Fall 2002 IVES Update Newsletter

We'll be covering: Safety Improves the Bottom Line. The Only Thing Permanent is Change. Questions on aerial lift training. Man lift basket on forklifts. ANSI/ASME standard revision.

In this Fall 2002 IVES Update Newsletter edition we’ll cover Safety Improves the Bottom Line, The Only Thing Permanent is Change, questions on aerial lift operator training, man lift basket on forklifts, ANSI/ASME standard revision and more!

Safety Improves The Bottom Line

This article addresses a topic that is discussed often but never seems to be fully appreciated. The topic is that of safety, particularly safety training, and its effect on a company’s bottom-line performance. Before we get in to some details, let’s take a look at some background information.

A few years back, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) published a statistic that attributed a staggering 70% of workplace accidents to the lack of, and/or improper, training. You should really stop reading this right now and take a moment to consider the magnitude of that statistic. It means that seven out of every ten accidents would theoretically not have happened if the people involved were properly trained. Astounding.

It would seem that the decision to do training in the workplace would be a no-brainer in light of this bombshell of a statistic, but it’s not. There are those people out there who will make their decision based purely on dollars, which comes as no surprise in today’s global business environment. Their logic usually sounds something like, “If the company is profitable, why on earth would I throw money into the black hole that is training and reduce my profit margins? Why would I disrupt production in my factory, warehouse, etc. and hamstring the very thing that generates my profit?”

Well,the answer to that logic is to fight fire with fire. If profitability is the overriding concern when considering safety training, then consider the following.

A recent survey conducted by Liberty Mutual, entitled “Executive Survey of Workplace Safety,” revealed that 95% of business executives report that workplace safety positively influences the company’s financial performance. Of these executives, 61% stated that they believe their companies receive a return of $3 or more for every $1 invested in improving workplace safety. Yes folks, you read that right, a 3-to-1 return on every dollar invested into proper safety training. I wish my other investments could perform like that!

The survey also revealed the impact that the two types of costs associated with workplace accidents can have on U.S. businesses: direct costs, or payments to injured employees and their medical care providers, and indirect costs, such as lost productivity and overtime costs. Over 90% of the executives surveyed see a relationship between these costs, with 40% of them reporting $1 of direct cost generates between $3 to $5 of indirect costs. So, for every dollar that is covered, 3 to 5 dollars comes out of your jeans.

By comparing the findings of indirect costs with its own research on the direct costs of workplace accidents and illness, Liberty Mutual calculated that U.S. businesses are paying a whopping $155 to $232 billion annually on workers’ compensation losses! That’s BILLION with a “B”… as in bankrupt!

“Workplace safety has a ripple effect, either positive or negative, on so many aspects of U.S. business operations today,” said Joseph Gilles, Executive Vice President – Commercial Insurance, Liberty Mutual. “The first step is to take preemptive measures to prevent employee pain and suffering caused by workplace injuries. Identifying the accident causes that have the greatest impact on the company (such as lack of or improper safety training) and focusing workplace resources on these will help a company reduce costs and achieve strategic corporate goals.”

Survey results are based on interviews with 200 executives responsible for workers’ compensation and other commercial insurance at 125 mid-size firms (1oo to 999 employees) and 75 large companies (1,000 or more employees).

Source: Liberty Mutual, 2001

The Only Thing Permanent is Change

Change, and particularly regulatory change, is absolutely necessary. Look at what has happened all around you over the years. Science and technology are advancing at an astonishing rate, discoveries in health and medicine are almost commonplace, how we communicate and relate with one another is totally different that it was even as near ago as the 80’s. Well, business and industry has changed too, and with it, the rules must also change in order to facilitate (and regulate) what we do in the workplace and how we do it – which brings us to the point of this article.

Effective January 28, 2002, the WC of BC amended and/or repealed parts of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation. Following is a brief synopsis of the changes. The words in italics highlight the amendments.

Regulation 13.121 “Level indicating devices” has been amended to read:

(1) An elevating work platform, other than a boom-supported unit, must have either
(a) a level indicator that shows the tilt angle of the work platform with the equipment in any permitted operating position, or
(b) a tilt alarm of other suitable warning device that activates automatically when the platform is elevated and the carrier is off level by more than the manufacturer’s specified tilt limit, or 5 (degrees), whichever is less.

(2) If a level indicator is used to comply with subsection (1), then the indicator must allow the operator to determine when the equipment is off level by more than the manufacturer’s specified tilt limit, or 5 (degrees), whichever is less.

Note: Subsection (3) of regulation 13.121 was not amended.

Regulation 16.8 “Warning signal device” has been amended to read:
(1) Mobile equipment in which the operator cannot directly or by mirror or other effective device see immediately behind the machine must have an automatic audible warning device which
(b) if practicable, is audible above the ambient noise level.

Note: 16.8(a) was not amended and 16.8(2) has been completely repealed…it’s gone. A “Note” has been added that reads. “Section 16.42 provides requirements when the operator’s view of the work area is obstructed, for example, inspection of the area or use of a signaler.”

Regulation 16.10 “Rear view mirrors” now reads:

(1) Mobile equipment must have a mirror or mirrors providing the operator with an undistorted view to the rear of the mobile equipment or combination of mobile equipment except as provided in subsections (1.1), (1.2) and (2).
(1.1) If necessary to improve rear vision, parabolic mirrors may be used in combination with flat mirrors.
(1.2) A parabolic mirror, flat mirror or both may be used on a lift truck.

Note: Subjection (2) was not amended.

Regulation 16.11 “Window standards” has been amended to read:

(4) Each window on mobile equipment manufactured after February 1, 2002 or otherwise installed on equipment after that date must be marked to identify the manufacturer, the standard to which the window conforms, and in the case of polycarbonate windows, the thickness and grade of the material.

Note: 16.11 (1)(2)(3) were not amended.

Regulation 16.31 “Rider restriction” has been amended to read:

(1) The operator of mobile equipment is the only worker permitted to ride the equipment unless the equipment is a worker transportation vehicle… or when permitted by subsections (2) to (4).
(2) A worker who must ride on mobile equipment to carry out a job task may ride non-ROPS equipment on
(b) other safe facilities provided by the equipment manufacturer or designed by a professional engineer, which include,
(iii) a safety belt, harness, guard rail or other effective means of restraint, except where the worker is a swamper riding on the back of a garbage truck during short pick up runs at speeds less than 20 km/h.

ANSI/ASME Standard Revision

For those of you using and /or training on mobile cranes or any kind of equipment that falls within the scope of ANSI/ASME B30.5, be aware that there is an addendum to the standard, which is now available in print form.

Highlights of the latest addendum, ANSI/ASME B30.5A – 2002, include:

  • All new cranes that are rated for over three tons must come equipped with a load indicator rated capacity indicator, or rated capacity limiter.
  • The manufacturer must provide information on the function of any operational aids as well as instruction on what to do in the event that the aid(s) malfunctions but the crane still works.
  • A new category has been created that provides definition for operational aids for mobile cranes.
  • The standard dose not require existing cranes to be retrofitted unless or until other modifications are being performed.

As far as highlights of the new standard that affect operating the crane goes, the following applies:

  • The crane’s load rating chart takes precedent over any operator aid systems while operating.
  • The crane may be operated with a malfunctioning operator aid system that is under repair, but only under specific guidelines.
  • The manufacturer’s recommended checks, inspections and tests must be performed with any operational aid system.

Ask Bob

Dear Bob,
What are the regulations for operator training (on aerial lifts), and where can I find these regulations. OSHA seems to cover very little on this subject.

Mesa, AZ

Dear Douglas,
Wherever specific regulations are lacking, OSHA will usually look toward several things for guidance. The manufacturer’s instructions usually rank quite high as a source of specific information on a given piece of equipment, and so do relevant industry standards.

Int he area of aerial lift equipment, the following standards apply:
Elevating Work Platform (scissor lift) ANSI/SIA A92.5
Aerial Boom Lift – ANSI/SIA A92.6

These standards detail the responsibilities of owners, users, operators, etc. and include in depth information regarding training. For information on how to acquire these ANSI standards, go to our website.

Hope I have helped.

Ask Bob

Dear Bob,
An operator has a man lift on the forks and raises a worker up about 12 feet. Can the operator then put the forklift in neutral and apply the brake? He then could stand beside the machine and wait for instructions from the worker to raise or lower the basket, since when inside the machine, it is very hard to lean outside the machine and see the worker. My gut feelings tell me this is a “no-no.” Could you help me to answer this question?

Port Alberni, BC

Dear Terry,
WCB regulation 13.124(a) states that the “operator must remain at the controls for the lift truck.” That is the letter of the law. If we take it literally, the answer to your question would be no, the operator may not stand beside the machine with personnel raised on a platform. Aside from regulations, the overhead guard is designed so that the operator can see through the “roof,” so it shouldn’t be necessary to lean outside in order to see the occupant in the basket.

You Won’t Believe This

How do you get a 784 pound (356 kilogram) man to the hospital for a hernia operation when six firemen couldn’t life him out of his bed?

well you could do what health workers in Ispwich, England did, which was to knock out a wall of the house, as well as the neighbor’s fence. They took out a flowerbed and a bunch of shrubs, and finally, they put straps around him so he could be lifted out of his home by a forklift.

Onward and Upward

When you are fortunate enough to have come across good people in the course of your life and/or career, you tend to realize, sometimes too late, just how lucky you were to have had the experience of knowing them. Such is the case with long-time Ives instructor Grant MacKenzie.

Back in 1991, Grant made the decision to join the Ives team and his impact with us was almost immediate. With his strong background int he technical workings of industrial mobile equipment, Grant’s efforts quickly elevated the quality of Ives’ material to be second to none, especially in terms of technical depth and accuracy.

In addition to his technical savvy, Grant’s patience and personable demeanor gave him an accommodating teaching style that facilitated highly informative and entertaining training sessions, both in the classroom and in the field. The rare combination of his engaging personality with his tremendous knowledge made him a favorite with all of the instructors and clients that he came into contact with.

Always the consummate professional, Grant would know up prepared and ready to go with the ability to handle and question or situation that was thrown at him.

“Grant taught me an awful lot about mobile equipment, and training in general, says Ives’ Managing Director, Rob Vetter. “He was my go-to guy for almost everything… it seemed as though there was nothing that he didn’t know, but most of all, he taught me how to think on my feet and get it done.”

Recently, Grant decided to leave Ives to pursue career options that offer him interesting new horizons and challenges. His distinct signature will remain on Ives and Ives’ material for a long time to come. We hope that you will join us in wishing Grant well in the many successes that he will most surely have in the future.

And so, with sorrow for the void he will leave behind, and happiness for the satisfaction he will find, we way “Bon Voyage” to our friend and colleague of many years, Grant MacKenzie. We are proud to have been your partners, and we are better for the experience of knowing you.

You Won’t Believe This

A stolen forklift truck left a trail of destruction during a five mile police chase that only ended when police officers deployed a Stinger device across its path. Six people were injured, including three police officers, in the low speed” chase which left 10 vehicles damaged.

The stolen forklift reached speeds upward of 20 mph during the chase. A police van tried to stop the truck but was deliberately rammed, causing extensive damage and slightly injuring the police driver and damaging a passing civilian vehicle.

A marked patrol car followed the forklift through the city where it continued to be driver erratically, attempting to ram any vehicle which traveled across its path.

The driver then took the vehicle the wrong way down a one-way street and headed south of the city. At an interchange, it struck a car causing extensive damage and an accident involving four further vehicles. Three people were slightly injured.

The truck then traveled on to a bypass, where the police deployed the stinger, a spiked mat which successfully damaged one of its front tires.

An officer in a marked four-by-four vehicle pulled alongside it and was rammed. The forklift was then forced into the central barrier and forced it to stop. The driver, a local man, was arrested. About 10 police vehicles were involved, with three pursuing the truck.

Accident Report

Sarasota, FL – A tree trimmed died when he touched a palm frond to a power line. A co-worker felt a shock when he touched the front and refused to cut it. The 40-year-old tree trimmed grabbed the frond, which touched a 7,620-volt power line, and was electrocuted. The man’s body remained tied to the tree, with his arms blackened, until the power and light company cut the electricity and removed him. News-Journal

Rocklin, CA – A superior court jury awarded $500,000 to a 53-year-old contractor who was knocked off the roof of a house by a crane boom. The crane was being used to deliver trusses to a new home. Evidence showed that the company delivering the trusses disabled a spring-loaded safety latch on a hook. According to testimony, the company performed this action routinely to save money by eliminating an extra person to guide the load. When the contractor reached out to disconnect the cable, he was catapulted off the roof and fell head first onto a concrete slap 13 feet away. His doctor testified that the man would suffer permanent repercussions from this head injury. The Sacramento Bee

Kansas City, MO – An employer who failed to warn employees about a dangerous condition of one of his forklift personnel platforms in going to trial for negligence. An employee at the defendant’s construction company was working on the platform that was raised 20 feet. The forklift did not have an operator watching it from the ground and it became unsteady and tipped over. The worker died as a result of the fall. The victim’s family said that the forklift was kept in a hazardous condition because a stabilizing device has been wired down on the forklift, making it inoperable on even ground because its right hydraulic cylinder was leaking. In response, the construction company owner filed a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter, stating he was not present at the time of the accident. Kansas City Daily

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