We’re just finishing up our Forklift Safety video and we’ll soon start work on our Reducing Product Damage Due to Forklift Handling module (we’re looking for a snappier course title if anyone’s got one). Our writers have been researching the most up-to-date OSHA forklift regulations and the recognized industry best practices. Considering the research we’ve put into these courses, we’re confident that they’re going to be valuable tools for anyone operating or working near forklifts.
As research for our module on reducing forklift damage to loads, our writers contacted companies that represented a wide range of industries – food manufacturing, pulp-and-paper, timber, and appliance manufacturing, to name a few. Some were our clients; some were contacts we made specifically for this project. Specifically, we talked to the employees at those companies who work in material handling and warehousing. We asked these employees about the most common load damage problems they see at their worksites that stem from forklift handling. After gathering all of this information, we spent a significant amount of time boiling these problems down to the most common forklift-handling problems that applied across many industries.
While it’s easy to find a lot of training on forklift safety, we’re not aware of another product out there that is focused on load damage prevention in the way ours will be. While worker safety is obviously the most important aspect of forklift operation, damage to product can be a very significant operating cost in both direct and indirect ways. (One example of indirect cost would be customer dissatisfaction resulting from unnoticed product damage. Another example of indirect cost would be a kind of “Broken Windows Effect”, where neglecting the smaller problem of product damage might have an impact on the greater issue of general safety awareness.) We definitely felt that this was an overlooked issue in most forklift orientation programs.
A major contributor to our forklift projects has been F. G. (Rick) Heath, a material handling and lifting equipment expert. Rick’s background includes consulting on a range of industrial subjects, from fabrication and construction to standards and regulations. He serves on several committees for organizations like the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), the Scaffold Industry Association (SIA), and Underwriters Laboratories (UL). He also serves as an expert witness for litigation involving hoists, cranes, jacks, forklifts, and aerial work platforms. Rick has been a great help in giving us feedback on our industrial equipment modules, and we thank him for contributing his knowledge to our efforts.