In this issue we will be covering:
- Forklift Trucks - Common Factors in Forklift Incidents.
- Excavator bucket incident causing death results in $125,000 Fine.
- Upcoming Program Calendar.
- Fatal Boomlift Overturn.
- Ask Bob: Our tech guru answers a question on addressing a fear of heights.
- A selection of interesting articles.
- New testimonials from our wonderful clients.
But first, check out all the places we are delivering training this month...
Forklift Trucks - Common Factors in Forklift Incidents
What factors contribute to forklift truck incidents?
Many work-related factors can cause incidents. Grouping them into specific categories may help to analyze incidents and, eventually, to prevent them.
What factors of work organization can contribute to forklift truck incidents?
- Production factors such as speed or stress.
- Lack of proper tools, attachments and accessories.
- Improper assignment of forklifts and operators.
- Poor maintenance of forklifts.
- Age of forklifts.
- Lack of training or improper training of workers who have to operate forklift trucks.
What factors can contribute to forklift truck incidents?
- Travelling at excessive speed.
- Riding with the load elevated.
- Improper backing up techniques.
- Improper turning, braking or accelerating.
- Improper warnings to others about a forklift in use nearby.
- Poor communication during shared tasks, or in shared spaces.
- Not being aware of the route to be travelled (e.g., narrow passages, obstacles, poor surface conditions, etc.).
- Riding or giving rides on forklift or load.
- Parking the forklift improperly.
- Improper blocking of wheels on semi-trailers or railway cars.
- Horseplay; stunt driving; jerky, erratic driving.
- Inadequate servicing of the forklift.
How can workplace design contribute to forklift truck incidents?
- Narrow aisles.
- Crowded, cluttered aisles.
- Shelving that has components that could hit or intrude into the operator area.
- Obstructions at intersections and doors.
- Volume of traffic in work area.
- Pedestrians who are walking and working in the general area of forklift operations.
- Other workplace conditions such as noise, odours, toxic gases, dust, or poor lighting.
- Ramps or flooring with different surfaces.
- Condition of loading dock.
What characteristics of the load create a hazard?
- Goods are poorly stacked or piled on the pallet in a way that result in an unstable load.
- Pallets are in poor repair.
- Load is too heavy.
- Load is unstable or blocking vision.
What mechanical conditions or design features increase the risk for forklift incidents?
- Malfunction of brakes.
- Malfunction of steering.
- Malfunction of clutch, shift linkage, or transmission.
- Malfunction of mast assembly.
- Leaks in hydraulic systems or transmission.
- Safety devices lacking, inadequate, or malfunctioning.
- Emissions from forklifts.
- Blind spots or obstructions blocking driver's view.
- Poor layout of controls and displays.
How can incidents with pedestrians be reduced or avoided?
- Separate the pedestrian and forklift traffic by creating designated walkways or travel ways.
- Restrict people from entering areas where the forklift is operating. If not possible, develop safe work procedures to protect workers when they must enter areas where forklifts are operating.
- Keep a safe distance from the forklift whenever possible.
- Pedestrians should always let the driver know they are in the area. Make eye contact with the driver to ensure your presence is known.
- Make sure the area is well lit and there are no obstructions.
- Be cautious near blind corners, doorways, and narrow aisles. Sound the forklift horn at intersections.
- Use high-visibility clothing, where appropriate.
- Limit forklift travel speed.
- Do not walk near or under raised forks.
- Do not load the forklift in a way that restricts the driver's viewing area.
- Avoid driving forklift near areas where pedestrian traffic is high (e.g., lunch rooms, time clocks, entrances/exits).
Excavator bucket incident causing death results in $125,000 Fine
Convicted: Orin Contractors Corp., 100 Macintosh Blvd., Concord, Ontario, a contractor providing municipal construction.
Location of Workplace: Verdun Avenue in Oshawa.
Description of Offence: A worker was killed when the scoop bucket attachment on an excavator fell on the worker. A hydraulic coupler attached to the excavator was operated in a manner that was not in accordance with the bucket attachment procedure in the operating manual.
Date of Offence: June 19, 2018.
Date of Conviction: September 21, 2020.
- Following a guilty plea, Orin Contractors Corp. was fined $125,000 in Ontario Court of Justice in Oshawa by Judge Susan Magotiaux; Crown Counsel Wes Wilson.
- The court also imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.
- In June of 2018 Orin was engaged in a contract with the City of Oshawa for the replacement of sanitary sewer lines. On June 18 the company was working near Verdun Avenue in Oshawa. A worker had begun working for Orin that day.
- A supervisor began the work day with a "toolbox" talk and assigned tasks for the day. The new worker was instructed to use the excavator to uncover a pipe that had been laid the week before, and to continue digging the excavation.
- The excavator was equipped with a hydraulic coupler which allowed the operator to attach and detach implements to and from the boom of the machine. The scoop bucket attachment being used was capable of being attached with the teeth facing the operator to dig back toward the operator's cab, or turned around with the teeth facing away from the operator and used as a shovel.
- The next day, on June 19, excavation started with the bucket attached to the excavator in the "dig" position, pulling material back toward the excavator. The operator was instructed by the supervisor to turn the bucket around to the "shovel" position to allow better access to the soil around a natural gas pipe in the trench.
- The worker placed the bucket on the ground, detached the bucket from the coupler, and spun the bucket around on the ground, pushing it with the coupler.
- The worker attempted to re-attach the bucket, but did not follow the procedure for doing so as set out in the coupler manufacturer's user manual.
- Unknown to the operator, the bucket was not properly attached to the coupler.
- At that time, the supervisor entered the excavation to do shoveling by hand around the pipe that had been previously installed, in order to attach it to the next length of pipe. As the operator swung the bucket over the trench, the bucket fell into the trench, landing on and crushing the supervisor.The bucket weighed over 2,700 pounds and the supervisor died as a result of the injuries.
- After the fatal incident, testing was conducted by the then-Ministry of Labour and found that there were no mechanical defects. Testing further confirmed that all systems were working properly. It is believed the failure of the operator to follow the manufacturer-directed safety checks for coupler attachment was the source of the failure.
- At an interview, it was apparent that the operator was not familiar with the full safety checking procedure as set out in the coupler manufacturer's user manual. The manual was in English and the operator spoke a different language.
- The company pleaded guilty to failing, as an employer, to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed in section 93(3) of Ontario Regulation 213/91 - the Construction Projects Regulation - were carried out in a workplace located at or near Verdun Road, Oshawa, contrary to section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. O.1.
Fatal Boomlift Overturn
A crawler mounted telescopic boom lift overturned in Rombach-le-Franc, between Strasbourg and Colmar in Eastern France yesterday leaving one man dead and another seriously injured.
The JLG boom lift was traveling on a steep grassed slope with the platform at a height of around seven or eight metres when it went over sideways. One of the two men in the platform, 55, was reported to have died instantly, while his colleague, 51, was airlifted to hospital in Colmar with serious injuries. At this stage we have no idea if the two were wearing a harness or not.
The two men were employed by a local company Boiron which specialises in the construction and maintenance of power lines . The company was contracted to repair or maintain a 20,000 volt overhead power line for power line installation and maintenance utility Enedis (previously ERDF).
An investigation has been launched to determine the facts surrounding the incident, and will include the local police and the company.
If I have an operator that has expressed a fear of heights but their manager says to certify them anyways, can I refuse to certify said operator? Is there a regulation that I could use as support to my refusal? I personally do not feel comfortable putting someone with a fear of heights in a lift, alone, and sending them in the air.
I don’t know that you should refuse to certify this trainee but I would encourage him/her to refuse to take the training. Or better still, appeal to his/her supervisor to be exempt from operating MEWPs on the grounds that they feel their fear of heights may prevent them from operating the machinery safely. If the trainee does this but still ends up in your training program, I suggest that you do what you can to accommodate them and hopefully ease their fear, especially during practical hands-on training.
Perhaps assign tasks that start out at heights the trainee is comfortable with and gradually get higher over time. There’s no official requirement for trainees to take the equipment to full height, but there is an unofficial expectation that they should be able to go to 75% of the MEWP's maximum height. Even then, site conditions could play into things as well. For example, if the trainee is on an 80-ft. boomlift but there is no task that they would ever be assigned to on site that is above 50-ft., then that’s as high as they need to go – which is high enough to perform any tasks they will be assigned as an operator.
You could also assign a qualified operator willing to join them on the work platform during practical training for moral support and backup, if needed. Ultimately, the trainee is going to have to demonstrate to you that he/she can operate the equipment safely during a practical evaluation. If that does not happen for any reason, including a fear of heights, they cannot be qualified as an operator.
The only other thing I can think of falls on the trainee to prove, with a Doctor's endorsement, that their fear of heights is an actual, verified medical condition that prevents them from working at height.
Front-end loader runs over and kills woman sleeping on California beach...more.
VIDEO: Forklift driver causes an entire warehouse to fall like dominos...more.
Hyundai Mobis has developed a hydrogen-powered forklift...more.
VIDEO: Chinese worker shows amazing skill in operating excavator...more.
Man seriously injured in boomlift unloading incident...more.
Reducing forklift risks in the warehouse...more.
Overturned excavator snarls traffic...more.
VIDEO: Operator dies after excavator plunges more than 200 feet into a ravine...more.
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