The Cost of Not Protecting Our Workforce

A report generated by OSHA highlights the real costs associated with on the job injuries, who pays them and how this impacts the employee and taxpayers.

Whether an employee is working on a high-rise building or driving a forklift, employers have the responsibility, and what we feel is an obligation to protect their employees from injury. By investing in training and safety, employers get fewer injuries, lower costs, more productivity and an improved satisfaction which often leads to less turn over. But all companies do not feel that way. Many are finding ways to avoid responsibility for providing safe working conditions for their most dangerous jobs.

The report highlights what some companies do to avoid responsibility and what this does to not only the employee, but his/her family and taxpayers when an accident with injury occurs. Shifting the financial burden however does not make it go away. It shifts it to over-burdened worker’s compensation and government systems. In addition, a worker who is injured can expect to make an average of 15% less income after the injury. And while the creating of OSHA in 1970 by President Nixon has greatly reduced on the job accidents, injuries and deaths dramatically, we still have approximately 4,500 deaths every year due to workplace accidents.

As a full-service forklift dealership, safety is one of our most important topics. Forklifts are dangerous pieces of equipment for the operator and anyone working around the forklift. While manufacturers work hard to innovate and make them safer, nothing can replace a well trained and cautious operator.

Report – The Cost of Not Protecting Workers

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Taylor Machine Works Featured at White House

In July, President Trump hosted companies from across the country at the White House for the Made in America Product Showcase. The White House was highlighting and celebrating each state’s effort and commitment to American made products by bringing in and showing off products from all 50 states that are made and produced in the United States. Cal-Lift Inc. is proud to represent, Taylor Machine Works, the company chosen to represent Mississippi at the event. Below is a picture taken at the event featuring a Taylor as part of the celebration of American businesses.

Big Red at White House - sm

Companies participating in the event, by state, included:

State Company Product
Alabama Altec Bucket trucks
Alaska Alaska Bowl Company Bowls
Arizona PING Golf Golf clubs
Arkansas Hytrol Conveyer belt
California The California Wine Institute Wine
Colorado Gordon Signs Neon signs
Connecticut Sikorsky Helicopters
Delaware ILC Dover LP NASA space suit
Florida Tervis Tumblers
Georgia Chick Fil A Food
Hawaii Koloa Rum Co. Rum
Idaho Boise Cascade Company Engineered wood floors
Illinois Caterpillar Heavy equipment manufacturer
Indiana Broomcorn Johnnys Brooms
Iowa RMA Armament Body armor, dummies
Kansas Grasshopper Company Lawnmower
Kentucky Campbellsville Apparel Company Apparel
Louisiana Marucci Sports Baseball bats
Maine Hinckley Yachts Yacht
Maryland Eddie Heath’s Crab Pots Crab pot manufacturer
Massachusetts St. Pierre Manufacturing Corporation Horseshoes
Michigan Milton Manufacturing Fabric
Minnesota Faribault Woolen Mill Wool blankets
Mississippi Taylor Machine Works Forklift
Missouri Beehler Corporation Door hinges
Montana Simms Fishing Fishing gear
Nebraska Greater Omaha Packing Beef
Nevada Kimmie Candy Candy
New Hampshire Cider Belly Doughnuts Doughnut company
New Jersey Campbells Soup Soup
New Mexico Desert Plastics Plastic Manufacturer
New York Steinway Piano
North Carolina Cheerwine Soda
North Dakota Dakota Outerwear Co. Military outerwear manufacturer
Ohio Bully Tools Shovels, rakes, hoes etc.
Oklahoma DitchWitch Trencher/excavator
Oregon Leupold and Stevens Sights and scopes
Pennsylvania Ames Wheel barrows
Rhode Island Narragansett Brewing Company Beer
South Carolina Casual Cushion Company Cushions
South Dakota K Bar J Leather Shotgun chaps
Tennessee Gibson Guitars Guitars
Texas Stetson Hats Cowboy hats
Utah Colonial Flag Company Flags
Vermont Dubie Family Maple Maple syrup
Virginia National Capital Flag Company Flags
Washington Liberty Bottleworks Water bottles
West Virginia Homer Laughlin China Company Iconic fiesta line of china
Wisconsin Pierce Manufacturing Two firetrucks
Wyoming Aviat Aircraft Model aircraft

The Trump Administration is honoring the incredible workers and companies who make “Made in America” the world standard for quality and craftsmanship. America is a nation that honors the work of gifted and skilled tradespeople.

The President has also taken steps to ensure that Americans are equipped with the tools necessary to thrive in the modern economy by signing an Executive Order to promote and create more flexible apprenticeship programs that arm American workers with valuable skills.

We are proud to represent Taylor Machine Work’s products. Taylor has a history of the highest quality, heavy-duty forklifts on the market. Learn more about Taylor Machine Works.

Industrial Trucks and the US Economy

Industrial trucks and forklifts sales are directly tied to our economy. When our economy does well, more forklifts are required to move the goods ordered by customers and end-users. Conversely, when a downturn occurs, forklift sales drop, sometimes dramatically as they did with the recession of 2009. What few people understood until now, the economic impact these forklifts make on our economy. Recently the Industrial Truck Association in conjunction with Oxford Economics researched the topic, and below are some of the significant findings.

  • Industrial truck manufactures generate 209,600 jobs in the US, directly and indirectly.
  • The economic impact of forklift on the US economy is $25.7 billion dollars. Here in California forklifts generate over $1.9 billion dollars to our state economy.
  • Over $15 billion of that contribution is a result jobs that support forklift sales and service such as service technicians, the parts that are made and sold and installed on forklifts, training centers etc…
  • The Bureau of Labor and Statistic (BLS) estimates that there are about 540,000 industrial truck operators in the US.
  • There are over 200,000 forklifts sold annually in the US.
  • Over 1 million forklifts are sold around the world each year.
  • The industrial truck industry generate about $5.3 billion dollars in state and local taxes.

As you can see, when we sell a forklift we create a lot of work not only here at Cal-Lift, but for our customers, their customers and the impact is felt all throughout our state and national economy.

Report – Industrial Trucks Impact on US Economy

Daily Forklift Inspection Forms

Forklifts must be inspected daily, or prior to each shift if used in a multi-shift operation. This may seem like a burden and for some large companies, indeed it is. We believe though, that the inspections are a good routine to fall into. Forklifts can be very dangerous machines if something isn’t working right or is damaged. Cracked forks, chains, leaky hydraulics, damaged tires and many other items that are easy to miss, can present a very dangerous, even deadly situation.

We used OSHA guidelines to develop the following forms. One for electric forklifts, the other for internal combustion forklifts. Please feel free to copy and distribute as needed. Remember to keep copies of each inspection, either in a file, or scanned and store digitally.

If you find that your forklift needs to be repaired or service, be sure to use a lockout tag and contact our forklift service department as soon as possible to schedule repairs. Should you need a replacement, we have a large forklift rental fleet to fill your short-term forklift needs.

Any questions about forklift repairs or service, please contact us at 800-322-5438.

5 Tips to Decrease Heat Related Illnesses

The hot summer months are upon us. With increased heat and humidity workers become more susceptible to heat-related illnesses. 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.

  1. Train your employees about the dangers of heat-related illnesses. OSHA has excellent training information and materials to help you relate this information to all of your employees who work in the heat.  Part of that training should be to recognize the symptoms of heat-related illnesses and to act upon them immediately. Never brush it off and continue working. The symptoms exist for a reason!
  2. Understand that all employees are not equally able to resist the heat. Employees should be able to assess their own conditioning and how well they handle heat. Employees who are taking certain prescription medications or have certain chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, need to pay special attention to how they feel while working. Employees who are new to outdoor jobs are often most susceptible to heat-related illnesses. Try to ease them into the normal workload gradually, until you’re confident they are acclimated.
  3. Provide additional water stations during the hotter months, at more convenient locations, and encourage employees to drink water every 15 minutes or so, based on temperature. Never wait until you are thirsty to start re-hydrating.
  4. Provide for more frequent breaks. In the long run employees will be more productive in the heat if they are getting proper rest to allow their bodies to cool down while also keeping themselves better hydrated during these breaks.
  5. Proper ventilation and air movement inside your warehouse or material handling facility is very important in keeping the temperature at safe levels and your workers cool. Ceiling fans, screen doors for warehouse dock doors, and roof vents are great ways to keep your facility comfortable and more productive.

OSHA has provided a wealth of information to help you provide a safe atmosphere to deal with the summer heat. While OSHA does not have a standard pertaining to preventing heat illnesses, it is up to us to be sure we have done everything that we can to help our employees stay safe and avoid heat-related illnesses.

Well-trained and equipped employees are more productive employees. Keeping them safe from the heat during the summer months ensures better productivity for tomorrow and years beyond. But it is ultimately up to us as the employers to be sure our employees are prepared to understand and act accordingly to ensure their own safety.

Taylor Machine Works, All-American, All the Time

Designed, engineered and built in Louisville, Mississippi, Taylor Machine Works are the most dependable, reliable, lowest cost heavy-duty forklifts on the market.This short video highlights a company built on trust and dedicated to building quality products. Next time you’re considering Container Handlers, Forklifts or other Heavy-Duty Lift Trucks, check out our line-up of Taylor Machine Works, then Contact Us for more information or a quote.

Four Traits of Safety-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?

While we lack the space to answer this question in full detail here, there are a few major approaches to providing a safe work environment that transcend industries, equipment and facilities. We outline these “hows and whys” of workplace safety below.

Since 1970, OSHA has worked to create a safer workplace for all employees, and their mission has been very successful. However, accidents still happen, and not only at companies willfully violating OSHA standards. Sometimes safety goes beyond meeting standards due to unique circumstances in certain operations.

The following are a few approaches to safety that have helped both large and small companies to achieve better workplace safety, fewer incidents and accidents, lower costs, more productivity and better workplace attitudes.

  1. Safety is integrated with company mission – Safe companies put as much emphasis on doing things safely as on doing them productively. From day one, every employee knows they are working for a company that would rather they do their job safely than quickly. These employees will lockout a piece of equipment when something goes wrong, will replace light bulbs that need it instead of ignoring them and will report unsafe behavior or unsafe conditions.
  2. Training never ends – Employees are involved in ongoing training – how to lift more safely, how to sit properly in a chair, how to operate a certain piece of equipment and so on. Your business is fluid: things change; equipment changes; and equipment, building space and employees are added. As your conditions change, your training must address these changes. Training for the safest work environments is never a one-time event or a two- or three-day training initiation. It is an ongoing pursuit of the safest possible work facility. It should be a goal of all employees to see that their coworkers go home safe every night.
  3. Involvement at all levels – While involvement in a safe work environment must start from the corner office, the mission and strategy it is also important to ensure that every employee knows that they are involved and responsible. It is a good idea to create safety teams for every facet of your business, to revolve people in and out of those teams, and to have them conduct frequent facility or department reviews to identify potential threats. The most successful companies have reward systems for reporting anything that could be a potential threat, even if it is as minor as a sharp corner on a coat rack. This keeps all employees engaged in creating a safe work environment.
  4. Accountability – Once you have established your safety mission and mapped out your strategy, everyone involved must be held accountable. No one can shirk their safety responsibilities. If a sharp corner on a coat rack is missed and someone gets cut, find out why no one noticed. Are they doing regular inspections? If safety standards are not being met, it is the leadership’s job to find out why and fix it. Everyone must know that if an accident happens on their watch, it must be accounted for and a plan must be designed to ensure that it will not happen again.

A truly safe, productive and profitable workplace is attained through ongoing efforts, and these are just a few of the major traits of successful organizations. We encourage you to seek the assistance of OSHA, NIOSH or other private safety consultants to help you organize and strategize your safety plans.

A safe organization on all levels is happier and more productive. Take advantage of the benefits of being a safety-minded organization and watch the benefits blossom.