December 2020 IVES Update e-Newsletter

Check out our latest news: Pain and Wisdom: Reflections on Lives Lost and Saved, IVES now offering train the trainer programs in Omaha, Nebraska, excavator incident and fines, die cast powered mobile equipment models, upcoming program calendar, Dinolift offers cold-weather tips for lifts, a question on WAV 60 Series equipment, interesting articles, and testimonials from our wonderful customers!

In this issue, we will be covering:

  • Pain and Wisdom: Reflections on Lives Lost and Saved.
  • IVES Now Offering Train the Trainer programs in Omaha, Nebraska!
  • Excavator fatality in Caledon, Brampton Company fined $150,000.
  • Congratulations to these recently certified IVES Trainers!
  • Product Feature: Die Cast Models.
  • Upcoming Program Calendar.
  • Dinolift Offers Cold-Weather Tips for Lifts.
  • Ask Bob: Our tech guru answers a question on WAV 60 Series equipment.
  • A selection of interesting articles.
  • New testimonials from our wonderful clients.

But first, check out all the places we are delivering training this month...

Pain and Wisdom: Reflections on Lives Lost and Saved

It’s that time of year again when the approach of the Holidays brings the promise of cheer and good tidings for the present and future as well as humble gratitude for the people and things in our lives that we love and are fortunate enough to have been blessed with. It is also a time of reflection and sadly for some, a time when the pain of loss is often most sharply felt. I’d like to share a couple of personal experiences that I feel exemplify both ends of the emotional spectrum here and more importantly, how they changed the way I think and behave.

The first is a story I have shared before but it is as poignant today as it was when it took place nearly 40 years ago. In the summer of 1981 two friends of mine took a part time, out of town gig doing odd jobs for a friend of a friend who operated, among other things, a property management company. They were supposed to be gone about three weeks but that was cut short when one of them was thrown from the roof of a building they were painting after contacting a live power line and was killed.

As you can imagine, the news of my friend’s death rocked my 19-year-old world to its core. Anger, disbelief, sadness, bewilderment and still more anger took over my thoughts and emotions for a long time after that. I think of all the things I’ve been lucky enough to experience that he never did. Love, marriage, children, career, travel…life. He got none of it. I also wonder how his parents and two sisters dealt with it all these years; if I struggled with it, imagine how they felt. My buddy’s life was gone in an instant that literally occurred at the speed of light and deeply affected him and everyone that knew him, forever. The years have blurred the memory and healed the rawness but I still think about him and who he might have become had he got the chance. I don’t know if we would have remained close or drifted apart and lost contact had he lived, but what I do know is that I still think about him, and I miss him.

The next story is also one I may have shared in the past but again, it’s still relevant for the same reasons – it was life-altering. It was Christmas day 1999 and my wife and new baby girl, who turned nine months old that very day, had arrived at my in-laws after a 20-mile drive over snowy winter roads. We were going through the usual hugs and kisses upon arrival when my wife noticed she had forgotten a platter of food we brought in our minivan and asked me to go get it. Back in the van, I reached awkwardly across my daughter’s car seat, grabbed the platter and as I lifted it out my elbow struck the car seat and to my absolute horror, it moved. While cleaning the van the previous day I had removed the car seat and when I put it back, I forgot to refasten it with the seatbelt and restraint straps.

At this point I need to point out that the character in this story I refer to as my daughter was much, much more to me than that. She was my everything. Having a child was far and away the single most significant and defining experience of my life. Her arrival gave me a sense of purpose that I never imagined and fundamentally changed everything about me from my perceptions of life and love to how I acted and what my priorities were.

At the moment when I realized that I, a safety professional who made a living expounding the virtues of mitigating risk and avoiding hazards, had carelessly left the angel of my life vulnerable to such a high degree of danger, I became dizzy and physically sick to my stomach. As I sat there dazed on the floor of the minivan, the sound of my wife’s voice calling from in the house jolted me back to a reality that I would perceive differently then the one I left just moments before. After reattaching the car seat and cinching down the restraint straps as tight as I could, I returned to the house with the food platter in my sweaty hands and mentally altered in ways I had yet to realize.

At this point you may question exactly what was ‘life-alerting’ about these events where one life was lost and one was spared. While the immediate reactions of anger over the loss of a friend and horror over committing a careless error with so much at stake were emotionally deep and intense when they occurred, the long-term effects they caused in affecting my thoughts and actions forever after are of particular interest here.

In the case of the loss of my friend, there were several lessons learned that changed my perceptions, attitude and behavior from that day forward. First, the arrogance and pure lack of humility of my 19-year-old self was obliterated, never to be seen again. I didn’t exactly become Mr. Safety immediately afterward but I no longer believed I was invincible and I certainly came to understand the logic behind being safe. I’d like to think that shift in perception and thinking alone has served me in ways that thankfully, I will never know. I also learned that being safe wasn’t just about me. When my friend died, he also hurt a lot of other people very badly and for a long time. He didn’t mean to, but it taught me to think about what I’m about to do before I do it and ask myself if I’m putting myself or anyone else at risk. If I decide that I am, then I voice my concern and ask for help which could take the form of PPE, training, developing safe work procedures or any number of other actions to mitigate risk. I don't want to get injured and I really don't want to die, but somehow I feel that if I caused the injury or death of someone else, that might actually be worse. Yet another effect of experiencing the pain of loss and seeing it in others who have been left in its wake.

From a personal perspective, the most heartfelt lesson I learned was that the experience of losing someone close to me clearly defined the true meaning of ‘forever.’ I did not appreciate it at the time but as my own life experiences have mounted with the passage of each year since the event, I have become increasingly more capable of assessing what my friend missed out on as each of my own experiences is yet another one he will never know. My continuing life is the measurement I use to gauge how much life he lost and it has given me a certain sense of wisdom-born-of-tragedy that will continue to grow as long as I live – exactly one lifetime.

With respect to the incident with my daughter’s car seat, one long-term lesson was that the effort to work and live safely is an ongoing one. One must continuously strive to be aware of and fight off enemies of safety like hurriedness, complacency, apathy, fatigue and distraction.

Another unexpected and incredibly positive take-away from the car seat experience was that it gave me a very clear perspective on how easily accidents can happen and that, in turn, provided me with an elevated sense of empathy toward those involved in them. Those changes in my perspective and empathy proved to be extremely useful in my safety career.

All too often I have witnessed and, occasionally, been guilty of, the quick jump to blame and admonishment in connection with accidents. You weren’t paying attention, you didn’t put on your PPE or, you took short cuts. These are all examples of items that poor accident investigations mischaracterize as ‘conclusions’ when they are really nothing more than summary judgements of what happened with no information identifying why it happened or how to prevent it from happening again.

Those few nauseous moments of horror I experienced that Christmas morning in the minivan were a stark lesson in humility; accidents can happen to anybody, regardless of how prepared or capable they may be. Causing an accident or near miss incident does not automatically indicate carelessness, apathy or incompetence. In fact, studies have shown the causes of damage and/or injury-producing events are often rooted in the people involved becoming hurried, distracted or just not knowing any better. Often these factors are influenced by workplace conditions in which workers are over-burdened with too much work and/or too many tasks, and most of all, lack of training. Identifying what happened to cause an accident is important but identifying why it happened is critical in preventing it from repeating.

We all slip up from time to time and make errors in judgement or even miss things completely. We want to get the job done, get too focused on a single outcome or just get caught up in the work. Once we know what to do, we have to make the effort to do the right things as best we can. It takes time and it can be difficult, but not nearly as difficult as losing people is.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and best of the season to you, those you love and those who love you!

Rob Vetter / Director of Training / IVES Training Group

IVES Now Offering Train the Trainer programs in Omaha, Nebraska!

We are very excited to announce that we are now offering Train the Trainer programs in Omaha, Nebraska!!

We are proud to partner with Nebraska Safety Council to bring these programs to you! For upcoming programs, check out our US Training Calendar!


Excavator fatality in Caledon, Brampton Company fined $150,000.

Convicted: Graham Bros. Construction Ltd., 297 Rutherford Road South, Brampton, Ontario.

Location of Worksite: A construction project in Caledon, at the intersection of King Street and Heart Lake Road.

Description of Offense: A worker was killed after being struck by the bucket of a excavator.

Date of Offense: January 14, 2019.|

Date of Conviction:
November 9, 2020.

Penalty Imposed:

  • Following a guilty plea, Graham Bros. Construction Ltd. was fined $150,000 in provincial offenses court in Caledon by Justice of the Peace Jeannie Anand; Crown Counsel Dan Kleiman.
  • The court also imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offenses Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.


  • The company was engaged on a construction project at the intersection of King Street and Heart Lake Road in Caledon, Ontario. The job consisted of the resurfacing of a portion of King Street, including watermain repairs.
  • On January 14, 2019, three Graham Bros. workers were laying water pipe in the bottom of a trench to connect a concrete catch basin.
  • One of the workers was operating a hydraulic excavator at grade and was leveling the earth in the bottom of the trench with the excavator bucket. This would allow the existing pipe to be attached to the catch basin.
  • A second worker was acting as a signaler and using hand signals to guide the excavator worker. A third worker, or "pipe layer" was standing at the top of the trench to one side.
  • The placement of the excavator's bucket and boom were centered on the trench and almost fully obstructed the operator's view of the trench wall, the catch basin and the second worker although the operator could see the second worker's hand signals.
  • While a bucket of earth was being removed, the second worker was struck by the excavator bucket and was pinned between the bucket and catch basin.
  • The third worker and an off-duty police officer who was hired by the company to direct traffic became aware of the event and called emergency medical services. The injured worker was taken to hospital and succumbed to the injuries.
  • The defendant failed as a constructor to ensure that a signaler was in full view of the excavator operator, contrary to section 106(2)(b) of Ontario Regulation 213/91 (the Construction Projects Regulation) and section 23(1)(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.


Congratulations IVES Trainers!

Congratulations to these IVES Trainers, who recently completed our 5-Day Premium Combo Trainer Certification in Abbotsford, BC Canada. Way to go guys!!

Product Feature

We have an extensive line of die cast scale models available for forklifts, mobile elevating work platforms, loaders and excavators. Each equipment model is made using heavy die cast with working components, realistic exterior and interior detailing. Available for CAT, Toyota, JLG, and Bobcat brands. Also available, our CASTLE Multifunction Model to help demonstrate capacity, stability and leverage to your operators. These die cast training aids are a terrific visual for every trainer to use as a training aid in their operator class. Link to browse or purchase our Models.

Dinolift Offers Cold-Weather Tips for Lifts

Dinolift has offered a checklist to help boom-lift owners make sure their equipment is ready to work effectively in the frigid temperatures of winter.

Maintenance: Make sure that all daily, monthly and yearly inspections are made in time.

Day-to-day checks: Proper washing and drying to ensure clean surfaces. Protect the control center and the platform from snow and ice whenever they are not in use. Always keep the lift free from dirt, snow and ice. Make sure that you always have the battery charger and engine heater cable available.

Tire pressure: Cold weather will cause tire pressure to decrease. Take care to regularly check tire pressure to ensure the best possible friction and driving conditions on different grounds.

Battery function: To ensure proper operation and long service life of the batteries, it is recommended to always recharge them at the end of each workday, especially in cold weather conditions. Storing the batteries flat will shorten their service life, and flat batteries also freeze easily.

Engine oil and winter-quality diesel fuel: In cold weather, it is recommended that the engine is kept running to keep the hydraulic oil warm. Avoid cold weather diesel problems by using winter quality diesel during the cold season.

Check diesel filter: In cold weather, it is important to check the diesel filter to make sure the paraffin present in diesel hasn’t started to form wax crystals. These wax crystals can coat the fuel filter elements quickly and thus drastically reduce fuel flow.

Lubrication of moving components: Check of hydraulic oil classification to ensure sufficient viscosity in cold conditions. As the temperature decreases, the viscosity can rapidly increase to the point where the oil will no longer flow. It is recommended that high-viscosity index oils be considered for cold temperature operation.

Winter standing and storage: If you leave the lift standing for a longer period of time, we recommend propping it up to release any load from the wheels and making sure the lift is protected from the elements.

Cold-weather start-up procedure: 1. Let the power pack run for a few minutes before starting the movements. 2. To ensure proper operation of the valves, start with doing a few warm-up movements to warm the oil in the cylinders. 3. Check that the limit switches and the emergency descent devices are operational and clean. 4. Snow, sleet, rain and ice will create a slippery ground. Always ensure your base is stable before going up in a lift.


Ask Bob

Free technical support for all IVES Certified Trainers!


Is the Crown WAV 60 Series covered under the MEWP certification program?


Hello Thomas,

Great question and glad you checked in with us. This type of equipment is produced by several manufacturers that identify them as being built in conformance with ANSI B56.1 standards. Therefore they are considered to be Powered Industrial Truck (PIT) by the manufacturers at the moment. This means all forklift rules & regulations for training and operations apply as they could be considered to be Class 2, Narrow Aisle Order Picker under the Industrial Truck Association (ITA) Classifications.

There is a fine line between a MEWP and an order picker for sure, but right now they are considered to be powered industrial trucks.

Of course, you would be well advised to follow the same advice that you probably give the operators you train and check the manufacturer’s operation manuals. There may be some information on things like emergency lowering, use of personal fall protection systems and other items that the manufacturer wants users to know that would be good to get into your operator training.

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Client Testimonials

"I wasn't sure what to expect as I have been through a lot of boring classes but found myself completely interested the entire time." Robby, Artcraft Equipment Inc.

"Fantastic program material! I have been operating power mobile equipment for over a decade and was pleasantly surprised with how much I learned." Jesse, Nutriva Group.

"Taking my training with IVES was a great choice. I feel more confident not only understanding & operating machines but the safety aspect has really made me understand safety from a higher perspective." Karina, GForm.

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