less push and more pull, less emphasis on doing things right and more on doing the right things.

Setting a Sustainable Transformation

The DnA for Safety methodology is positioned to deliver such results and the Nomex plant was an ideal pilot. The program launched in December 2011 and provided a combination of training and coaching sessions, as well as workshops, to operators, first line supervisors and leadership at the plant. More than 30 managers and team members were trained. The process included:

  • A 2-day operational-level offering for the business safety leadership/DnA implementation team
  • A subsequent 2-day line supervisor offering
  • Focused coaching sessions for business leadership, line managers and first line supervisors
  • A 4-hour “shop floor” delivery for more than 400 hourly employees
  • “Supervisors skills workshops” delivered over a period of 6 months to strengthen safety supervisory skills

The DnA pilot program received a positive response from participants across all levels of the Nomex plant. The majority of the employees who participated in the “shop floor” sessions rated the class as the best safety engagement program they ever experienced. The feedback came from employees who ranged in career length from several years to over 40 years, and many people reported DnA for Safety was the ‘best ever’ program they’d encountered.

In comparison to other manufacturing operations at the Spruance site, with the DnA program, Nomex remains the site’s best performing business with regard to safety performance. The next step for Nomex is to continue the journey to safety improvement by implementing DnA methodology and reinforcing it as a part of their daily routines and work practices.

In order to be great, companies need visionary leaders that are constantly influencing change and striving for excellence in safety. To more effectively initiate change requires more effective leadership capabilities. Traditional methodologies drive results, but have limitations. With a better understanding of the individual decision making process, organizational leadership is far better equipped to motivate and inspire employees and to ultimately transform entire organizations.

Download Program Overview Here: http://www.dupont.com/content/dam/assets/products-and-services/consulting-services-process-technologies/articles/documents/DnA_USA_Brochure_06192012.pdf

Bob Krzywicki is a global practice leader for employee safety at DuPont Sustainable Solutions (DSS).

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“Near Miss Reporting – “How One Wrong Act Leads To Eventual Harm”

image

Near misses happen every day in the workplace. Regardless of their potential for personal injury and property damage, all near misses should be taken seriously and consistently reported.
There are many terms which essentially mean the same thing – accident avoidance, close call, mishap or even narrow escape. It doesn’t matter exactly what terminology your business chooses to use when referring to a near miss. What matters is whether everyone understands exactly what constitutes a near miss and why it’s essential to make a record of it so it can be investigated and addressed.

Overcoming barriers to reporting

Many obstacles stand in the way of operating and utilizing an efficient and effective near-miss reporting program:

Fear of blame: Many employees are afraid to report near misses because either they don’t want to admit that they didn’t follow safety procedures or they will be mistakenly accused of doing something wrong. To create a truly effective near-miss reporting program, this stigma must be eliminated.

For near-miss reporting to work well, employers need to create a safe and comfortable atmosphere. The goal is to make employees so comfortable about the process that they report them as easily and freely as they would report a garbage can is full or a light bulb is burned out. Blame cannot be part of the equation – period.

Incoherent indifference: Another enemy of effective reporting is indifference. When a near miss occurs, some employees may question whether the situation was substantial enough to be recorded. When this happens, employees often simply disregard the event. This mindset can be lethal to a near-miss reporting program.

Hazards that are overlooked or dismissed as minor are lost opportunities for valuable insight. Employees should be trained on the importance of reporting each and every near miss. A clear definition should be provided on what constitutes a near miss, including any situation that appears to be “unsafe.” Once employees understand the importance of reporting and are clear on the definition of what defines a near miss, they will feel confident about their judgment and empowered to report.

Lack of supervisor support: Employees usually follow their direct supervisor’s instructions in most job-related situations. If a supervisor does not treat near-miss reporting as a priority, there is a good chance their personnel won’t either. Supervisors need to encourage this type of reporting and set an example by reporting near misses themselves. When employees know that their supervisors are completely on board with near-miss reporting, it is easier for them to feel comfortable to report, as well.

Near-miss reporting is a critical component of any well-organized and effective safety program. Over time, near-miss programs have been shown to save millions of dollars in medical care and equipment replacement costs. More importantly, they save lives.

Reporting near misses should not just be considered an “extra” thing or something the employee is ashamed or embarrassed to do. Instead, employees should feel proud that they are part of an effective process of prevention and incident management and thanked for their proactive safety behaviors.

Forklift Safety – “Are Your Employees Trained Properly?”

Note: This video may sound and seem funny, but it’s not, these are dangerous acts and accidents!

Frequently Asked Questions about Powered Industrial Truck Operator Training


The powered industrial truck operator training requirements apply to all industries where trucks are being used, except agricultural operations.

1. What is the definition of a powered industrial truck?

Any mobile power-propelled truck used to carry, push, pull, lift, stack or tier materials. Powered industrial trucks can be ridden or controlled by a walking operator. Earth moving and over the road haulage trucks are not included in the definition. Equipment that was designed to move earth but has been modified to accept forks are also not included.

2. What does the standard require?

The standard requires employers to develop and implement a training program based on the general principles of safe truck operation, the types of vehicle(s) being used in the workplace, the hazards of the workplace created by the use of the vehicle(s), and the general safety requirements of the OSHA standard. Trained operators must know how to do the job properly and do it safely as demonstrated by workplace evaluation. Formal (lecture, video, etc.) and practical (demonstration and practical exercises) training must be provided. Employers must also certify that each operator has received the training and evaluate each operator at least once every three years. Prior to operating the truck in the workplace, the employer must evaluate the operator’s performance and determine the operator to be competent to operate a powered industrial truck safely. Refresher training is needed whenever an operator demonstrates a deficiency in the safe operation of the truck.

3. Does OSHA provide a list of topics to include in my training program?

Yes. The standard provides a list of training topics; however, the employer may exclude those topics which are not relevant to safe operation at the employee’s work location.

4. Who should conduct the training?

All training and evaluation must be conducted by persons with the necessary knowledge, training, and experience to train powered industrial truck operators and evaluate their competence. An example of a qualified trainer would be a person who, by possession of a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing, or who by extensive knowledge, training, and experience has demonstrated the ability to train and evaluate powered industrial truck operators.

There are many resources available to the employer if he/she chooses not to perform the training himself. Truck manufacturers, local safety and health safety organizations, such as the National Safety Council local chapters, private consultants with expertise in powered industrial trucks, local trade and vocational schools are some available resources.

Various Internet sites are devoted to forklift safety. Private companies who provide forklift safety training services, including videos and written programs, can be located on various Internet websites. Most videos can be either leased or purchased. One important thing to remember is that simply by showing employees a video or videos on some aspect of forklift safety does not meet the full requirements of the OSHA standard. Site specific information must be conveyed as well as a method to evaluate the employee’s acquired knowledge subsequent to the training.

5. If my employees receive training from an outside consultant, how will I know that these employees have been adequately trained?

Outside qualified training organizations can provide evidence that the employee has successfully completed the relevant classroom and practical training. However, each employer must ensure that each powered industrial truck operator is competent to operate a truck safely, as demonstrated by the successful completion of the training and evaluation.

6. My employees receive training from the union on the use of powered industrial trucks. Will I have to provide any additional training?

When a worker reports to work, the employer must evaluate the employee to ensure that he/she is knowledgeable about the operation of the powered industrial trucks he/she will be assigned to operate. This evaluation could be as simple as having a person with the requisite skills, knowledge and experience observe the operator performing several typical operations to ensure that the truck is being operated safely and asking the operator a few questions related to the safe operation of the vehicle. If the operator has operated the same type of equipment before in the same type of environment that he/she will be expected to be working, then duplicative or additional training is not required.

7. Is testing required?

No. The standard does not specifically require testing; however, some method of evaluation is necessary.

8. Does OSHA require the employer to issue licenses to employees who have received training?

No. The OSHA standard does not require employees to be licensed. An employer may choose to issue licenses to trained operators.

9. What type of records or documentation must I keep?

The OSHA standard requires that the employer certify that each operator has received the training and has been evaluated. The written certification record must include the name of the operator, the date of the training, the date of the evaluation, and the identify of the person(s) performing the training or evaluation.

10. How long must I keep the certification records?

Employers who evaluate the operator’s performance more frequently than every three years may retain the most recent certification record; otherwise, certification records must be maintained for three years.

11. If my employees receive training, but accidents still continue to occur, what should I do?

Refresher training in relevant topics is necessary when the operator has been involved in an accident or near-miss incident.

12. Is annual training required?

No. An evaluation of each powered industrial truck operator’s performance is required to be conducted after initial training, after refresher training, and at least once every three years.

13. How often must refresher training be given?

The standard does not require any specific frequency of refresher training. Refresher training must be provided when:

  1. The operator has been observed to operate the vehicle in an unsafe manner.
  2. The operator has been involved in an accident or near-miss incident.
  3. The operator has received an evaluation that reveals that the operator is not operating the truck safely.
  4. The operator is assigned to drive a different type of truck.
  5. A condition in the workplace changes in a manner that could affect safety operation of the truck.

14. If my employees have already received training, or have been operating trucks for many years, must I retrain them?

No. An employer does not need to retrain an employee in the operation of a powered industrial truck if the employer certifies that the operator has been evaluated and has proven to be competent to operate the truck safely. The operator would need additional training in those elements where his or her performance indicates the need for further training and for new types of equipment and areas of operation.

15. How do I evaluate my employee’s competency to operate a truck safely?

Evaluation of an operator’s performance can be determined by a number of ways, such as:

  • a discussion with the employee
  • an observation of the employee operating the powered industrial truck
  • written documentation of previous training
  • a performance test

16. Does OSHA provide training to my truck operators?

No. It is the employer’s responsibility to train the employees.

17. Do I have to train all employees in my workplace?

Any employee that operates a powered industrial truck must be trained.

18. Do I have to ensure that my operator’s are physically capable of driving a powered industry truck?

The new standard does not contain provisions for checking vision, hearing or general medical status of employees operating powered industrial trucks. The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) addresses the issue of whether employers may impose physical qualifications upon employees or applicants for employment. The ADA permits employers to adopt medical qualification requirements which are necessary to assure that an individual does not pose a “direct threat to the health or safety of other individuals in the workplace” provided all reasonable efforts are made to accommodate otherwise qualified individuals.

19. I have three different types of trucks in my workplace. Can I provide training on just one type of truck?

If an operator will be expected to operate all three types of vehicles, then training must address the unique characteristics of each type of vehicle the employee is expected to operate. When an attachment is used on the truck to move odd-shaped materials, then the operator training must include instruction on the safe conduct of those operations so that the operator knows and understands the restrictions or limitations created by each vehicle’s use.

20. I only have powered hand trucks in my workplace. Do the training requirements cover the operators of this type of vehicle? The operator walks alongside the unit while holding onto the handle to guide it.

Yes. The use of powered hand trucks present numerous hazards to employees who operate them and those working in the area where they are used.

21. I employ drivers from a temporary agency. Who provides them training – the temporary service or me?

OSHA has issued several letters of interpretations on the subject of training of temporary employees. Basically, there is a shared responsibility for assuring employees are adequately trained. The responsibility for providing training should be spelled out in the contractual agreement between the two parties. The temporary agency or the contracting employer may conduct the training and evaluation of operators from a temporary agency as required by the standard; however, the host employer (or other employer who enters into a contract with the temporary agency) must provide site-specific information and training on the use of the particular types of trucks and workplace-related topics that are present in the workplace.

22. Should my training include the use of operator restraint devices (e.g. seat belts)?

Employers are required to train employees in all operating instructions, warnings, and precautions listed in the operator’s manual for the type of vehicle which the employee is being trained to operate. Therefore, operators must be trained in the use of operator restraint systems when it is addressed in the operating instructions.

23. What does OSHA expect to achieve as a result of improved operator’s training?

OSHA’s goal is to reduce the number of injuries and illnesses that occur to workers in the workplace from unsafe powered industrial truck usage. By providing an effective training program many other benefits will result. Among these are the lower cost of compensation insurance, less property damage, and less product damage.

24. Where can I get additional information about OSHA standards?

For more information, contact your local or Regional OSHA office (listed in the telephone directory under United States Government – Department of Labor – Occupational Safety and Health Administration). OSHA also has a Home Page on the Internet.

 

Near Miss Reporting – “How One Wrong Act Leads To Eventual Harm”

Near misses happen every day in the workplace. Regardless of their potential for personal injury and property damage, all near misses should be taken seriously and consistently reported. There are many terms which essentially mean the same thing – accident avoidance, close call, mishap or even narrow escape. It doesn’t matter exactly what terminology your business chooses to use when referring to a near miss. What matters is whether everyone understands exactly what constitutes a near miss and why it’s essential to make a record of it so it can be investigated and addressed.

Overcoming barriers to reporting

Many obstacles stand in the way of operating and utilizing an efficient and effective near-miss reporting program:

Fear of blame: Many employees are afraid to report near misses because either they don’t want to admit that they didn’t follow safety procedures or they will be mistakenly accused of doing something wrong. To create a truly effective near-miss reporting program, this stigma must be eliminated.

For near-miss reporting to work well, employers need to create a safe and comfortable atmosphere. The goal is to make employees so comfortable about the process that they report them as easily and freely as they would report a garbage can is full or a light bulb is burned out. Blame cannot be part of the equation – period.

Incoherent indifference: Another enemy of effective reporting is indifference. When a near miss occurs, some employees may question whether the situation was substantial enough to be recorded. When this happens, employees often simply disregard the event. This mindset can be lethal to a near-miss reporting program.

Hazards that are overlooked or dismissed as minor are lost opportunities for valuable insight. Employees should be trained on the importance of reporting each and every near miss. A clear definition should be provided on what constitutes a near miss, including any situation that appears to be “unsafe.” Once employees understand the importance of reporting and are clear on the definition of what defines a near miss, they will feel confident about their judgment and empowered to report.

Lack of supervisor support: Employees usually follow their direct supervisor’s instructions in most job-related situations. If a supervisor does not treat near-miss reporting as a priority, there is a good chance their personnel won’t either. Supervisors need to encourage this type of reporting and set an example by reporting near misses themselves. When employees know that their supervisors are completely on board with near-miss reporting, it is easier for them to feel comfortable to report, as well.

Near-miss reporting is a critical component of any well-organized and effective safety program. Over time, near-miss programs have been shown to save millions of dollars in medical care and equipment replacement costs. More importantly, they save lives.

Reporting near misses should not just be considered an “extra” thing or something the employee is ashamed or embarrassed to do. Instead, employees should feel proud that they are part of an effective process of prevention and incident management and thanked for their proactive safety behaviors.

“OSHA Quick Cards – Pocket Safety Cards For Tool Box Talks & More! – Available In English / Spanish”

OSHA Quick Card

  • Aerial Lifts Quick Card [English: PDF | HTML | Spanish: PDF | HTML]
  • Avian Flu:
    General Precautions [English: PDF | HTML | Spanish: HTML]
    Poultry Workers [English: PDF | HTML | Spanish: HTML]
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