In this edition, we'll be covering the following topics:
- Risk Assessment in 3 Steps: list hazards, rate them, control them.
- Forklift accident costs family farm AUD$80,000 (USD$57,106).
- 10 Reasons to Service Your Mobile Elevating Work Platform.
- Ask Bob: Our tech guru addresses a question on documenting operator credentials.
- Cal/OSHA Cites Contractor $66,000 for Fatal Trench Collapse.
- Community reacts to tragic rough terrain forklift accident.
- 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 are delivering training this month...
Risk Assessment in 3 Steps: list hazards, rate them, control them.
Following a workplace incident or near miss (an incident that almost happened), WorkSafeBC may investigate to identify the causes and explore other related factors. WorkSafeBC investigations officer Nigel Corduff talks about how risk assessment can prevent incidents and benefit workers and employers.
Q. What is a risk assessment?
A. Risk assessments are not as complicated as people might think. They come down to a basic principle: ensuring that people don’t come into contact with things that could cause them harm. A basic risk assessment is a list of the hazards in a workplace that could prevent workers from going home healthy and safe. If something is moving, or has a chemical or physical aspect to it that could be harmful to the worker, and the worker touches it or is exposed to it, you’re dealing with a hazard that can put workers at risk of injury.
Q. Why is risk assessment so important?
A. Risk assessment is an integral part of incident prevention. By identifying hazards, you can change work practices or processes to keep people safer. Assessments can also make people more aware of risks and create ways to avoid or minimize them. Knowing the risk helps not just your workers but also others who may be on your jobsite, like contractors, visitors, and members of the public.
Risk assessment is also good business. It helps keep people safe and productive, which reduces injury costs and paperwork. The saddest thing is when our investigators get called in. That means someone has been exposed to an uncontrolled hazard and the worst has already happened. Failing to assess risk could change someone’s life in a negative way, forever.
Q. How do I assess risk at my business?
A. Fist, look for things that could harm people and develop a list. Work with your Joint Health and Safety Committee or worker representatives. If you’re a small employer, it can be as simple as walking around and taking notes during your normal workplace inspections. When making your list, always consider the worst-case scenario.
It’s important to get input from people doing the work, from supervisors, and from other levels of management. They may come up with something you didn’t think of. You can also look at your first aid records and near-miss reports, to see what kind of hazards your workers are facing.
Next, rate the level of risk presented by the hazard. For example, high, moderate, or low risk. There’s a simple formula you can use: Risk = exposure + probability + consequences. Consider the example of a tree faller using a chainsaw. The worker can be cutting trees for hours at a time, so there’s a lot of exposure. A number of fallers get injured every year, so there’s definitely probability. And, the consequences of something happening to the faller can be fatal. Add those factors together and you’d rate the risk of using a chainsaw to fall trees as high.
Once the risk is assessed, you need to plan controls to eliminate or reduce the risk when there’s potential for injury. Don’t just settle for one control. Try for two or three levels of redundancy.
Q. What often gets overlooked during risk assessments?
A. People can become accustomed to the risk so they discount the fact that an incident could happen, they don’t recognize a hazard, or they don’t think through all the controls they could use.
Another problem is not writing down the risk assessment. It needs to be reviewed. You can’t keep it in your head because it won’t protect other people if they’re not aware of it.
Q. Is there a standard format for creating risk assessment?
A. There are many different models. Choose one that reflects your workplace’s health and safety culture. A good guideline to remember is that you have to be able to explain your risk assessment to all levels of people in your workplace, from front-line workers to the people in the executive suite. They all have to understand it.
Q. How often do I need to review my risk assessment?
A. This is a living document, so review it regularly – once a year at the very least and whenever conditions change in your workplace, such as a new machine or a new process, material, or worker. If you’re dealing with a breakdown or other upset condition, review is essential at these times.
Q. Where can I get more information on risk assessment?
A. You can call on our officers and visit worksafebc.com for free resources. Your health and safety association has information too. And you can find all kinds of risk assessment tools online.
Source: WorkSafe Magazine November/December 2018
Forklift accident costs family farm AUD$80,000 (USD$57,106).
A family-owned farm has been slapped with $80,000 in penalties over an accident that injured a contractor, the latest instance in a series of workplace accidents to have hit the farm in recent years.
WorkSafe Victoria said in a statement that Covino Farms Pty Ltd had been fined over the December 2016 accident, in which a female contractor was struck from behind by a forklift carrying crates of lettuce.
It said that the 50-year-old contractor was required to use the same corridor as forklifts in order to access a nearby room.
As a result of the accident, she sustained a fractured pelvis, dislocated shoulder, bruising and scarring, and has been unable to continue to work in the same role, the regulator said.
The Sale Magistrates’ Court found the Gippsland farm guilty of failing to take reasonable steps to provide a workplace free of health and safety risks. In addition to the fine, it was also ordered to pay AUD$4,573 (USD$3,238) in costs.
“Forklifts and pedestrian workers should be able to safely co-exist where reasonably practicable control measures are in place; however, when they are not, the consequences are often severe,” said Julie Nielsen, WorkSafe’s executive director of health and safety.
“A traffic management plan, which includes the physical separation of forklifts and people, is essential and, in this case, would have avoided a worker receiving debilitating injuries.
“Like all workers, contractors have every right to return home safely at the end of the day, so employers must ensure they are provided with a safe working environment.”
According to the agency, employers should ensure a number of measures are put in place for staff working at sites where forklifts are used, including:
- Providing all workers with appropriate induction and training on the work they are to be involved in, and that a register of training and induction is maintained on file.
- Putting in place a traffic management plan for pedestrians and powered mobile equipment and ensuring that it is reviewed and updated as appropriate.
- Separating pedestrians from moving machinery and put in place an effective communication system between operators, transport contractors and ground staff.
- Ensuring adequate signage is in place and barriers are erected where appropriate.
- Identifying and controlling visibility issues, particularly if lighting is poor.
- Ensuring workers operating equipment where a High Risk License is required, such as a forklift, hold a current licence.
- If undertaking training, a person should actively be supervised by a person who holds a current licence.
- Regularly inspecting and maintaining machinery and vehicles, with work carried out by a suitably qualified person.
It is not the first time that Covino Farms has faced court over a workplace accident. Two separate accidents in 2015 resulted in combined penalties worth AUD$85,000 (USD$56,643) being issued to the farm.
In one incident, an employee stepped into an open drain base, while in a separate accident, an employee was run over by a spinach seeder.
Following those incidents, where the judgments were handed down in June 2017, Covino Farms issued a statement accepting the local court’s verdict.
“WorkSafe Victoria investigated two incidents that occurred on Covino Farms Gippsland property, in January and February 2015,” the statement, posted on its website, said.
“Covino Farms regrets the fact that the accidents happened and has since reiterated its commitment to workplace safety practices to ensure the welfare of all its employees.
“Both the injured employees made a full recovery and returned to work.”
It added: “Covino Farms is fully committed to the health and safety of its workers and in the enhancement of our processes and systems. We have since made improvements in our OH&S systems and will continue to invest in our workers’ welfare.”
Covino Farms declined to comment “at this time”.
10 Reasons to Service Your Mobile Elevating Work Platform.
Here are some quick reminders of the value of scheduled maintenance to keep your mobile elevating work platforms (MEWP) fleet up and running in peak condition:
- Safety – The number one goal with any MEWP is safety. Failure to obey the instructions and safety rules in the Service, Maintenance Manuals and Operator’s Manual for your machine could result in serious injury or death.
- OSHA – Documented scheduled maintenance records are essential to an OSHA inspection or investigation in the event of an operator incident. The inability to provide these records could put you at risk of liability, even in the event of incidents that are related to user or operator error.
- Parts Life – Failure to maintain even the smallest components, such as filters, could reduce the life expectancy of key componentry, including engines and hydraulic components, resulting in unplanned repairs and replacements.
- Machine Performance – Poor maintenance to key machine components, including batteries, hydraulics, engines and wire ropes can cause operation to be slow or inefficient, reducing productivity and machine performance on jobsites.
- Reduce Unplanned Downtime – Time is money to both rental equipment owner and operator. Waiting on a part failure before servicing equipment increases the likelihood of downtime on the jobsite, potentially causing exponential costs in lost productivity, labor and expedited shipping of replacement parts.
- Reputation – In a competitive marketplace, the cost of decreased performance of MEWPs in your rental fleet is your business’s reputation. Most rental customers have a choice of providers and will remain loyal to one over another as long as the provider respects the real-time value of uptime on jobsites.
- Residual Value – Performing scheduled maintenance may also pay dividends at the end of the MEWPs’ service life. Used equipment customers and OEMs pay according to how they grade the equipment. This grading includes appearance, wear-and-tear and functional performance, all of which are impacted by the machine’s maintenance history.
- False Economy – As above, try and think more of the total cost of ownership and rental return on investment rather than the individual costs of scheduled maintenance items. It’ll make the most sense year-over-year.
- Simplified Processes – Maintenance time and costs have been reduced with a new consolidated maintenance protocol for all Genie® booms, scissor lifts and telehandlers. Updated procedures and simplified intervals in the Maintenance Manuals provide equipment owners the flexibility needed to keep your MEWPs on rent longer, while making routine tasks a priority.
- New Technology and Services – Other new developments, such as online service and maintenance training, technical support apps, new rental software, telematics and third-party routine maintenance providers have created opportunities for maintenance efficiencies. One or more may minimize the impact of scheduled maintenance on your operations, such as mechanisms to automate and delegate this work and maximize existing in-house resources.
Q. Hi there, Since class 1 can be stand up or sit down, how do I document that on a certificate? Reason I ask is we have class 1 electrical SDCB but not the stand up. Do you reference only SDCB on the certificate?
A. As for the wallet card/ticket and the actual “certificate” that you give out to the operator, I suggest you write in Sit-down Counterbalance Forklift.
On the Evaluation form, you should be putting the Class/Lift Code/Make & Model. The lift code is what will differentiate the difference of machines.
On the File Folder/Record Sheet, you can list out the details as well.
Cal/OSHA Cites Contractor $66,000 for Fatal Trench Collapse.
Cal/OSHA has cited a Riverside construction company $66,000 for serious workplace safety violations that resulted in the death of a worker when a 17-foot-deep trench he was in collapsed. Cal/OSHA determined that Empire Equipment Services, Inc. did not properly classify the soil and failed to correctly slope the excavation.
On May 9, two Empire Equipment Services workers were installing sewer pipes at a Lake Forest residential construction site when a 30-foot-wide section of the trench's sidewall sloughed and collapsed. Only one of the workers was able to escape.
Cal/OSHA's investigation found that the company failed to ensure the site was inspected by someone who was deemed competent by the employer and familiar with trench hazards, soil classification and the appropriate safety requirements. The soil at the worksite was unstable, requiring an adequate protective system.
"Because working in excavations is so dangerous, a competent person must conduct thorough visual and manual tests to properly classify the soil and adequately protect employees from cave-ins," said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum. "Failing to carry out these requirements can be fatal."
Cal/OSHA issued citations to Empire Equipment Services Inc. for two serious accident-related violations and one general violation with $66,000 in proposed penalties. One of the serious violations is classified as repeat. In August 2017, Cal/OSHA had cited the employer $24,670 for serious safety violations after conducting an inspection at another site in Lake Forest. During that inspection, Cal/OSHA found that the employer had exposed its workers to serious hazards while working in a trench deeper than five feet without properly sloping or installing any adequate protective systems.
Cal/OSHA offers information and resources on working safely in the construction industry, including how to safely perform trench and excavation operations. Before starting excavation work, the approximate locations of all underground installations that may be encountered during excavation operations must be determined and the proper notification must be made to the appropriate regional notification center in either Northern or Southern California. A permit from the local Cal/OSHA district office must be obtained before the construction of excavations five feet or deeper into which any person is required to descend.
A citation is classified as serious when there is a realistic possibility that death or serious harm could result from the actual hazard created by the violation. Citations classified as accident-related indicate the injury, illness or fatality was caused by the violation. A repeat citation is issued when the employer has abated an earlier violation for which Cal/OSHA issued a citation and a substantially similar violation is found during a later inspection.
Cal/OSHA offers a guide to developing an Injury and Illness Prevention Program and model programs for employers in both high hazard and non-high hazard industries. Cal/OSHA's Consultation Services Branch provides free and voluntary assistance to employers to improve their safety and health programs. Employers should call (800) 963-9424 for assistance from Cal/OSHA Consultation Services.
Community reacts to tragic rough terrain forklift accident.
Holton, Kan. (KSNT) - One man is dead and another is seriously injured after a construction accident in Holton.
The Jackson County Sheriff's office said 66-year-old John Zibell was pronounced dead at Holton Community Hospital.
The other man injured in the accident was taken to the University of Kansas Medical Center.
Brian Thompson was getting tools out of his garage when he heard the crash.
"I thought it was a car crash and I didn't go look," said Thompson. "It wasn't until a neighbor had told me what had happened that I found out."
First responders from five agencies rushed to the aid of the two men.
A forklift holding the two men had overturned while they were doing some work on a three story house, causing them to fall from about 30 feet in the air.
Candelaria Alcantar said Zibell was a family friend.
"I was shocked," said Alcantar. "I was really shocked because it was just unbelievable. He was a good guy and you wouldn't expect something like that to happen to someone like that."
While the community may be small, their hearts are big and their support for one another runs deep, especially during tragedies like this.
"Even on much smaller issues, you can expect to see people coming and seeing if they can help," said Thompson.
It's unclear what caused the forklift to tip over. The incident is still under investigation.
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:
Well the obvious answer is this unit’s proximity to power lines. It’s hard to say exactly but the work platform looks like it’s within inches of the wires above if not actually touching them. However, it look as though the damage has been done as the turret and chassis appear to be charred and blackened. In addition, the proximity of the unit in relation to the building behind it is suspect as there does not appear to be a 24-inch (60-cm) crush zone present. I also have serious concerns over the ground conditions. This unit is subject to what appears to be loose, muddy ground dropping away on a grade toward an unguarded edge. This unit looks like it was left in place, elevated and unoccupied after a power line strike. Hopefully nobody was hurt.
Have a photo you'd like to share? Send it to us!
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"I thought the program was great. Improved my knowledge tremendously!" Gerald, PepsiCo.
"All though I have been certified before as a trainer, I feel I have an even better understanding now. This was one of the better if not best trainer trainings I have been through." Peter, Schnitzer Steel.
"All in all I thought the course was very educational, accurate and worth the time. I would recommend to anyone needing this certification." Kasey, National Oilwell Varco.
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