In this week’s Safety Blog we will look more closely at AMS’ compliance and stellar record with OSHA safety standards. In Blog #9 we talked about our AMS Team’s monthly OSHA safety walk. This week we’ll go into the subject further.
Safety in American warehouses is regulated by a series of standards from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, known as OHSA. Congress created OSHA under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which was signed into law in 1970. The main focus of OSHA is to prevent work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths.
When our safety team takes the OSHA walk around the warehouse they review the top areas of concern. They are given a comprehensive workbook that covers all of the areas OSHA cites plus more of concern to AMS. The workbook makes it clear – all employees are asked to, “Speak Up if you find anything – as small as it may be – that you feel could be done better, or may become a safety issue or cause of injuries.”
First on the list of safety concerns is Forklifts.
Forklifts can be dangerous. OSHA records about 100 warehouse employees are killed and 95,000 injured every year in forklift accidents while operating forklifts. The majority of fatalities are caused by forklift turnovers.
OHSA issues guidelines on forklift operation including the following:
“Train, evaluate and certify all operators to ensure that they can operate forklifts safely, follow safe procedures for picking up, putting down and stacking loads. Drive safely, never exceeding 5 mph and slow down in congested areas. Maintain sufficiently safe clearances for aisles and at loading docks or passages where forklifts are used.”
AMS has two active certified trainers that perform a classroom style instruction and test prior to an actual session of training on our three types of Powered Industrial Trucks.
Our trainers have developed study materials that allow employees to take the classroom portion by themselves. Once they have finished with the self-study, the test is given to them. After passing the test they move on to a one-on-one training. Students are given instructions on the controls and safety devices prior to stepping on each type of forklift, and then the real training begins.
Student materials include a 33-page manual that goes fully into how forklift trucks operate, what are the rules of the road and what can cause a forklift accident or to flip over. The manual goes over careless mistakes and reckless operations that can create dangerous situations. Responsibility for safety is strongly emphasized as students are instructed on AMS’ rules on the operation vehicles and the expectation that the operator will have the vehicle under control at all times.
With more than 400 employees in six warehouses, AMS’ safety record is remarkable: only one lost-time injury in more than 2 1/2 years! Congratulations to the entire safety team, and keep up the good work!!