In this edition we will be covering the following topics:
- Wally Adams - The Passing of a Giant
- How do you assess risks? It hinges on leadership & culture.
- Unsafe work practices at quarry were the norm.
- A photo from an IVES Trainer in Africa.
- Ask Bob: Our tech guru answers a question on manufacturer's operating manuals.
- Why Nitrogen?
- OSHA hit manufacturer with $287,000 in fines.
- 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...
The Passing of a Giant
It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Wally Adams, one of the select few who were critical in the establishment and growth of IVES Training. Wally joined the IVES team in the late 1990s as a Staff Master Trainer after decades in the equipment rental industry. Besides his obvious talents as a gifted trainer, Wally was a virtual walking encyclopedia of technical knowledge who could pull detailed specs and information off the top of his head like few others in his profession could. During his tenure with IVES, Wally developed all the operator training materials for loaders and rough terrain forklifts and made significant contributions to improving the existing programs as well. The impact of Wally’s relatively short tenure with IVES and the legacy of his work is and will continue to be, invaluable. He will be dearly missed.
How do you assess risks? It hinges on leadership & culture.
By David Sarkus MS, CSP
In my early 20s, I was working as a laborer on a construction site when I heard a story about a worker who jumped into a trench without appropriate protection. He was suffocated and crushed within minutes. I was also told about another worker who was seriously injured when a jury-rigged clevis broke away from a crane cab and he plummeted to the surface below.
Not many people walk around throughout their day with a risk assessment in hand, unless of course it’s the one in their phone. We should, however, always have an informal risk assessment tool in our mind that allows us to perform at least a cursory assessment until we can dig deeper or in a more formal way.
The stories we learn
Each of us learn about hazards and risks through our personal experiences and those of others. And some of the stories we learn about have a lasting impact. Even more, we acquire related knowledge through reading, research, and training. But we also need to discipline ourselves and others to pay attention to the right things and continually scan our environments at work and away from it too.
Leaders and workers must continually enhance their personal sense of situational awareness; talking and walking themselves (and others) through an array of “what if” scenarios so that contact incidents and losses can be avoided and minimized.
The importance of scanning
Through experience, whenever I’m in an environment where trenching and shoring is of concern, I immediately scan further for situations that may present an elevated risk and first talk myself though abatement issues. If I’m around equipment where a clevis or connection can fail — I want to look deeper and ask questions regarding redundant forms of protection and eliminate high-risk single failure points.
Outside of work, I continually scan situations while driving, at home, or in social settings that may place people at harm for injury or loss. Over a period of three decades, I’ve developed a keen sense of awareness, just like many of you. The bottom line, scanning our environments is a very important leadership skill.
Some of this sounds a bit technical or commonsensical for some, but scanning our environments is an important leadership dimension that also has an emotional and organizational connection to specific hazards and risks. Assessing and analyzing everyday situations and asking important questions is what good leaders do.
Is there a sense of purpose or mission before a job begins?
Are pre-job task briefings and risk assessment tools used with focus and rigor?
Do leaders observe and participate in regular risk assessments at the worker level?
Many organizations continue to perform work that has become comfortable, at a less than acceptable level, because failures or serious incidents have not occurred. In other words, there has been a normalization of deviation from safer work practices. Astute organizational leaders know that risks must be identified and controlled, daily. Risk assessments should categorize, identify, and control for those same risks. Analytics should be used to further aid in the monitoring of ongoing assessments. Engineering controls that eliminate or significantly reduce the risk would be the first step in abatement, while procedural controls may offer the least desirable form of risk reduction.
Sharing vs. protecting knowledge
Are you and your leaders paying attention to how openly people share their knowledge?
Individuals should freely share their knowledge regarding what is necessary to complete a job safely. But are some individuals protecting their personal knowledge as a point of political leverage? I have worked in several large organizations over the years where various specialists did not openly share their knowledge -- so they could be viewed as more valuable to the organization and protect their jobs from possible elimination.
Finally, is your near-miss reporting open and candid? It should reflect concerns that could be devastating if formidable change doesn’t occur.
Familiarity breeds blind spots
Does your organization value consensus building?
Leaders and their workers need to assess risks and arrive at some form of agreement regarding their potential harm. Are varied and differing opinions sought out so that a variety of cognitive biases don’t allow for important risks to be overlooked?
For example, your supervisor may not perceive a given risk as a “no-go” issue, but your most experienced and trusted worker does. Going further, is there a sense of urgency to improve and abate ongoing risks? Is there a deep sense of responsibility amongst workers to protect the health and safety of each other? And does your organization make time for fun and celebrate successes that relate to proactive contributions and improvements?
Archeologist Edward T. Hall once said that “real intelligence is about paying attention to the right things.”
Are you encouraging, even training your leaders and workers to pay attention to the right things and continually scan for hazards and the associated risks often overlooked by their familiarity?
David J. Sarkus is the President and Founder of David Sarkus International, a leading health and safety management consulting and training firm. He has nearly 30 years of occupational health and safety management experience in large, diversified industrial settings. David holds a Master of Science in Safety Management from West Virginia University and a Master of Science in Industrial Psychology from St. Mary's College of California. He is a Certified Safety Professional (CSP) by examination.
Unsafe work practices at quarry were the norm, inquest hears
Before an Orillia man died at a local quarry in 2017, unsafe work practices were common, an inquest heard Friday.
During Day 4 of a coroner’s inquest into the death of David Pinkney at Walker Aggregates’ quarry in Severn Township, a former employee and a current employee provided testimony in an Orillia courtroom.
Despite “pretty extensive” training, the former employee acknowledged workers were often seen violating safety guidelines by using the bucket of a skid steer as a work platform and by not using the lock-and-tag system, which ensures machinery cannot be turned on while they are completing tasks such as clearing snow and ice from conveyors.
When asked if he ever saw people using the skid-steer bucket as a work platform, the former employee said, “100 per cent.” His answer was identical when he was asked if he had ever done the same.
That changed after Pinkney’s death on Feb. 6, 2017, he said. “People were being disciplined,” he explained, adding some were “let go.”
“The main thing that still eats at me is I found that, yes, people were disciplined (and), yes, some people were let go, but the main core people I had issues with — it was still being allowed; it was still being overlooked,” he said as he started to choke up.
Pinkney, 31, died just after 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 6, 2017. He and two co-workers were removing ice and snow from a conveyor at the quarry, at 2646 Nichols Line, preparing for another aggregate season after the annual winter shutdown.
Pinkney was in a skid-steer bucket, using a torch and a metal bar to remove ice from the conveyor belt. The bar he was using got caught in the belt and Pinkney was pulled in, causing fatal injuries.
While the former employee testified the company cracked down on safety violations following Pinkney’s death, he said some employees didn’t seem to get the message.
He recalled a time the metal detector went off, indicating metal was among the rubble on the conveyor belt. He said he told co-workers they couldn’t walk onto the belt to remove the metal until they had locked out and tagged out. When he took his tag off, he said two other people who were on the belt hadn’t employed the lock-and-tag system.
“I still couldn’t believe it was happening,” he said.
Those who were working in an unsafe manner, such as using the skid-steer loader as a work platform, told him it was the fastest way to get the job done, he said, despite there being no rush to complete the work.
It was frustrating, he said, to be on the joint health and safety committee and not have his concerns taken seriously.
"Core management on site needs to interact with the safety committee by having their back,” he said. Another employee, who has worked at the Severn quarry for more than 15 years, agreed.
Mara Goldstein, the inquest coroner, asked him if he felt like management had his back as a joint health and safety committee member.
“Not at the Severn quarry, no,” said the man, who still works there and has been on the committee since his first year with the company.
Despite that, he said, “things have definitely changed” when it comes to health and safety.
Walker Aggregates has since implemented a zero-tolerance policy and he said workers are no longer using the skid-steer bucket as a work platform and they are properly using the lock-and-tag system — both as a result of Pinkney’s accident.
“There’s more awareness about doing that kind of work,” he said.
Walker Aggregates has since completed a risk assessment of safe working procedures.
One member of the five-person jury asked the current employee if he felt there would be any benefit to having a risk assessment undertaken externally.
“I think it would help,” he answered.
He said he had read the report regarding Pinkney's death. Dennis Chronopoulos, counsel to the coroner, asked if it would benefit all employees to read the report.
The employee said that likely wouldn't help, as there was "a lot of bitterness" and "blame" being passed around about the incident after it occurred, and he worried their reading the
report would cause those sentiments to resurface.
More evidence will be presented Monday, when the inquest is expected to conclude.
The jury is being asked to determine how, when, where, why and by what means Pinkney died, and to make recommendations that could lead to safer workplaces at quarries.
We are very proud to share a photo we received from an IVES Trainer in Africa! Alsanosi Omer (pictured second from the left in the top row) uses the IVES Training System™ to train operators at the US Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan. We are honoured to see the reach of the IVES Training System spread so far and wide. Thank you Alsanosi for sharing.
Q. Regarding forklifts, what does regulation say about where the Manufacturer's Operating Manual should be located? During Trainer training, our Trainer told us to write/add into our reference manual (specific regulation section) "MOM" and mark yes it is required. But what does that actually mean? Does the manual physically need to be with the equipment? Or can 1 copy, be located in the office/wall, for 10, 20, 30 machines suffice? Is this a federal, state or local/company regulation?
Great question and one that often gets overlooked. The "MOM" (Manufacturer's Operator Manual) is not cited by most regulatory agencies as being required to be on the machine, but these days it is often cited by the manufacturer to keep it with the machine. Look in the compartment that holds the manual and it usually has a decal that says “replace if missing” or something along those lines. It may also be stated in the manual itself that the manual must be kept on the machine.
At IVES, we/Trainers find it easier to say “keep the operator's manual with the machine" and teach operators that way. The main reason is because, often times, a Manager or Service Technician will take them and keep them in an office, locked up where not all operators (i.e. differing shifts) can get to them if questions arise.
In such cases, the regulatory agency could defer to the General Duty wording for not following Manufacturer instructions and/or employer not providing a safe workplace.
Another option I have seen work is to keep one copy for each type of forklift in one specific area that is open to all operators at all times. In these cases, I have seen one manual per type mounted to the wall next to where all the forklifts were parked. All operators were trained in the location of these manuals, that way they knew exactly where to go any time they had a question. I thought this was a great idea too!
So in short, there are no specific regulations that say the MOM must be on a forklift, but if the manufacturer says it is then so it shall be. If not, manuals must be readily accessible by operators.
I hope this helps.
Thanks for asking and keep up the good work.
OSHA hit manufacturer with $287,000 in fines
OSHA has proposed penalties of $287,212 in its citation of a Long Island, New York manufacturer. OSHA cited U.S. Nonwovens Corp., a home and personal care fabric product manufacturer with a facility in Hauppauge, New York, for nine serious and four repeat safety and health violations.
The agency cited Nonwovens for failing to train and evaluate forklift operators on how to safely operate equipment and provide training on lockout/tagout procedures, as well as a lack of machine guarding.
“Companies are required by law to train employees and provide appropriate measures to protect workers from workplace injuries,” OSHA Long Island Area Director Anthony Ciuffo said in a statement.
The agency also cited the company for:
- Exposing employees to fire and smoke inhalation hazards;
- Failing to report an amputation and provide illness and injury records to OSHA in a timely manner; and
- Failing to store materials securely and repair damaged storage racks.
OSHA inspected the Hauppauge plant after an employee suffered a fractured hand. Investigators determined the employee’s injury occurred when his hand became caught in a fabric-softener sheet-cutting machine.
The agency cited Nonwovens for the following serious violations:
- Electrical equipment was not installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Employees operated a lift truck with a broken propane bracket latch, leaving the truck’s propane tank unsecured.
- Employees were exposed to struck-by hazards from damaged and unsecured storage racks.
- Exit routes were not kept free and unobstructed, and exit route signs were not posted in a tunnel.
- Lockout/tagout procedures were not developed, documented, and implemented, and lockout/tagout training was not provided.
- Nonwovens failed to ensure a forklift operator was competent in industrial truck operations through training and evaluation.
Nonwovens was cited for four violations previously cited at the Hauppauge plant and another facility in Brentwood, New York. The repeat violations included:
- Failing to ensure employees can open an exit route door without keys, tools, or special knowledge—a door to a designated fire exit was jammed and could not be opened;
- Not securely storing materials—pallets of fabric softener, corrugated boxes, and other materials were stacked unevenly or not secured;
- Not properly training or evaluating forklift operators for their knowledge of industrial truck operations; and
- Lacking machine guarding, exposing employees to amputation and caught-in hazards.
Nonwovens also was cited for other-than-serious violations for:
- Failing to report an employee amputation or hospitalization to the agency;
- Failing to provide injury and illness records to OSHA officials within 4 business hours;
- Failing to keep all forklift markings and nameplates in place and in legible condition; and
- Lacking clearance limit signs—unmarked, horizontal beams of steel storage racks crossing over an aisle were damaged from forklift impact.
Regardless of the pace of new rulemaking out of OSHA or staffing levels in the enforcement directorate or field offices, agency compliance safety and health officers are still inspecting workplaces, especially following an employee injury. OSHA has proposed six-figure penalties following several inspections this year.
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?
Here's what the WorkSafe Magazine had to say about it:
1. The Forklift
- the forks are not all the way into the load.
- the extinguisher is not secured.
- there's a book on the counterweight.
- the rear wheel is excessively turned.
2. The Walking Worker
- He is not paying attention.
- He is not wearing a high-visibility vest.
- He is not wearing steel-toed boots.
3. The Driver
- He is not wearing a seatbelt.
- He has a coffee cup in his hand.
- He is not watching the load.
- His left foot is hanging out.
4. The Worksite
- There is no designated and marked pedestrian walkway.
- There is a damaged pallet in the upper left.
- There are lock pins missing on the cross member.
- The racks have no capacity markings.
Have a photo you'd like to share? Send it to us!
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"IVES training program contains the deepest knowledge and technical equipment information & safety that I have so far experienced in equipment use." Rafael, Barlett Cocke General Contractors.
"I’ve done other TTT programs and this was by far my best experience. Great training, lots of references and useful materials. The course doesn’t end here. Lots of options of help on the website!" Sean, Sixteen Safety Services.
"I liked how we went through Federal, State, Local and company regulations, rules and standards thoroughly. It definitely helped me to realize how important it is that we do a good job training new operators." Mason, Autoliv.
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