In this edition, we'll be covering the following topics:
- Getting the message through with toolbox talks.
- Documentation: The Reality of the Situation.
- OSHA makes trench protection a national priority.
- Ask Bob: Our tech guru addresses a question on dock plate trailer engagement.
- Transport company fined $63,000 over forklift incident.
- Close Call Accident: Loader slides down embankment, lands on roof.
- Last chance to register!
- What's Wrong With This? Photo and answer.
- A selection of interesting articles.
- New testimonials from our wonderful clients.
But first, check out all the places we delivered training this month...
Getting the message through with toolbox talks.
How can safety managers use toolbox talks to support safety training and shift supervisors?
Responding is Matthew Howard, director of product development, Pro Toolbox Talks, Sudbury, Ontario.
Good safety training sessions provide workers with all the information they need to avoid injury. However, there’s no guarantee workers will retain the information months later. In some cases, up to 70 percent of training is forgotten within a week. Thus, safety managers should take steps to increase the long-term retention of safety lessons.
Repetition is an effective way to combat memory failure, as long as it’s not a straight regurgitation of classroom training. Key teaching points must be applied in various ways and in unique workplace contexts. They also should be discussed regularly with workers.
One of the best ways to achieve these goals is with toolbox talks. Effective toolbox talks are conversations between workers and supervisors that can be used to revisit concepts and best practices introduced during safety training.
Take for instance workers who have received forklift training recently. A few days afterward, host a toolbox talk that highlights the biggest challenges of operating a forklift safely. A week later, ask forklift drivers about the steps they should take to watch for pedestrians. You also could initiate a discussion on safe driving practices or what workplace hazards they would tell a new forklift operator to look for.
Then, a month or so after the original safety training, turn a toolbox talk into a quiz that asks workers about the major takeaways from the training. If it’s clear that some elements have been forgotten, these issues can be revisited in refresher courses or another toolbox talk. However, the discussion that results from the quiz often is enough to remind workers about important safety requirements.
The aim of these toolbox talks is to get workers thinking and talking. This is necessary because some people learn well in classroom settings while others need to engage directly with ideas to remember them – and safety talks provide an opportunity for employees to do exactly that.
Toolbox talks also can help supervisors get a better handle on the safety of their crew, especially if they don’t have a strong line of communication with workers, or if they’re new to the job and haven’t yet developed a rapport with their subordinates. In these situations, safety managers can use toolbox talks to help supervisors establish more consistent safety communication with workers.
First, safety managers should provide outlines or full scripts for toolbox talks, along with a delivery schedule. The goal is to remove as much of the planning and guesswork as possible. This will allow supervisors to know what they’ll be talking about and when they’ll be doing it.
Second, managers should evaluate the supervisor’s interpersonal skills. Some people become supervisors because of their work skills, not their ability to manage others. If this is the case, then consider whether coaching on the finer points of talking to workers about safety is necessary. A good place to start is to help supervisors learn to deliver a good toolbox talk, because many of the skills required to run a toolbox talk – speaking ability, reading the audience, getting workers engaged – are transferrable to other contexts and will boost supervisors’ overall competence.
Documentation: The Reality of the Situation.
Many great minds throughout history have pondered the purpose of existence and the meaning of reality. The deep, thought provoking musings from the great minds of humanity give us cause to consider and reflect on the intricacies of life and question the purpose of reality if not existence itself. What does it mean to exist? How do we define what is and what is not? Deep questions indeed, tackled by the likes of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and their like since ancient times and to no avail. We still question how to prove unequivocally that something exists and it appears there is no clear answer at hand.
Fortunately, for powered mobile equipment employers using the IVES Training System, proving that equipment operator training exists is a snap because their IVES Certified Trainers provide them with the only acceptable evidence that training occurred and therefore exists: documentation!
Thorough, accurate documentation of operator training is the employer’s shield against the slings and arrows of those who would question it. Inspiring thought, wonder and questions are the wonderful work of philosophers and good on them for giving us all plenty to chew on there. However, when it comes to regulatory and/or legal authorities inspecting, investigating and just doing what they do, the goal is to shut that right down and inspire in them no reason for thought or wonder and especially, questions. Solid documentation is going to do that so make sure it gets completed accurately and filed properly as soon as possible after a training program.
I’m not sure if any of the great philosophers had anything quotable to say about documentation but here’s a couple worthwhile snippets from unknown sources that you may find helpful:
The job isn’t done until the paperwork is complete.
If it aint written down, it didn’t happen.
Here’s an easy cross reference to help you make sure that the right documentation gets to where it needs to be in order to serve its purpose.
This document is only available to IVES Certified Trainers. Login to the IVES Member Dashboard to download the "Operator Documentation Checklist" from the "Checklists" section in Downloadable Materials and Updates.
Director of Training
IVES Training Group
OSHA makes trench protection a national priority.
OSHA has announced that one of its priority goals for 2018 is to reduce trenching and excavation accidents. There appear to be solid reasons for doing so. In 2011, OSHA said that two workers a month were killed in trench collapses, and the picture has not improved. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, excavation- and trench-related fatalities in 2016 were nearly double the average of the previous 5 years. OSHA’s general goal is to increase awareness of trenching hazards in construction, educate employers and workers on safe cave-in prevention solutions, and decrease the number of trench collapses.
In attempting to explain the upswing in fatalities, one construction professional points to “ignorance to safety rules, lack of supervision, pressures of time and money, and sometimes, outright laziness.” To that list, some employee safety groups add insufficient inspection and enforcement by federal and state safety agencies.
Excavations and trenches
OSHA defines an “excavation” as any man-made cut, cavity, trench, or depression in the earth's surface formed by earth removal. A “trench” is defined as a narrow underground excavation that is deeper than it is wide and no wider than 15 feet (ft). Working in either trenches or excavations carries risks, but because the space provided is more confined and trench walls are generally steeper, the hazards are higher in trenches. Cave-ins or collapses are the single greatest hazard; 1 cubic yard of soil may not sound like a lot, but it can weigh as much as 3,000 pounds. Other risks include falls, falling loads, hazardous atmospheres, and encounters with mobile equipment.
“An unprotected trench is an early grave,” says OSHA. “Do not enter an unprotected trench.”
Competent persons and PEs
OSHA has promulgated regulations to ensure that trenches and excavations are safe working environments (29 CFR 1926.651 and 1926.652). Those rules should be read in their entirety and adhered to without exception. Here are the major requirements.
- Trenches 5 ft deep or greater require a protective system unless the excavation is made entirely in stable rock. If less than 5 ft deep, a competent person may determine that a protective system is not required.
- A competent person is “an individual who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards or working conditions that are hazardous, unsanitary, or dangerous to workers, soil types and protective systems required, and who is authorized to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate these hazards and conditions.”
- Trenches 20 ft deep or greater require that the protective system be designed by a registered professional engineer (PE) or be based on tabulated data prepared and/or approved by a registered PE.
Safe access and egress is required for all excavations. Safety is provided by ladders, steps, ramps, or other safe means of exit for employees working in trench excavations 4 ft or deeper. These devices must be located within 25 ft of all workers.
Protection against collapse
The most widely used protective measures are sloping, benching (sloping with steps), shoring, and shielding. Shielding involves the use of structures called trench boxes or trench shields. The type of protection selected is generally contingent on the type of solid in which the excavation is made. Again, for deeper trenches, that determination must be made by a registered PE.
Stand-down in June
OSHA is currently encouraging those who engage in trenching and excavation to participate in the National Utility Contractors Association’s (NUCA) 2018 Trench Safety Stand Down, being held June 18–23, 2018. A safety stand-down presents the opportunity for employers to talk directly to employees and others about safety. The upcoming stand-down will focus on trench and excavation hazards and reinforce the importance of using trench protective systems and protecting workers from trenching hazards, says the NUCA.
OSHA also has a trenching and excavation special emphasis document that was released in 1985 and is currently being revised. The document is used to guide OSHA inspections of trenching and excavation operations.
View all resources on Trenching (Construction)
Q. Hi Bob, How many inches should a dock plate be inside a trailer before entering with a forklift? Sometimes the truck is a little crooked and we have 4" on one side and 5" on the other. What would you say should be the min on either side?
A. I don’t know of any official wording on the subject but yes 4-inches is the unofficially accepted ‘best practice’ number.
Transport company fined $63,000 over forklift incident.
A TRANSPORT company has been ordered to pay more than $63,000 in fines and court costs after a worker’s hand was crushed between two containers that were being moved with a forklift in WA’s south.
Mineral Trans WA and another entity operated Cranes Haulage in August 2014 when a truck driver transported sea containers to an Esperance yard to be unloaded with a forklift by the general manager.
The truck driver was releasing twist locks that attached two containers when they became stuck, and as they were separated his left hand was crushed.
He required skin grafts and pins to repair open fractures, and still has scarring and pain.
Mineral Trans pleaded guilty in Esperance Magistrates Court to failing to provide and maintain a safe workplace, and by that failure, caused serious harm to an employee.
The company also admitted allowing an employee to operate a forklift without the appropriate license.
Mineral Trans was fined a total of $58,000 and was also ordered to pay $5542 in costs.
WorkSafe WA Commissioner Ian Munns said the hazard should have been foreseen.
“The worker should have been prohibited from removing the twist locks from the bottom container until the top container was safely removed from the pedestrian area,” he said.
Following the incident, Cranes Haulage stopped separating sea containers and the general manager has obtained an appropriate license to operate a forklift.
Close Call Accident: Loader slides down embankment, lands on roof.
The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) issued a Close Call Accident Alert after a front end loader overturned. On March, 13, 2018, a loader operator at a sand and gravel operation was constructing an embankment to detour material away from the water supply. While backing up, the loader backed over the top of the roadway berm, slid down the embankment, and rolled onto its roof. The operator was wearing his seat belt, so he unfastened the belt and exited the loader through the right side door window, which broke when the machine overturned.
MSHA offers the following Best Practices to help prevent this type of accident:
- ALWAYS wear your seatbelt.
- Maintain control of mobile equipment by traveling safe speeds and not overloading equipment.
- The size and weight of front end loaders, combined with the limited visibility from the cab, makes the job of backing a front end loader potentially hazardous.
To prevent a mishap:
- Load the bucket evenly and avoid overloading (refer to the load limits in the operating manual). Keep the bucket low when operating on hills.
- Construct berms or other restraints of adequate height and strength to prevent overtravel and warn operators of hazardous areas.
- Ensure that objects inside of the cab are secured, so they don’t become airborne during an accident.
What's Wrong With This? Photo
Can you tell what's going wrong in this photo?
Have a photo you'd like to share? Send it to us!
Answer to Last Month's WWWT? Photo
Here's what our Director of Training, Rob Vetter had to say about it:
- The individual perched on the work attachment of the equipment is not using an approved work platform.
- The same individual is working at height with no visible means of fall protection.
- The four individuals observing are all standing next to an unguarded edge from which a fall could occur with no visible means of fall protection.
- The excavator is located over top of a hollow space which could cause the surface it is on to collapse under the weight of the machine. The surface may be capable of supporting it but judging by the hazardous behavior of the people in the photo, it is unlikely that was confirmed.
- The excavator is being used for a purpose for which it was not designed.
- The safety attitude/culture among the personnel at a site that would even consider behavior like this, much less carry it out, is appalling.
Have a photo you'd like to share? Send it to us!
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Serious scissor lift crush incident in UK...more.
Forklift propane tank blast at UPS Freight...more.
Women forklift operators drive change...more.
Front end loader hoists white buffalo out of ditch...more.
Worker crushed by a forklift in Spain...more.
JCB unveils first ever electric excavator...more.
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"It's helpful to hear about real life events that occur in the industry. Great job on the [Trainer Recertification] class. It's great to attend every three years." Scott, Armada.
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