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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 September 20, 2018

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

If you’re going to spend 1/3 of our life at work, you should enjoy it, right?

Trust me, I know that’s easier said than done. Difficult coworkers, less-than-desirable tasks, or even just being in the wrong position can all lead to a lack of enjoyment and fulfillment in your work.

But what if I told you it doesn’t have to be this way? Or better yet, if you struggle with all of the above (and then some), what if I told you that enjoying your work and finding fulfillment regardless of those obstacles is possible?

Don’t believe me? I don’t blame you because I was there too. Before implementing the tips below, I struggled to get through each day, much less find real fulfillment, in the office. Now, even after the toughest days on the job, I still come away with feelings of pride, accomplishment, and fulfillment. The best news is, so can you.

If you’re ready to make those hours count and find happiness and fulfillment in the office, then read on to find out how to be happy at work and find fulfillment in your career:

1. Discover the root(s) of the problem

For this first step, we’ll need to think back to 8th-grade physics (humor me). We all know Newton’s 3rd law, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” When you think about it, the same can be said outside of physics, and we see this law play out in our daily lives, day after day.

Simply put, all the issues we deal with in the office (and life in general) affect us in a noticeable way.

If you’re appreciated at work, like the work you do and receive frequent praise, promotions, or raises, then this will probably have an altogether positive effect on your life in the office.

But what if we reverse this? What if you feel under appreciated, get passed up for promotions, or get denied raises? This is sure to affect the way you feel at work on a negative level.

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So, before you can implement the steps of feeling happy and fulfilled at work, we first have to discover the reasons why you don’t feel that way already.

Think about it, write a list, or make a mental note. Run through all the reasons you’re dissatisfied in the office, and don’t hold back. Knowing the exact obstacles you’re facing will make overcoming them that much easier.

In fact, as a side-challenge to this article, I recommend picking the top three reasons contributing to your dissatisfaction at work and using the following tips to tackle them.

2. Practice gratitude for an instant uplift

Did you know the simple act of feeling grateful can increase your happiness and make you more fulfilled at work?[1]

Well, it’s true, and it’s scientifically proven.

Dr. Lisa Firestone notes that practicing gratitude “reminds us of what we lacked in the past.” Meaning, it serves as both a boost to happiness and a bit of a wake-up call that things have been or could be, much worse.

Trying to conjure up feelings of gratitude can seem almost impossible when your work situation seems bleak, but hear me out: There are incredibly easy ways to get started and it doesn’t involve trying to “force” yourself to feel grateful about things that stress you out.

For an instant pick-me-up, try this:

Find a loose piece of paper, a blank sticky note, or anything you can write on, be it physical or digital. List just three things that you are absolutely without-a-doubt thankful for in your life.

Now here’s the trick: Don’t just list what you’re grateful for, you have to list why you’re grateful for them, too.

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For example, simply saying “I’m grateful for my kids” will probably make you feel good, sure, but what if we could amplify the warm, fuzzy feeling into real, lasting motivation?

Instead, write the reason you’re so thankful for your children. Is it because they make you laugh and forget about other stressors? Or maybe they help to remind you of why you go to work every day in the first place?

Whatever your reasons may be, jot them down and keep your list somewhere you can see it while you work. A quick glance at your gratitude list throughout the day can provide powerful, positive motivation to keep going.

Bonus:

If you can find just three things to be thankful for that specifically relate to your job, and list why those things make you grateful, your list can also help you find fulfillment in your work itself which can give you an even bigger boost of positivity throughout the day.

3. Take meaningful time for yourself

We all know creating a strong work-life balance can be crucial to feeling satisfied in our jobs, but rarely do we ever address how we’re spending our time outside of work.

Many of us survive a 9-hour work day and commute home only to find ourselves busy with our personal to-do lists, running a household, and taking care of a child (or 2 or 3, and so on).

If you spend all your time working, whether in the office or within your household, you’re going to feel drained at some point. This is why setting meaningful time for yourself every day is highly important.

Look, I get it: I don’t know anyone in the working world who can shun all responsibility for a 3-movie marathon or happy hour with friends whenever they feel like it. But finding time for yourself, be it just 30 minutes to an hour, can really make a difference in how you feel at work.

This works because you’ll have time to actually relax and let the day’s stress melt away while you enjoy something just for you. The to-do lists and stressors will still be there after you’re refreshed and ready to tackle them.

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No time for me-time? Try this:

If you have a busy household, you’ll need to capitalize on a block of time you know will be completely uninterrupted. The easiest way to do this: try waking up 30 minutes to an hour earlier than usual (or push bedtime back an hour if you’re a night owl, like me) and take time to do something you enjoy.

This could be reading with a cup of tea, catching up on Facebook, spending time on a passion project—anything! As long as it’s meaningful to you, it works!

Bonus:

Starting your day with meaningful time for yourself can set you up to have a positive mood that lasts well into office hours, and having your me-time in the evening can give you something positive to look forward to during the day.

4. Get productive and feel accomplished

Don’t you just love the feeling of checking the last item off of a hefty to-do list? That’s because self-motivation can be a huge driver of positivity and success.

When we accomplish something, no matter how small, it makes us feel good, plain and simple. Applying this tactic to your daily work can be the motivator you need to find fulfillment during the daily office grind.

While there are tons of steps to get more done at work, I’ll share my personal favorite: Prioritizing.

Now, many people handle prioritizing differently. Some like to tackle the little tasks first so they can spend focused time on the big to-dos. Others like to knock out the big items first and get to the smaller ones when they can.

No matter which camp you’re in, you may be missing one crucial step: Time management.

So how’s this work? When you factor in the amount of time your priorities will take, it can transform your productivity ten-fold.

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Say you have three top priorities for the day. You might jump into the smaller ones or the bigger ones depending on your preferred method, and then find yourself out of time and bringing work home with you at the end of the day.

This is prevented when you factor in time. Knowing how long each item will take, or deliberately setting specific blocks of time for your priorities can help you accomplish more in the same 8-9 (or 12) hours that you typically spend at work.

Try this:

Take a look at your priorities and consider how long they should take. Pop into your Google calendar (or Filofax, whatever works for you) and schedule time to work on your priority items around any important meetings or events of the day.

The most important thing to remember is to stick to your dedicated time.

Often, when we know exactly how long we have to work on something (and honor this time limit), we’re motivated to get more done on time to avoid taking work home at the end of the day.

The bottom line

There’s no need to waste 1/3 of our lives feeling unsatisfied at work. Luckily, you now have the tools to get started, take back your time, and become happy and fulfilled at work again.

The only question is — which tip will you try first?

Featured photo credit: Ellyot via unsplash.com

Reference

[1]Psychology Today: The Healing Power of Gratitude

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