March 2020 IVES Update eNewlsetter

Check out our latest news: NOTICE OF SUSPENDED TRAINING OPERATIONS, Jim Crook - Gone but Never Forgotten, MEWP Trainers and Supervisors - Take Note!, NDSC Safety Conference - They Should All Be This Good, IVES reaches 25-K Milestone!, OSHA's General Duty Clause, A question on forklift truck certifications, Interesting articles, and much more!

In this issue we will be covering:

  • Jim Crook — Gone but Never Forgotten
  • MEWP Trainers and Supervisors — Take Note!
  • NDSC Safety Conference — They Should All Be This Good
  • IVES Reaches 25-K Milestone!
  • OSHA’s General Duty Clause
  • Ask Bob: Our tech guru answers a question on forklift truck certification
  • Last chance to register!
  • What's Wrong With This? Photo and answer
  • A selection of interesting articles 
  • New testimonials from our wonderful clients







Jim Crook — Gone but Never Forgotten
It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Jim Crook (68), one of IVES’ most beloved and longest serving trainers.

Jim started with IVES as Master Trainer in the fall of 2004. His teaching style complimented his personality which was warm, friendly and accommodating. Easy to talk to and always ready for a laugh, yet intensely serious when he needed to be, the combination of Jim’s outstanding communication skills and extremely deep operational experience made him a favorite among his trainees and coworkers alike. 

“He really was a rare breed” says IVES Director of Training, Rob Vetter. “It’s hard to find people that can communicate in the classroom as well as Jim could and even harder to find someone that can do that plus, bring the wealth of knowledge and experience with the machinery he had to bring to the table. Jim brought it all, he was the total package and on top of all that, you just couldn’t help but love the guy. He was one of the nicest people you could ever meet and I feel so lucky I had the chance to know and work with him, we will all miss him dearly.”

Jim left us on February 15, 2020, after an 18-month battle with cancer. He is survived by his loving wife Cathy and their two proud sons, Brodie and Kevin.

                                                                                             Jim Crook  1952 - 2020

MEWP Trainers and Supervisors — Take Note!

As announced in the February 2020 IVES Update, we plan to release several new products to help MEWP trainers and supervisors update and adapt to the new ANSI A92 and CSA B354 MEWP safety standards. The release target date is still March 31, 2020 so be sure to look for a special email from us announcing the arrival of:

  • MEWP Certified Trainer Update Program
    Delivered online and designed to update the knowledge of existing IVES Certified Trainers with MEWP operator training credentials with respect to the new ANSI and CSA MEWP industry standards. This program does not extend or renew the expiry date of trainer credentials and is available free of charge to existing IVES Certified Trainers with valid/current MEWP trainer credentials.
  • MEWP Operations Supervisor Training Program
    Delivered online and designed to provide supervisors with the knowledge required to plan, execute and monitor safe MEWP operations in accordance with ANSI A92.24. There is a $70.00 fee for this program.
  • MEWP Resource Documents
    MEWP trainers and supervisors have access to several new and useful resource documents viewable and downloadable from the IVES website, including:
    • MEWP Safe Use Plan Development Guide – a detailed guide to aid you in developing your own site and equipment-specific MEWP safe use plan that includes samples and explanations to the following downloadable documents:
      • MEWP Occupant Knowledge Checklist
      • MEWP Site Risk Assessment form
      • MEWP Emergency Personnel contact list
      • MEWP Rescue Plan form
      • MEWP Safe Use Checklist
      • MEWP Selection Guideline Table

Remember to keep an eye out for the special announcement email later this month that will provide you with more information about new offerings for MEWP trainers and supervisors.

NDSC Safety Conference — They Should All Be This Good

The North Dakota Safety Council’s 47th Annual Safety & Health Conference was held February 25-27 in Bismarck, ND and from IVES’ perspective as an exhibitor and speaker at the event, it was an overwhelming success.

Over a thousand attendees representing companies from far and wide flowed through the aisles past the hundreds of exhibitors in the exhibit hall and throughout the conference rooms to take in the many educational breakout sessions and keynote speakers.  

The IVES exhibit booth was visited by hundreds of attendees ranging in professional standings from CEO’s to Safety Managers and Supervisors to front line trainers and clients just dropping by to say hello. The three breakout sessions hosted by IVES addressed MEWPs, forklifts and instructional techniques respectively and were well attended with over 50 conference goers each.

It was wonderful to feed the curiosity of so many safety professionals seeking information on powered industrial equipment training and to hear all the glowing compliments and wonderful praise from our clients who came past our booth and/or attended our breakout sessions. There was even a client (Wade Works LLC.) beside us in the exhibit hall that had our logo proudly displayed on their company banner. How great is that?

Some of you may recall a time when IVES attended over a dozen conferences and safety exhibits per year, a trend that has fallen off over the years. The decision to attend this year’s NDSC event was made as a gesture of support for them and their fine organization which has been such a great partner and supporter of IVES over the past five years by offering their Bismarck location to host IVES programs and pointing many others toward us. Although we don’t regularly attend these sorts of events anymore, if more of them did the kind of spectacular job NDSC’s Marketing Manager Serena Schmit and her team did in organizing and delivering this one, that trend could change!

IVES Reaches 25-K Milestone!

We are thrilled to announce IVES Certified Trainer No. 25,000 was issued to Ruben Pallan of All Purpose Safety Solutions on February 14, 2020. IVES Master Trainer Joe Deas had the honor of presenting Ruben with a Trainer Power Pack in commemoration of his designation as “Mr. 25-K” following a MEWP Trainer Certification Program delivered at the Safety Center Inc. in Sacramento CA.   

Acknowledging the importance of reaching this milestone goes well beyond simple recognition of the number and speaks far more substantially to IVES’ longevity as a capable and consistently high-level training provider over the past 4 decades.

To Ruben Pallan, our Mr. 25-K we say, congratulations! To him and the 24,999 Certified Trainers and companies that put your faith in us and made reaching this and every milestone leading up to it possible we say, THANK YOU!  We could not have done it without you.

OSHA's General Duty Clause

Commonly known as the General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 is intended to give OSHA a means to address hazards for which no standard is on the books. Current examples include heat-related illnesses and workplace violence in health care and social services.

One reason why General Duty Clause violations make up so little of the overall citations issued by OSHA each year is because of hurdles that stand in the way of its enforcement – namely a four-part test that stems from Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission decisions and other court precedents, according to the agency’s Field Operations Manual and a November 2018 memo from Kim Stille, former acting director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs and current Region VII director. To issue a General Duty Clause citation, OSHA must prove:

    1) The employer failed to keep the workplace free of a hazard to which its employees were
    2) The hazard was recognized.
    3) The hazard was causing or was likely to cause death or serious physical harm.
    4) A feasible and useful method to correct the hazard was available.

1) The employer failed to keep the workplace free of a hazard to which its employees were exposed.

OSHA has to prove employees of the particular organization in question were affected. That, obviously, can prove more difficult on multi-employer worksites.

Richard Fairfax, former director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs and former deputy assistant secretary of labor, said the agency looks at aspects such as who supervises employees, who assigns work, who the employees regard as their supervisor and from whom they get their paychecks.

“There’s a whole series of questions that a compliance officer will go through trying to establish exposure: Who controls it? Who has responsibility for fixing it?” Fairfax said.

2) The hazard was recognized.

Evidence an employer knew about a hazard can include injury and illness logs as well as employee complaints to management, Stille writes in the memo. All complaints must be formal and not offhand comments, the Field Operations Manual states.

According to the manual, the agency also can prove an employer’s knowledge of a hazard via a number of other methods, including company memos, safety work rules that identify the hazard, near miss reports, federal or state OSHA inspection reports, and the employer’s own corrective actions “if the employer did not adequately continue or maintain the corrective action or if the corrective action did not afford effective protection to the employees.”

OSHA can include in a General Duty Clause citation that a hazard was recognized by an employer’s industry, but it can’t enforce an industry or a consensus standard, an agency spokesperson wrote in an email to S+H. It can, however, use those standards to show industry recognition of “a hazard and a feasible means of abatement,” but the other two parts of the test must be met as well.

Stille’s memo also states that industry recognition can come from a trade association guidance document, but Fairfax cautioned that OSHA would likely have to show the employer was part of that particular association.

Additionally, the Field Operations Manual accepts “common-sense recognition,” meaning a hazard was “so obvious any reasonable person would have recognized it.”

3) The hazard was causing or was likely to cause death or serious physical harm.

The Field Operations Manual uses the example of an employee standing at the edge of an unguarded floor 25 feet off the ground. It’s not always so clear cut, however, as a February decision from the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission demonstrates.

The commission, an independent federal agency that rules on disputes over OSHA citations and penalties, overturned a General Duty Clause citation that stemmed from a 60-year-old roofing worker’s death resulting from complications from heat stroke in August 2012.

OSHRC ruled the heat index on that day did not reach the “caution” level on the National Weather Service’s heat advisory chart. It concluded that OSHA “failed to demonstrate the work was strenuous or the workers were exposed to heat index values within any of the NWS warning levels for a ‘prolonged’ period of time.”

4) A feasible and useful method to correct the hazard was available.

OSHA must identify the existence of a measure(s) that is feasible, available and likely to correct the hazard. This includes technical and economic concerns.

An example of the latter, Fairfax said, is an establishment with a $50,000 annual profit having to use an abatement method that costs $500,000.

“OSHA’s not going to be able to say, ‘You’ve got an overexposure to a hazardous chemical, and we’re going to make you put in this huge ventilation system because that’s the only way to fix it,’” Fairfax said.

Because of the complex nature of General Duty Clause citations, OSHA occasionally has to issue reminders or clarifications to its personnel.

“One of the jobs of the enforcement programs is making sure there’s overall consistency,” Fairfax said. “Periodically, the office would send a memo out just basically reminding everyone there're certain things you have to do.

“I put memos out a number of times reminding people they can’t cite a [threshold limit value] or they can’t cite an industry guideline.”

If OSHA can’t satisfy all four parts of the test but still believes onsite hazards exist, Fairfax said the agency can send a letter outlining different potential remedies, suggest bringing in a third-party expert or recommend using OSHA’s free consultation service.


Perhaps not surprisingly, because of their complex and somewhat murky nature, General Duty Clause citations are often among the most challenged, attorneys Eric Conn and Brad Hammock said.

Hammock, co-chair of Littler Mendelson’s Workplace Safety and Health Practice Group and former lead counsel for safety standards at OSHA, said the agency has difficulty using the General Duty Clause when a hazard isn’t easily defined. He used an example of the hazard threshold for lifting activities, which could bring a General Duty Clause citation for ergonomics.

“Is it one lift at 40 pounds? Is it another lift at 70 pounds? Ten lifts at 20 pounds? At what level is the activity a hazard?” Hammock asked. “And then second, how will the abatement methods materially reduce the hazard? If you are lifting 50-pound boxes, can you start lifting boxes that are 45 pounds?

“When OSHA has difficulty articulating those two things, that’s when they have difficulty winning General Duty Clause violation cases.”

From his experience, Conn – founding partner of the Conn Maciel Carey law firm in Washington, and chair of its national OSHA Workplace Safety Practice Group – said General Duty Clause challenges are successfully defended more often than challenges regarding specification standards.

Conn takes issue with OSHA’s use of the General Duty Clause because, he said, it’s intended to be a stopgap until the agency can finish the rulemaking process. He contends the clause is sometimes used in place of rulemaking, and points to heat-related illness citations as an example. The Department of Labor’s latest semi-annual regulatory agenda, issued Nov. 20, lists no potential regulations aimed at addressing that hazard.

Fairfax countered OSHA regulations sometimes take decades to complete. For example, rulemaking on the agency’s updated standard on walking/working surfaces began in 1990 and was completed in 2016. A regulatory flowchart on OSHA’s website gives a timeline of between five and 12½ years for rulemaking.

That’s why the General Duty Clause remains a very important tool for OSHA, Fairfax said.

“I don’t think it is possible to have a standard or regulation that will cover any and all hazards existing now or in the future, hence the General Duty Clause,” he said. “The burden of proof is high and there is a lot of supporting documentation required for OSHA to cite under it. That is a good thing, as it requires a lot of thought, review and supporting information for OSHA to cite under it, which means the agency has done its homework and the General Duty Clause is being used as it was intended to be used.”

Article excerpted from Safety + Health magazine, December 20,2019.
Author: Alan Ferguson.





Ask Bob

Q. Does our forklift need to have an outside service to certify it even if we do the maintenance on it? If we can certify it, what would that entail?

A. There are no annual inspections or other specialty inspections required on forklifts (unlike MEWPs) beyond the preventive maintenance schedule required by the manufacturer and of course, ongoing pre-use inspections as required. The only exception I know of is in Ontario, Canada where an annual load test must be conducted with forklifts.

I hope this helps,
Ask Bob

What's Wrong With This? Photo

Can you tell what's going wrong in this photo?


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Answer to Last Month's WWWT? Photo



Here's what our Director of Training, Rob Vetter had to say about it:

Well it’s spring time once again and you know what that means, the Darwin mob is out in force doing their spring cleaning and it looks like this month’s WWWT has caught a glimpse of one in action.
At first glance, it looks like our elevated star couldn’t quite figure out what he wanted to use to get himself up in the air. Things appear to have started out pretty good as scaffolding was the first choice, equipment actually made for elevating personnel — what a concept. However, things appear to have deteriorated from there as our subject’s thought process (or lack thereof) led to placing the scaffold on top of 15 pallets and just in case things hadn’t deteriorated enough, continuing on to lift the whole death trap with a forklift.

It’s really hard to tell but no operator seems to be on or around the forklift, which could turn into a bad situation very quickly if buddy gets in trouble up there. In addition, whomever was the operator should have tilted the mast to vertical in order to keep the elevating “apparatus” level or better still, refused to partake in this fiasco at all.
The pallets are strapped together, not a bad idea under the circumstances but I have to say, it always fascinates and confounds me when I see a situation as deliberately orchestrated as this calamity-in-waiting that shows at least some thought drifted in the general direction of safety.
I’m no scaffold guru but it looks like this only has one set of cross-braces and no solid top rail on the side where the greatest fall hazard exists, although there does seem to be a strap attached.
Finally, I won’t go deep into the relative ANSI standards in play when using a forklift to elevate personnel but let’s just say the concoction in use here would not be considered “approved” as required under any circumstances

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Client Testimonials

"I was worried that not having a lot of experience on all the machines would make it harder for me to become a trainer. After this training, I feel totally comfortable and ready to certify & train my team on the equipment." Erica, IKEA

"Loved the course, keep up the great work! Learned a lot more than I thought. Thank you." Steve, School District 83

"Class was perfectly instructed and materials exceeded expectations. Program was surprisingly good. One I will use and highly recommend." 
James, US Army

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