Forklift operators should be retrained anytime they are involved in an accident or a close call. This is true even if the operator was not at fault for the accident. OSHA standards require regular evaluation and retraining of forklift operators.
According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, about 1.5 million US workers operate forklifts. The handy little machines, also called Powered Industrial Trucks (PITs) or fork trucks, are one of the most common pieces of industrial equipment.
A recent Tennessee worker safety article focuses on reducing fork truck injuries and deaths by improving training for forklift operators.
Forklifts are used in many industries. PITs are not difficult to operate, but they pose some dangers in the workplace. One of the most common mistakes is overloading the forklift, or improperly balancing the load. Even a light load that sits too far forwards on the tines, or forks, poses a hazard. Either of these mistakes can cause the truck to tip over.
According to OSHA, a number of features must be included in a forklift training program. The training should address any hazards specific to the workplace. It should also take into account the worker’s level of skill, their prior knowledge and experience, and the type of forklift being used.
It is a regular practice in industry to add attachments to forklifts. A variety of attachments like boom extensions, hoppers and drums improve the functionality of the forklift. Many of these attachments are used primarily in the manufacturing industry. Unfortunately, if improperly installed, they also increase the danger associated with forklift use.
Any modifications or attachments should be approved in advance by the forklift manufacturer. Maintenance and operation labels or decals must be updated by the manufacturer to reflect the new operating standards. The weight of an attachment reduces the forklift’s maximum capacity.
Any employer who has read the recent worker safety statistics would understand the importance of a comprehensive worker safety program in the place of work.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA oversees workplace safety in Tennessee. They produce an excellent OSHA Workplace Safety Pack for employers to use in their workplace training programs. Included in the pack are:
- Workstation Safety Tips Poster
- Lifting Safely Poster
- Slips, Trips and Falls Poster
- Workplace Ergonomics Poster
Tennessee worker safety is of paramount importance. Work place injuries can be expensive for an employer. If the worker needs time away from their job, their tasks have to be covered. There may be expensive medical bills, and even law suits.
So much better then to educate workers on the importance of safety and making sure they are aware of proper safety techniques.
Workplace injuries are not as rare as some employers may think. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the U.S. Occupational and Health Administration looks into millions of work place related injuries in Tennessee and across the country, each year.
The most recent statistics available are for the year 2005. They do not make happy reading. There were 4,214,200 work related accidents throughout the nation.
These accounted for 1,234,700 lost work days. There were 5,702 fatalities.
High though these figures are, they only include work related incidents for the private sector. Work related incidents for paramedics, police, firefighters and other government departments. They also do not include work related incidents for non-profit organization employees.
Statistics for Tennessee workers are just as grim. Around half a million (503,530) workers suffered from strains, tear or sprains, and there were 270,890 painful work related back injuries during 2005. Falling at work account for 255,750 injuries.
Work place injuries account for one of the highest causes of accidental deaths, second only to vehicle related accidents.
Asbestos is the subject of the latest Tennessee worker safety alert. Many people would consider an asbestos hazard in the workplace a thing from past times, but a recent OSHA alert contradicts this.
The warning in question refers specifically to asbestos in the brakes and clutches of older models of trucks and cars. This presents a hazard to mechanics and others who work in related industries. Most new cars and trucks do not contain asbestos, but mechanics and other workers may be exposed to the hazard when they are asked to work on the older models.
Because of this threat, OSHA recommends that owners of older models of cars and trucks do not carry out repairs or other work on them themselves, but take them to a workshop where professionals are set up to deal with the hazard.
The reason that asbestos presents such a risk to health is that when it is disturbed, it breaks into tiny airborne particles that cannot be seen by the naked eye, but can easily be inhaled into the lungs, causing damage.
As there is no definite way of determining whether a clutch or brake contains asbestos, workers are told to treat every repair job as though it does. There are four main methods of controlling asbestos in the automotive repair shop. They are the low pressure/wet cleaning method, the negative pressure enclosure/HEPA vacuum system and the spray can/solvent measure.
Employers are responsible for instigating safety procedures to be carried out when working with asbestos, and that these procedures should be in writing. They are also responsible for ensuring that all their employees follow the safety procedures.
When you consider that around 10,000 people die from asbestos related diseases in the United States each year, it is important that workers realize the risks involved are very real indeed. Such diseases include asbestosis, lung cancer, mesothelioma and gastrointestinal cancer.
For those living and working in our state, the Tennessee Labor Law Board is a key figure in our everyday lives even if we do not realize it. This board is comprised of key figures that will help us to insure that our businesses are run successfully with employee needs being met. In addition, the individual employee can come to this board to gain information and even skill training to better provide for the necessary services. There are plenty of opportunities to be had from tapping into the Tennessee Labor Law Board.
One key aspect that many do not realize that the Tennessee Labor Law Board provides for is extensive help to those that fall unemployed. The state is committed to provide a good amount of information and tools to aid those that need it to get back on track and get back into the workforce. With that being said, there are several things to know about. The most common need that those that are unemployed need is financial assistance of unemployment coverage. In addition to this, insurance needs will need to be met. These are factors that the board helps to provide for.
Yet, it does not stop there. The Tennessee Labor Law Board also provides for help in training and educating those that are unemployed to get them back into the workforce. There are several programs in place that can be useful in this manner. This also includes a wide range of apprenticeship programs. This is also an important aspect in just maintaining a quality workforce that can find employment of the right caliber.
In addition to these features, the Tennessee Labor Law Board provides the necessary help to employers to get them the quality of an employee that they need. Of course, they also provide for the laws governing the state’s employment field as well both from the end of the employer and the employee.