September 2013 IVES Update Newsletter

We'll be covering: An article on training experienced operators. New What’s Wrong With This? video edition and answer. Theory test answer keys now available online. Online Operator Theory Training Survey. A question on elevated loads. OSHA statement on fatal occupational injuries in 2012. 

 Here’s a quick overview of what we’ll cover in this September 2013 IVES Update Newsletter edition…

  • An article on training experienced operators.
  • New What’s Wrong With This? video edition and answer.
  • Theory test answer keys now available online.
  • Online Operator Theory Training Survey – win a Samsung Galaxy Camera.
  • Ask Bob question on elevated loads.
  • Interesting article links.
  • OSHA statement on fatal occupational injuries in 2012.
  • Safety exhibitions and special events schedule.
  • But first, check out this map showing all the places we delivered training this month…

Assume Nothing

Over my career as a trainer I have qualified hundreds and hundreds of forklift operators. As I look back, I would estimate that about 90% of them had a significant amount of operational experience before I trained them. When I first started out, I felt slightly awkward about this as I was in my early 30’s and some of the trainees I encountered had been operating longer than I had been alive. To compound my feelings of awkwardness, 100% of that 90% were not all happy about being sent for training so they could show some punk that they could do something they had already been doing for many years.That being the case, I learned an important lesson very quickly which was, experience does not equal competence.

One of the golden rules of training is, practice makes perfect if it is correct practice. Since most of the operators I engaged with did not have the benefit of formal training before they began operating, many of them had been practicing the wrong things for many years and had become excellent at doing things incorrectly. In addition, breaking old habits and replacing them with newer, safer ones after years and years of practice is extremely tough, even among operators that actually want to do it. To bring this back around to the lesson of ‘experience does not equal competence,’ never assume that because an operator has a significant amount of experience that he or/she knows what they need to know and more importantly, is able to demonstrate it.

Although most veteran operators are able to demonstrate a reasonably high degree of efficiency relative to the selection and use of the controls that move the machine, they often fall short in demonstrating safe habits and procedures. In most cases, this is due to the fact that they probably received little if any initial training in the safe use of the machine compounded by years of practicing the wrong techniques.

In order to avoid a lot of trainee and trainer frustration, and to maximize the effectiveness of your operator training, try following these guidelines when working with experienced operator trainees:

  • Respect them and their experience. Let them know that you are not there to tell them how to do their jobs.  If they can learn something new, great. If not then at the very least they will confirm what they already know.
  • Focus on ensuring they understand the theory information in the classroom. This is likely the area where they are lacking as most never received initial, formal training. It is also the area where they are most likely to learn something which may validate the training process in their minds and possibly help things go a little more smoothly for you.
  • Don’t skip over anything in the classroom or in the field because of their experience. Cover everything and if you must assume anything, assume they know nothing. You may not have to go as deep into a given topic with an experienced driver as you would with a beginner, but you still have to cover it. For example, you will want both experienced and novice operators to raise the mast during a pre-use inspection but you (probably) won’t have to tell the experienced person that they have to pull back on the lift control lever to do that.
  • Focus on their ability to demonstrate the right safety habits and operational techniques. Once again, this is where they are likely to be weak as a result of little or no initial training leading to years of poor practice.
  • Be patient, approachable and above all – assume nothing!

Rob Vetter
Director of Training
IVES Training Group

Prize Draw Winner

IVES Certified Trainer, Brian Govereau, was the lucky winner of our Website Feedback Survey prize draw. Here’s a picture of him with his new Tassimo T65 Brewer!

What’s Wrong With This? Video Edition

Click on the image below to view this month’s WWWT video. We’d love for you to leave your answers in the YouTube comment section!

Answer to Last Month’s WWWT?

Are you ready for our very first WWWT answer video? Click the image below to check it out!

Theory Test Answer Keys Available

Did you know that our operator theory test answer keys (including French and Spanish versions) are now posted on the Member Dashboard?

Login, then click on “Downloadable Materials & Updates” on the left hand side.

Online Operator Theory Training Survey

Win a free Samsung Galaxy Camera, just by completing our Online Operator Theory Training Survey!

Complete the ten-question survey and you will automatically be entered in to win.

Thanks and good luck!

Ask Bob

Q: I’ve noticed that the forklift operators at my company lift their loads while turning and approaching the delivery point. I’ve objected to the practice but they argued that the forklifts are rated for 8,000 lbs and the heaviest loads they lift are 2,800 pounds. I know other factors like speed come into play but I’m just wondering what IVES has to say about it.

A: As I am sure you are aware, it’s not just about the maximum capacity. Regardless of weight, when your load is elevated your CCG is in a raised position and this makes your machine less stable than when the load is lowered. Turning while elevated is unsafe in the sense that your CCG is closer to the lines of stability. Even OSHA on their e-learning tool tells us not to turn while elevated and ANSI B56.1 says to lower the load prior to turning. So you are correct in your objections – your operators should keep their load lowered until they are in position in front of the deposit point.

Have you seen our Ask Bob video? Watch it here!

Interesting News Articles

  • Alberta to fine workers for safety violations… more
  • Front-end loader death investigation complete… more
  • Feds let Hawaii resume control of regulating manufacturing industries… more
  • Death by forklift is really the PITs… more
  • Two workers killed in trench collapse (photo below)… more

OSHA Statement on Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2012

Preliminary results from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries released today show a reduction in the number of fatal work injuries in 2012 compared with 2011. Last year, 4,383 workers died from work-related injuries, down from a final count of 4,693 fatal work injuries in 2011. Based on preliminary counts, the rate of fatal workplace injuries in 2012 was 3.2 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers, down from a rate of 3.5 per 100,000 in 2011. In response, Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez issued the following statement:

“Workers in this country have the right to return home safe and healthy at the end of a work day. Despite that right, poor safety conditions cause thousands of people each year to lose their lives at work.

“I am greatly encouraged by the reduction in workplace fatalities, even in a growing economy. It is a testament to the hard work of employers, unions, health and safety professionals and the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Mine Safety and Health Administration. Through collaborative education and outreach efforts, and effective law enforcement, these numbers indicate that we are absolutely moving in the right direction.

“But to me these aren’t just numbers and data – they are fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, who will never come home again.

“We can and must do better. Job gains in oil and gas and construction have come with more fatalities, and that is unacceptable. That’s why OSHA has undertaken a number of outreach and educational initiatives, including a campaign to prevent falls in construction and the National Voluntary Stand Down of U.S. Onshore Oil and Gas Exploration and Production, co-sponsored by oil and gas industry employers and planned for Nov. 14. Employers must take job hazards seriously and live up to their legal and moral obligation to send their workers home safe every single day. The Labor Department is committed to preventing these needless deaths, and we will continue to engage with employers to make sure that these fatality numbers go down further.

“No worker should lose their life for a paycheck.”


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