March 2013 IVES Update Newsletter

We'll be covering: Basic traits of an effective trainer. Columbia Forklift Challenge results. The answer to last month’s WWWT? and two new photos. An Ask Bob question on telehandlers. A correction note on ANSI Manual of Responsibilities requirements. An OSHA violation in a fatal cherry picker incident.

 Grab a coffee and spend a few minutes catching up on industry news. This edition we’ll cover:

  • Basic traits of an effective trainer.
  • Columbia Forklift Challenge results.
  • The answer to last month’s WWWT? and two new photos.
  • An Ask Bob question on telehandlers.
  • A correction note on ANSI Manual of Responsibilities requirements.
  • A few links to other interesting news articles.
  • Upcoming trade shows you can find us at.
  • An OSHA violation in a fatal cherry picker incident.

Before we get started, we would like to introduce you to our newest trainer, Ken Burnthorn…

Basic Traits of an Effective Trainer

When it comes to mobile equipment training, there are several attributes that will help trainers effectively provide instruction and ensure understanding. Let’s take a look at some of the most important ones: knowledge, communication, organizational skills, integrity and people skills.

Knowledge. Trainers shouldn’t even consider training anyone until they themselves have an advanced knowledge level of the topic. Trainers need to know the operational theory and also any rules and regulations related to the equipment involved. In particular, they should be aware of any operator training standards and requirements for its safe use that are incorporated by regulatory reference as well as any site/company policies and procedures. Trainers must also have a solid knowledge of the inspection and use of the specific ¬machine involved and the application for which it is used at the location where the operators use it.

Ability to communicate. All the knowledge in the world won’t mean a thing if the trainer is not able to effectively communicate it to others. The ability to communicate successfully is often overlooked when selecting individuals as trainers. Instead, individuals with years of operating experience are chosen. While there is no argument that the best trainers are those with the right mix of operational experience and communication skills, if one had to choose between the two, the latter would be my choice. Operating machinery and training operators involves two completely different skill sets, each one having very little to do with the other.

Organizational skills.
Failing to plan is planning to fail. I have been training operators and trainers for nearly 20 years and I still have my lesson plan with me for every class. I believe that following a comprehensive plan is what separates a great trainer from the rest of the pack. Working from a plan offers many benefits, like:

    • Consistency and accuracy. Trainers can be assured that using a lesson plan will ensure the level and quality of information taught will remain constant. For organizations that utilize more than one trainer, this consistency is carried between them to the point where one could take over for the other mid-stream and not miss a beat.
    • Focus and direction. Occasionally a trainer can come away from a given topic in order to draw an analogy or make a point. Without a written plan a trainer may become unsure of where things left off and become lost. Referring to a lesson plan provides instant grounding and orientation to help get back on track quickly.
    • Pacing and use of time. Using a lesson plan provides trainers with veritable checklist that can be used to adjust the pace of the training as required, allowing them to use their time most effectively. For example, a trainer may be able to determine that they are behind schedule simply by looking at their plan and adjust the pace and/or content of the program accordingly.

Interest and integrity. If you want others to be interested in what you’re saying, you should be interested in what you’re saying. Trainers need to believe that what they are doing is the right thing to do. In fact, they should be downright passionate about it. If a trainer is going to get up in front of a group and just pay lip service to the issue then they can expect the same level of buy-in and commitment from their trainees. If you don’t believe in what you’re doing, do yourself and everybody else a favor and don’t do it at all.

People skills. It’s not just a certain type of person that makes the best trainer, it’s a certain type of personality. A trainer should be empathetic, approachable, friendly, perceptive, observative, adaptable, and very patient.

In closing, good equipment operator trainers have the right mix of knowledge, communication, organizational and people skills along with a genuine interest and desire to effectively communicate what to do, how to do it and why it must be done. If this is happening then it’s a job well done but if it’s not, then it’s just a job.

Rob Vetter
Director of Training
IVES Training Group

Columbia Forklift Challenge

The Columbia Forklift Challenge was held on March 5 in Portland, Oregon as part of the GOSH 2013 Conference. IVES’ volunteer judges helped evaluate the 46 forklift operators using a course with obstacles, precision pallet loading and unloading, and even a bowling alley.

Cash prizes of up to $500 were given to both teams and individuals. The winning team was Americold of Lynden, WA. The 1st place winner in the individual portion was Andrew Ibbotson, also of Americold. The runners up were Mike Morrison of Cascade Steel Rolling Mills and Cory Jenks of NACCO Materials Handling Corp. Congratulations to the winners and a big thanks to everyone who participated!

Click here to see the full photo album on our Facebook page.

What’s Wrong With This?

It’s your lucky day, this month we have two photos for you. Take a look at the photos below. We don’t think you’ll have too much trouble spotting what’s going wrong. You can post your answers on our Facebook page.

Answer to Last Month’s WWWT?

Last month we showed you a photo of a scissor lift operator controlling the lift within an unsafe distance of the machine. Aerial lift operators should always make sure they are clear of the lift prior to using the handheld controls to avoid accidentally running themselves over.

Ask Bob

Q: Can I sling a load off the forks or the carriage of a telehandler, or do I need to only do this with a truss boom? I have an operator that says he has seen people put a shackle on the center of the fork pin and sling from there.

A: This is a practice we frown upon, as having a load swinging below the forks can cause dynamic forces on the machine possibly resulting in a tip over. Unless you have methods to stop a swing from happening, I would suggest you don’t do it. In the US, this practice has been banned federally, unless written approval from the powered industrial truck manufacturer is received. It is unlikely to get that approval as there are specialized lifting attachments available that will make the lift safer.

Correction Note: ANSI Manuals

In last month’s WWWT? answer, we made a statement that the ANSI/SIA A92 Manual of Responsibilities are required by law to be on your aerial equipment. Even though this is the requirement for our customers in the USA it may not be the requirement for our customers in Canada. Here’s why…

In British Columbia the regulations are very clear in WorkSafeBC Part 13 section 13.21 (1)(a) & (b) says that the standards can be retained on site opposed to being on the machine itself. For all provinces in Canada it should be noted that regulatory authorities tell us to follow the manufacturer’s requirements/guidelines, so it basically depends then where the machine was made.

Let’s take JLG and Genie for instance, both of these companies are United States manufacturers and as such the manufacturer says that you must follow the ANSI/SIA A92 standards. In the ANSI/SIA A92 Standards/Manual of Responsibilities under section 6 and 7 it states that the “Manual of Responsibilities” must be in the weather proof box on the machine. So that means then that last month’s statement is correct, in this case. Now, what about a machine that is manufactured in Canada? Let’s take Skyjack for example, this manufacturer may not make the statement that the ANSI Manual of Responsibilities are required to be on the machine. In that case, unless the regulatory authorities for your particular province have a regulation saying where the standards must be kept, they may not need be on the machine itself.

All this being said, we believe you should go above and beyond the minimum regulatory requirements and store the standards on the machine in the weatherproof box as they are full of vital information.

Interesting News Articles

  • WorkSafeBC releases annual penalty report…more
  • Ontario MOL releases a Safety Guideline for Working at Heights…more
  • North American Occupational Safety and Health Week (NAOSH) May 5-11…more
  • $91,000 OSHA fine for forklift accident…more


Fort Myers, Florida – About five months after the deaths of two maintenance workers, their employers have received safety citations that could cost them thousands of dollars.

Juan Bocanegra and Dustin Manning were electrocuted in September when the basket of a cherry picker they were standing in struck a power line. The men were hired to remove molding damaged by woodpeckers.

On Feb. 25, OSHA found the two companies that employed the victims to be in violation of several safety policies, according to citations sent out by the organization.

OSHA recommended the Fort Myers-based company that employed Bocanegra, pay $11,900 for four violations. According OSHA’s citation, the company did not provide its employees accident prevention training, it did not train the aerial lift operator in the hazards of working near energized power lines, and it allowed employees to work in proximity to power lines. OSHA also found Bocanegra was not wearing a safety belt at the time of the accident.

OSHA recommended a $5,600 fine for the second employer, a Sarasota-based company, because Manning was not wearing a safety belt and the company did not instruct its employees in the importance of using fall protection equipment.

Both companies have contested the proposed violations and will have a hearing before the OSHA review commission, according to spokesman Michael D’Aquino.


Upcoming Events

We will be exhibiting at the following trade shows and conferences:

  • April 22-23. 2013 Western Conference on Safety
  • May 7-10. Region VI VPPPA Chapter Conference
  • June 24-26. ASSE 2013 Annual Conference & Exposition
  • August 26-29. 29th Annual National VPPPA Conference

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