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The Electronic Logging Device Rule and Faster Truck Turn Times at Docks

Pretty soon, the federal Electronic Logging Device rule that (mostly) went into effect on December 18 of last year will unleash full penalties for violations. As you’ll recall, late last year, truck drivers protested the oncoming mandate, which requires drivers to track all hours in the truck through electronic logging devices. Officials with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration hope this will reduce issues surrounding driver fatigue and scheduling. President Trump responded to the outcry by slowing down implementation. At least through March, drivers who are caught without e-logging devices may receive a citation, but these won’t count toward the firm’s safety record, and drivers will be allowed to keep moving along their routes. However, and this is the important…more

Forklift Work Platforms for Safely Performing Overhead Tasks

Without Forklift Work Platforms, performing overhead tasks in warehouses is dangerous business. A cursory glance at a Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) fact sheet is enough to make a warehouse manager wonder, “What can I do to protect my workers?” That’s where heavy-duty safety equipment like Forklift Work Platforms come in. These dedicated personnel-lifting devices can make overhead tasks, like taking inventory, shifting products on high warehouse shelves, or even changing light bulbs safer and quicker than ever before. A macro- and micro-level look at the situation shows the danger that workers encounter when confronted with overhead tasks. Let’s take a look at the big picture first. The BLS reports that slips, trips, and falls are the second-most common cause…more

Park & Charge Technology for Electric Forklifts: Required Support Equipment

There is a lively debate between proponents of conventional forklift battery charging and those of fast charging, or park & charge, technology. As with any competing technology, there’s no easy answer about which system is superior. Different fleets have different needs, and that means either type of technology could be a better fit. That said, here are some of the advantages that some users derive from park & charge systems, along with some of the extra gear operators will need to keep these systems more efficient and durable. One of the most attractive benefits of park & charge technology is its simplicity. Fast charging systems rely on charging forklift batteries during periods of downtime, such as lunch hours or other…more

Safety Requirements for the Forklift Battery Room: Back to Basics

There are two very important reasons to maintain a safe battery room — to protect employees and to comply with federal and local regulations. Heavy-duty, ergonomic battery-changing equipment with abundant safety features helps every operation using electric forklifts to accomplish both these goals at the same time. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) gives both general and specific guidance to battery room operators. The General Duty Clause of the OSH Act is the umbrella law that requires employers to “furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm.” That description is crucial but vague, so let’s look…more

Earthquake Preparedness in the Warehousing Industry

Because of their unpredictable nature and powerful tremors, earthquakes pose a unique threat to the warehousing industry. These two qualities make it difficult to evacuate a warehouse without risking injury from toppling racks or falling merchandise. Earthquakes will always pose a danger to people inside buildings. But there are still relatively inexpensive steps warehouse managers can take to reduce injury risks and property damage. Prepare employees and secure items before a quake hits. Educating staff with earthquake training is a great first step toward reducing or eliminating casualties and injuries. By knowing the safest procedures, staff will be calmer and make better choices in the event of an earthquake. All staff should learn the rule, “Drop, cover, and hold on.”…more

Material Handling Ergonomics: Using the “Golden Zone” for Safer Lifting

Warehouse managers often focus on equipment solutions to ergonomics issues. And while there’s good reason to invest in assistive lifting equipment, there are cheaper and easier ways to get big returns. The number one way? Teach workers to lift in the ergonomic “golden zone.” The Dangers of Poor Lifting Technique The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that in 2015, musculoskeletal disorders, such as sprains and strains caused by heavy lifting, made up 31 percent—356,910 individual cases—of all workplace injuries. The predictable and preventable nature of these injuries makes them an obvious target for managers looking to increase productivity. Reducing the number of musculoskeletal injuries is simple in theory but requires constant attention in practice. Here are some tips for…more

Forklift Battery Handling Equipment for the Coming Year’s Budget

Improved battery room configurations and new equipment can yield big gains in productivity and profitability. As the end of the year draws closer, managers of large forklift fleets consider placing an investment in this type of infrastructure in the coming year’s budget. BHS custom designs its battery handling equipment for safety, efficiency, and lifetime cost savings. A complete system can make battery change-outs, charging, and washing a seamless process that keeps lift trucks running with less downtime.  Even a single piece of well-chosen equipment can make a big difference in a battery room. Carts and carriages are fine for operations that only require one or two battery change-outs per day. A BHS Automatic Transfer Carriage accommodates up to 20 change-outs.…more

Electrician Safety in Cold Outdoor Environments

Electrical contractors can’t simply pack up and wait out the winter weather; eventually, electricians just have to work in the cold. Extreme temperatures create special hazards, especially for electricians, and staying safe in the depths of winter requires special efforts on the part of employers and employees alike. The Occupational Safety and Health Association breaks down their safety rules for working in cold and snow into three categories: plan, equip, and train. Here’s what that means for electricians working outside on a freezing Midwestern or Northern day: Employers should invest in engineering controls to help limit the risk. As you know if you’ve read any of our previous entries on ergonomics, “engineering controls” are the most powerful way to keep…more

Handling and Storing Construction Tools at High-Rise Building Sites

The hazards of working on high-rise construction projects have been well-documented. While self-climbing perimeter protection systems, or “cocoons,” protect workers from falls, there’s another safety risk that cocoons can’t eliminate: injuries involving construction tools. A safety guide from the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health offers a few rules to keep construction tools safe: Cal/OSHA requires employees to keep tools “clean and in good repair.” Staff must be trained and experienced in the use of a tool before using it. All powder-actuated tools must be kept in a lockable container, which must remain locked unless authorized personnel retrieve or replace a piece of equipment. Power-operated tools must be kept away from moisture and wetness. While some of these rules…more

4 Common Ergonomic Hazards in Warehouses

Injuries have a big impact on warehouse productivity and profitability, and every warehouse could stand to address common safety hazards. The good news is that warehouse managers can reduce the chance of an on-the-job injury by identifying the most common injury risks and addressing them with training or ergonomic equipment. Safety committees can help identify major risks for your operation. Creating a safety committee can help gather input from many different points of view. These committees should include staff from various areas, including floor workers, shift supervisors, and department managers. For smaller operations, a safety meeting with all staff could replace the safety committee. However an operation manager has to arrange it, crucial safety information must be shared with staff.…more