Material Handling, Warehousing and Safety Featured Articles

Avoiding Forklift “Sick Days”– It never fails, you’re gearing up for a big day in the plant or warehouse and you get that call, “boss, one of our forklifts has called in sick.” You shudder to think, which one has done it again. Is it that same old broken down, over-worked and under-appreciated unit in warehousing, or a new call-in from the production line? Learn what you can do to avoid these types of situations.

Influenza and Productivity – Flu season is upon us. This month we address the costs, and what you can do to limit an outbreak and maintain productivity. Whether it’s your accounting department or materials handling operators, you need to see the effect the flu has on American businesses every year. 

The Final Months of Section 179 Tax deductions –  Tax savings are still available on NEW and USED equipment, but it must be IN SERVICE by December 31, 2018. Learn more about Section 179 and potential tax savings for 2018.

Dock Safety; Four Things You Can do to Improve it – Docks are very busy places and represent a significant risk for an accident or incident, particularly when during busy seasons.  There are some things you can do to reduce this risk and demonstrate the intention of creating a safe work environment for the employees that operate on or around your docks.

Four Decades of OSHA: the Results – Although often maligned, history shows that when consistent safety standards are designed and enforced, good things happen with regards to safety in the workplace. Nothing is more important that making sure each of our employees return safely tomorrow, by keeping them safe today. Read the effect OSHA has had on workplace safety since 1970. 

Ten Things You Need to Know about Planned Maintenance – Part of an effective forklift service strategy is having a regular planned maintenance program. Keeping your forklifts in good operating condition results in better productivity and bottom line profits. But having a reliable partner makes an enormous difference in the effectiveness of your planned maintenance program.  This article highlights things you need to know before you enter into an agreement with a forklift service provider.

Tips to Protect Employees from Summer Heat – The hot summer months are upon us. Workers who are not accustomed to working in the heat can quickly become ill and experience heat stroke, which can lead to serious illness and even death. There are a few things to keep in mind about heat-related illness and what you can do to help prevent it in your workers.

Forklift Safety Day is Coming, What You Can Do to Celebrate – Forklifts can be dangerous pieces of equipment, and June will mark the 5th anniversary of Forklift Safety Day, initiated by the Industrial Truck Association to help bring awareness of the potential dangers in operating lift trucks. Learn what you can do to improve forklift safety in your facility.

5 Major Benefits of Planned Preventive Maintenance – Like anything else in life, whether it’s your car, your home or even your body, planning and conducting preventive maintenance creates long-term benefits that are well worth the investment. Why would your forklift and other materials handling equipment be any different? 

What’s Reducing the Safe Lifting Capacity of Your Forklift – When you purchase a 5,000lb forklift, you expect it to maintain that lifting capacity. But there are things that happen and things you may have done to dramatically reduce the safe lifting capacity, sometimes more than 20% or more. Read what they are.

OSHA’s Free Safety Consultation Program – Safety is one of the primary pillars of a productive and profitable material handling operation. Unfortunately, most small to mid-size companies do not have the resources for a safety and compliance manager, much less a safety department.

Section 179 Tax Deductions Improved for 2018 – Congress has approved much needed improvements in Section 179 which allows companies, like yours, the ability to completely deduct the purchase cost of equipment the first year it is put into service.

Readying Your Warehouse for Winter – The cold Winter months are upon us. Maximizing energy usage and minimizing energy loss adds to your bottom line. This month we highlight things you can do to accomplish both.

Site-Specific Training: Six Things You Need to Consider – Most companies are in compliance with classroom and hands-on training when it comes to forklift operator training.  However, many fall short when it comes to ensuring their forklift operators are trained to the unique characteristics that can create hazards in your warehouse.  This article walks you through the process of ensuring you establish an effective site-specific forklift operator training component for your forklift operator training program.

8 Factors that are Reducing Your Forklift’s Safe Lifting Capacity– You just purchased a new forklift. Along with your purchase, you made sure your forklift operators were trained properly. One of the key components of training is the understanding of a forklift’s capacity and how that capacity can change depending on alterations or wear and tear on the lift truck. Operators’ knowledge of safe lifting capacity equals a lower risk of property damage, injury or death.

OSHA Releases Top 10 Citations of 2016 – OSHA has released its list of 10 most frequent violations and forklifts once again made the list. 

How the Smallest of Threats Can Hamper Your Operation – It’s flu season and few things can cripple your operation like an outbreak of the flu. This month we address this devious microbe and look at a few things you can do to minimize its impact and keep your employees happy, healthy and productive. 

Rental as an Equipment Procurement Strategy – When you put a forklift to work, the equipment cost and maintenance is bore by the user. But how those costs are allocated and the financial impact varies from company to company.

Four Traits of Safey-Minded Companies – As managers and owners, we want a safe work environment for all of our employees. Unfortunately, all too often it escapes us. Time passes quickly, and initiatives that were once important standards become guidelines or even merely suggestions. How can we ensure that when we put safety measures in place, they will stay in place as employees come and go in a business climate that is constantly in flux?

Five Things that Will Lower Your Material Handling Total Costs – We found five things that lower overall costs, but aren’t always top of mind awareness when it comes to a materials handling operation. Find out what they are in our feature article

Aerial Lift Safety Resources – NIOSH and OSHA have several excellent resources to help you create and maintain a safe operating environment for your aerial lifts. Resources include safety pamphlets and videos, check them out.

The Costs of Choosing the Wrong Battery and Charger Combo – Electric forklifts continue to make great progress in terms of power, outdoor use and capacities. We’ve addressed the cost savings by switching to electric forklift in previous articles. Lower maintenance and energy costs as well as a cleaner environment are just a few of the benefits. However, all those cost savings can be greatly eroded by choosing the wrong battery and/or charger for your operation.

Green Initiatives in Supply Chain – There are literally hundreds of things you can do to improve energy consumption in your facility. From the smallest gestures like turning off unused lighting, to giant projects like installing solar panels, all your efforts go into improving the climate we live in as well as the atmosphere our employees work in every day. 

4 Simple Things that will Improve Safety on Your Dock – Docks are very busy places and represent a significant risk for an accident or incident, particularly when during busy seasons.  There are some things you can do to reduce this risk and demonstrate the intention of creating a safe work environment for the employees that operate on or around your docks.

Reducing Potential Workforce Violence with These Five Steps – Violence in the workplace often erupts without warning, and can have tragic results. Taking steps to prevent these situations can improve safety in your workplace, improve employee satisfaction and lead to increased productivity. Conversely, ignoring potential hazards can result in employee injury, even death — and legal action at considerable costs to the company.

What Your Forklift Would Tell You if It Could Talk – Your forklifts work hard for you day after day, rarely complaining about the workload or its surroundings. Occasionally, it tells you something is wrong by breaking down,  but waiting forthat to happen can be expensive. Have you ever wondered what a forklift might tell you, if it could talk?

New OSHA Report, The Cost of Not Protecting Our Workforce – Work injuries and illnesses exact a tremendous toll on society. Despite the decades-old legal requirement that employers provide workplaces free of serious hazards, every year, more than three million workers are seriously injured, and thousands more are killed on the job. The financial and social impacts of these injuries and illnesses are huge, with workers and their families and taxpayer-supported programs paying most of the costs.

Three Essentials of Thorough, Effective Training – Training is one of the most important functions of any manager. From the top to the bottom levels of an organization, employees that are well-trained in their job functions perform them better, are more efficient and make greater contributions to the bottom line of the organization.

Questions to Consider Before You Purchase – There will come a point when your existing forklifts have reached the end of their economic life and need to be replaced. In addition to some of the obvious questions, there are a few that could save you hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of dollars. 

2015 U.S. Economic Predictions – For most, 2014 was a robust rebound year. The predictions from most sources we could find is positive. Find out what we discovered and what it means to our industry for the upcoming year. 

To Rent or to Own; That is the Question – There are several ways to acquire heavy equipment, like a forklift. The answer about how to acquire that equipment is not so cut and dry. How you acquire capital equipment should be determined by answering a few questions, then having a discussion with your financial representative. The two of you together should be able to come to a conclusion about how to proceed. 

OSHA’s Top 10 Cited Standards for 2014 – OHSA has announced its top 10 most frequently cited standards following inspections of worksites. OSHA publishes this list to alert employers about these commonly cited standards so they can take steps to find and fix recognized hazards addressed in these and other standards before OSHA shows up. 

3 Steps to Improved Productivity – Whether you’re trying to improve productivity on your assembly line in your materials handling operation or improve efficiency in your accounting department, there are a few things that you can do that transcend functional lines and apply to almost all individuals. 

Keep Your Cool and Improve Your Bottom Line – Getting hot under the collar is about as good for your forklifts as it is for you.  Heat results in increased engine wear, part failure and lift truck maintenance expenses. There are few simple reminders that can make a big difference in forklift performance, maintenance costs and useful life.

Four Decades of OSHA: Intents and Outcomes – The Occupational Health and Safety Act created OSHA as we know it today, back in 1972. This month we take a look at who signed the Act, why and what has transpired in the more than 4 decades that the agency has been in operation. 

Total Ownership Costs vs. Purchase Price – Lift equipment can be a significant investment. Making the wrong choice could result in unnecessary increases in your total materials handling costs. This month’s feature article highlights some of the considerations that are often overlooked when purchasing equipment. 

The Four Levels of Learning and What they Mean to Your Business –  Understanding how people learn and what it takes to become proficient at any task underscores the importance of a continual training program for your forklift operators, or for anyone that’s learning anything in your organization to help keep it running. Read more…

Pre-Shift Inspections: a Practical Approach – Daily Pre-Shift inspections are a requirement by OSHA to ensure the lift truck that is about to haul around thousands of pounds, is safe to do so.  In addition to compliance, catching small service issues before they blossom into giant repair or incident headaches is a protection to your bottom line.

Top 10 Cited OSHA Standards for 2012 – Find out what top 10 OSHA Standards that companies were cited for violating in 2012, and where forklifts, industrial trucks finished.

Four Major Benefits of Formal Operator Training –  There is a distinct difference between teaching someone something, like safe forklift operation, and truly training them how to perform the function safely and efficiently. We have addressed this topic in our previously published “Safety Training vs. Teaching: Knowing the Differences.”  A robust, comprehensive and ongoing safety training program for your forklift operators provides you with not only protection from potential liabilities, but also enhances you operation. In this article we will address four of the major benefits of formalizing your forklift operator training program.

Optimizing Your Material Handling Operation – Purchasing a new forklift or other material handling equipment can be expensive, but that’s just a fraction of what it costs to operate it efficiently—or inefficiently. Getting the most bang for your forklift buck means understanding the products you move and establishing baseline costs as a start. Here are 8 tips for optimizing your material handling operation. 

12 Benefits of Long-Term Forklift Rentals – There are many benefits of long-term forklift rentals. Read what the advantages are and what they could mean to your materials handling operation.  

Proper Fork and Chain Inspections – Forks and chains lift hundreds of thousands of pounds each shift, and unchecked wear on either can cause a load to come crashing to the ground.  This can result in severe damage to property, or even death.

Variables in Space Planning Solutions – Designing the correct type of pallet rack system to properly meet your needs has become in-creasingly complex in recent years. There are many different types of systems now available, e.g. Selective, Double Deep, Drive-In / Thru, Push-Back, and Flow.  Plus, more sophisticated handling equipment (e.g. Double Reach Trucks, Narrow Aisle Trucks, Very Narrow Aisle Trucks) require much more stringent tolerances. Thus, finding the correct rack solution is more complicated than ever. However, you will find it if you carefully consider several factors. 

Three Major Take-Aways from ProMat – Many feel that the success of ProMat, the largest show of its kind, reflects the “global pulse” of the world’s economy and in particular, materials handling.  If the atmosphere and attendance at the show is an indicator, the global mood is positive and upbeat.

The Four Essentials of a Safe, Productive Forklift Fleet – There are plenty of little things you can do to improve forklift safety in your facility. Things like keeping the floor clean, installing mirrors at the ends of your aisles and prominently displayed safety posters will all improve safety. We have found four main recurrences within companies that take forklift safety to the next level. 

Changes in ANSI Fall Protection, Effective 2/23/13 – Personal fall protection equipment will now be based on operator weight. If an operator weighs less than 220 lbs, a body belt can be used, but only with a self-retracting lanyard. Otherwise, a full body harness with either a self-retracting lanyard or an energy absorbing lanyard must be used. The fixed length lanyard can no longer be used and will be cross-referenced to the energy absorbing lanyard. 

Pedestrian Safety is No Accident; What You Need to Know – When it comes to forklift safety, a lot of emphasis is placed upon safe forklift operation—as it should be. What we see quite frequently, though, is a lack of training for employees working in a warehouse situation but who do not operate forklifts but merely work around them all day, every day. Read more…

Forklift Safety for a Better Tomorrow – From warehouses to manufacturing plants, forklifts are a vital tool of productivity, moving everything from parts to potatoes. With thousands of forklift injuries occurring every year, forklift safety awareness is essential. See statistics on the safety features most buyers prefer and how Toyota’s System of Active Stability™ helps reduce the risk of tipovers.

Optimize Warehouse Space by Fighting the Space Invaders – Over time things change, and once well-utilized space now has you wondering where it all went. This Feature Article identifies some of the things that can eat at your warehouse space and what you can do to reclaim it.

Forklift Battery and Charger Selection –  Selecting the wrong charger and battery combination can quickly shorten battery life, leading to the need to replace batteries more frequently.  Multiply a 50% reduction in battery life by the number of batteries in your facility and you will quickly realize the hidden costs of choosing the wrong charger for your batteries and the application in which they will operate.

Free Downloads: Daily Inspection Forms – Forklift pre-shift inspections are required by OSHA. These forms, one each for Electric and IC forklifts follow OSHA’s pre-shift inspection recommendations and can help you ensure safe, productive and efficient operation of your forklifts.

Green Initiatives in Warehousing – The World is trending towards green initiatives and warehousing and materials handling are no exception. Read what others companies are doing, how they’re doing it and what you can do to prepare your operation for energy and resource conservation. 

What You Need to Know About Pre-Shift Inspections – Pre-shift inspections are not just an OSHA requirement, then can help reduce your overall forklift fleet costs! Catching small problems before they blossom into major catastrophes means lower costs and a safer work environment for your employees.

Choosing the Right Forklift Tire – It is easy to overlook the humble tire when it comes to maintaining a forklift. Choose the wrong tire, however, and you could end up with a dramatic increase in fleet operating costs or, worse yet, increased safety risks. Choose the right one, and you can realize significant cost-savings, improved safety…. 

Forklift Operator Training vs. Teaching: Discover the Differences – There are vasts differences in truly training your forklift operators and merely teaching them. This Feature Article explores the levels of learning and helps you put together a program that truly trains your forklift operators.

Site-Specific Training: Six Things You Need to Consider – Most companies are in compliance with classroom and hands-on training when it comes to forklift operator training.  However, many fall short when it comes to ensuring their forklift operators are trained to the unique characteristics that can create hazards in your warehouse.  This article walks you through the process of ensuring you establish an effective site-specific forklift operator training component for your forklift operator training program.