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5 Things You Should Do To Avoid Forklift Related Accidents

5 Things You Should Do To Avoid Forklift Related Accidents

Forklift accidents are no joke – they’re a concern for others, supervisors, owners, and the people operating them. If you’ve spent your time around the bull and deal with forklifts on a day to day, maybe you’ve come across an accident or two during a couple stints.

Other than common sense, having a smart policy in place means enforcing the safe-obvious rules you’ve set up. Punishment for workers who violate your rules should be severe.

Severe enough to send a message: if workers pose a risk to injury, either to themselves or others by being unsafe and working unprofessionally… then they could, let’s say, get the boot. For a day or two. Maybe their lunch won’t be paid for the week.

There’s a whole host of punishments out there for people who have a blatant disregard for the rules.

There are different ways (most of them involve common sense professionalism and respect) to avoid forklift-related injuries. Let’s look to some action steps you can put in place today.

1. Supervision and Monitoring

It’s the duty of employers to provide a safe workplace within the rights of workers – nobody elses. Monitoring and keeping track of the lowdown is a key part in maintaining that type of workplace safety.

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As such, employers can go through a weekly checklist to ensure their line of forklifts is suitable for use – inspecting areas such as…

  • Fluids and controls
  • Mast
  • Warning devices
  • Seating
  • Tires
  • Seatbelt, forks, Etc.

It’s also wise to set in place, a special procedure for employees to follow should incase an unsafe forklift meet their path.

2. BEING CRUSHED

Do me a favour and go find a dump truck. Then go find a medium-sized forklift. Look real close at the two – what do you think their weight differences are? Monumentally huge, right?

Wrong.

They’re about the same weight. Ipso facto, they should both be treated with the proper respect. The size of a medium-sized forklift is deceiving – there’ve been many instances of forklift operators who, misjudging the lift, jumped to the ground (OR tipped over!) and miscalculated the fall. Did you hear about a man in Brooklyn who was crushed to death? OSHA estimates that over 85 fatalities (in the workplace) are forklift related.

Preventing these tragedies is as simple as companies providing sufficient training for use with any machine. It is the duty and responsibility of supervisors to ensure proper maintenance of equipments and that they are being used in right way to avoid accidents.

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3. Safe Warehouse Environment

The physical environment around you (most likely the warehouse), such as the lighting, ventilation, housekeeping, road surfaces, etc. plays a big part in forklift safety.

Let’s be obvious here: the stronger (or more) lights there are, the safer forklift drivers will see any obstructions in their path.

However, one bulb doesn’t fit all, especially when it comes to proper lighting design. Lighting is serious work.

“Housekeeping” refers to keeping the warehouse organized and tidy – like a $50/hr. maid spends time cleaning up a wealthy client’s home; no junk lying everywhere, no wrappers littering the ground, etc.

Overhead walkways also help employees remain safe. However, safety/visibility mirrors installed in a lot of places around the warehouse (and on the front and back of forklifts)? Tell me forklift drivers can’t use mirrors to help them see where they’re going. Convex safety mirrors do just that.

What else makes the environment safer? Signs, safety barriers, boom gates, etc. That doesn’t mean forklift injuries will be wiped clean – but the amount of them will diminish over the coming months with each respectful upgrade.

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4. Maintain Forklifts

Having a well-maintained forklift is essential for preventing accidents. That isn’t surprising, is it? In case it’s time to repair forklifts, purchase those that come with their own safety reading material.

According to CertifyMe.net, forklift injuries happen twenty thousand times a year. Most forklift accidents happen when the forklift has poor maintenance, improper backing up techniques and workers don’t consider the forklift’s age.

Let me ask you, what maintenance program do you have set up? Does it include a weekly schedule of services? How often do you perform forklift (and other machinery) inspections? What about cleanings? Ensure the mechanism that’s always on is the one that stops forklifts from starting unless the seatbelt is fastened around the driver.

Have you equipped your forklifts with anti-slip surfaces and grab-rails? These make the difference when someone falls and is bedridden for a few months.

5. Lack Of Safety Education

The warehouse will fail to meet its full potential, and majorly suffer when it comes to production. It will also create serious risks to every eyeball in there. When warehouse workers aren’t trained, everyone suffers. Everyone.

The OSH reports that a lack of training, or being trained improperly, contributes to forklift injuries.

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We can see a trend: what’s the foremost cause of injury in the workplace? Inexperienced workers. The problem with inexperienced workers? They can cause company profit to plummet; how couldn’t they be a liability? They weren’t trained in the first place! If they were, maybe an accident wouldn’t have happened, and their (or should we say your?) mistake wouldn’t cost the company in damages.

The same goes for veterans who’ve been around the block; new equipment comes in, let’s say, your golden oldies have no clue what does what or how to work it. A “refresher” course is the divider between a major, expensive accident (TRAGIC accident that could be fatal, actually)… and experienced workers utilising their skills professionally.

The biggest thing is to advocate safety (such as The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 does) at all times through the year. Discuss safety monthly or weekly – and please address safety issues as they pop up.

LAST THOUGHTS

OSHA summed it up best when they said that operating a forklift without proper training is dangerous. There have been many reports about forklift accidents; some list 85 fatalities each year. With over 850,000 forklifts in the U.S. alone, 85 fatalities isn’t peanuts. Let’s try to keep that number smaller – don’t add to it by being irresponsible. Stay safe out there.

Featured photo credit: pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on July 18, 2019

How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

Most people grow up with dreams to go to college and graduate with high-paying job offers waiting for them the week after graduation. Others may favor non-traditional career paths. But the desire is the same: to find a job we love where compensation is commensurate with experience.

However, plans change. For instance, what started out as a dream to be a surgeon is cut short by a nasty injury and you’re debating how to transition into a new role. Or you might be facing being let go from your current employer and are anxious about “options out there.”

Whatever the case may be, switching careers can be intentional or unintentional. What matters is that you’re well-prepared, and the only way to do so is to learn new skills — hone in on your transferable skills.

Why Hone in on Your Transferable Skills?

There are several reasons you need to develop these skills if you want to go far in life and your career. In a nutshell, honing in your your transferable skills can lead to:

Better Job Offers

Continuous assessment and improvement of your skills widens the pool of job offers for you to make selections from. You’re no longer tethered to one industry as you’re able to lead your career by design, not by default.

People with transferable skills on a resume also open up opportunities for more potential employers.

Increase in Pay and More Responsibilities

You’ve heard the saying “with great power come great responsibility.” In your case, transferable skills make you more marketable to employers which could lead to pay raises.

Although this isn’t an automatic process– you have to be proactive about what you want in the marketplace, there is a chance that these pay raises will come with change in titles and roles.

A Shot at Entrepreneurship

Yes, changing career paths also includes the possibility of working for yourself. With these skills and work experience, you could live anywhere in the world and design a life and career you want.

We’ve talked about why you need to strengthen your transferable skills but what are some these skills, and how can you work on them?

13 Tips to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills

1. Update Your Resume

You might be surprised to know this but yes, updating your resume is a skill. The very first thing you should do while thinking about switching careers is to highlight attributes that make you very desirable candidate to employers.

Think about your volunteer experiences, freelance projects, and school projects. Although they might seem insignificant, they demonstrate your ability to deliver results that several companies are looking for.

While you might have held several positions since college, switching careers will require you to have a different type of resume.

There are three different types of resumes: functional, chronological, and a combination resume. However, if you are looking to switch careers you’ll want to have a functional resume. A functional resume is strengths-based that emphasizes skills that are transferable rather than a collection of dates and job titles.

2. Brush up on Your Communication Skills

Every attempt to get ahead in business and in life starts with the need to communicate effectively. Whether it is interpersonal, intercultural, or multi-generational, the ability to be seen and heard while respecting the boundaries of work relationship matters.

That’s why it’s one of the top skills you need to master. Strong communication skills allows you to effectively tailor your messages to specific audiences, which will make you a stronger asset to any organization.

To hone this skill:

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Pay attention to your listening skills. To communicate effectively, you need to first learn how to understand others.

Your ability to decode overt and implied messages, no matter how nuanced they are, is key to knowing how to foster deep relationships with others.

This article can also give you effective ways to enhance your communication skills:

How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home

3. Learn Technical (or Business) Writing

Another form of communication, writing, is a skill that can take you anywhere.

Companies communicate a lot through written memos, emails, newsletters, and other audio-visual means. But at the crux of this all is someone or some people who are tasked with translating the organization’s vision into statements anyone can understand.

To hone this skill:

Consider taking some free or paid classes online. You can accomplish this through several community colleges or online platforms like Lynda, Udemy or edX .

4. Practice Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

No matter how intelligent you are, no one will take you seriously if you’re unable to pull off a decent level of persuasion through presentation skills.

Most presentation can be done through either electronic devices or require your physical presence. Your chosen career may require you to be in front of several hundreds of people or you could be charged with developing materials for presentation.

To hone this skill:

Volunteer to lead projects that give you some responsibility for putting together presentations.

Also, try taking courses that will improve your public speaking skills if you feel lacking.

These tips on public speaking would be helpful too:

The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

5. Get Comfortable with Identifying Problems and Solutions

Every organization has got its problems no matter how greener the grass is on the other side.

How to hone this skill:

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Practice being resourceful.

Do you know where to find every company policy on the intranet in less than five minutes?

Think about a time you noticed some inefficiency at work and proposed a solution. Think about instances where you lent your voice to a cause which resulted in improved processes for your department.

No matter how small or inadequate you might feel, you’ve got some problem-solving skills that some organizations want.

If you look for more ways to improve your problem solving skills, take a look at this article:

6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

6. Recognize Your Team-Building Ability

Your ability to smoothly switch careers also depends on how well you can energize your team, especially if you’re aiming for a leadership role. Unfortunately, team-building usually isn’t something you learn on the job in most careers unless you hold a managerial position.

The good thing is that you possibly know one or two things about team-building. Think back to moments in college when you had group projects with colleagues and had to work with 3 to 4 other strangers for months. Were you able to get past your differences and disagreements to focus on the uniqueness of everyone at the table?

Making a career switch might require that you work with multidisciplinary teams whether you have a deep knowledge of what the other team does or not. I can easily think of doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and social workers working closely to achieve the goals in a patient’s care plan.

How to hone this skill:

Look for collaborative projects and team building activities that excite you and challenge yourself with new possibilities.

Try some of these tactics to keep your team motivated as well:

17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

7. Lean into Your Leadership Skills

Although similar to the previous point, leadership skills extend far beyond building teams, managing time sheets and correcting behavior.

What I’m referring to here is your ability to develop a vision, believe in it, and inspire buy-in from everyone involved. This isn’t about knowing how to run a particular machine; it’s about how to lead a team of people with various backgrounds, experiences, and ideas of how things should be done.

How to hone this skill:

Although more complex than the rest, it all starts with an introspective look into your strengths and weaknesses. Then get a mentor or a coach who can bring out your leadership qualities so you can operate from a place of strength.

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Learn more about the effective leadership types here:

5 Types of Leadership that Help You Build a High Performance Team

8. Improve Your Analytical Skills

Are you good at taking large amount of data and interpreting them? Your skills could come in handy.

Organizations are looking for people to make sense of the data around them, explain how it affects profitability, and make projections based on it. Best of all? You don’t need to be an accountant to be analytical.

How to hone this skill:

Try taking data interpretation classes online or at a community college. Learning Microsoft Excel or Access is also a plus. If you’re ambitious enough, you could consider getting additional certifications to up the ante.

Take a look at these ways to help sharpen your analytical skills:

What Are Analytical Skills and How to Strengthen Them For Success

9. Don’t Discount Your Time Management and Prioritization Skills

How good are you when it comes to deciding how important tasks are, organizing schedules, and coordinating plans?

Should you be willing, there is a market waiting for you out there. Organizations and busy executives are always looking for talented individuals to outsource these tasks to.

How to hone this skill:

Although not everyone possesses secretarial superpowers, you can improve this skill by focusing on taking huge tasks and breaking them into smaller goals or steps in order to achieve a bigger goal.

Here, you can learn to prioritize to achieve more:

The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life

10. Embrace Your Creative and Critical Thinking Side

Although it’s often believed that creativity is for the arts and right-brained people, I believe everyone is capable of being creative. In fact, most organizations recognize creativity as a vehicle that will drive successful inventions in the future.

How to hone this skill:

Try doing something fun. As simple as this sounds, you’d be surprised to learn how much. In fact, behavioral and learning scientist, Marily Oppezzo, says taking a walk might be all you need to get your creative juices flowing.[1]

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Anyone can be creative, you just need the right way to train your brain:

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

11. Don’t Stop Learning Tech Knowledge and Skills

Being tech-savvy is a huge plus. If you have an affinity with computers, software applications and are abreast of technological improvements, it is a transferable skill that is worth highlighting.

You don’t have to be a young college graduate with silicon valley dreams to work

How to hone this skill:

All you need is the determination and the readiness to learn. This article will give you some ideas on the types of skills to learn:

How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

12. Build Networks and Relationships

You aren’t free from networking. Not at the moment. With your goal to switch to a different career, your networking skills will come in handy.

Fortunately for you, networking doesn’t have to be so hard.

How to hone this skill:

Attend conferences and job fairs. Chances are you already have people in your network you can move you closer to your dream career.

To enhance your networking skills, take these steps:

How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life

Final Thoughts

Although there are several people with the same qualification and degree(s) you possess, what ultimately determines hireability comes down to a myriad of things such as culture fit, how teachable you are, cultural sensitivity, inter-generational awareness, and your ability to navigate uncertainty.

You have a chance to stand out by letting your dream companies know how these soft skills make you an invaluable asset, and how saying ‘YES’ to you is a win-win for both parties.

Happy career switching!

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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