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

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

Four Essentials of a Safe Forklift Fleet

There are plenty of simple, small things you can do to improve forklift safety in your facility. These include keeping the floor clean, installing mirrors at the ends of your aisles and prominently displaying safety posters. We have identified five best practices within companies that take forklift safety to the next level.  They are:

  1. Operator and Pedestrian Training – When we say training, we mean true training. A one-day class and a 10-minute hands-on review will not suffice if your goal is to make your forklift fleet a truly safe one. In addition to initial training and refresher training, you must be sure you re-train staff any time you introduce a different piece of equipment, if an operator is re-assigned or if your operation or facility undergoes any significant changes.  In addition to operator training, you should ensure the safety of all your employees and guests by providing training to every employee about how lift equipment operates, the inherent dangers of being around them and how to conduct themselves in a facility with this equipment.
  2. Utilize available safety equipment – Ensuring that all your lift equipment and facility is equipped with up-to-date and working safety functions will go a long way in creating awareness of the presence of lift equipment. Back-up alarms, horns, lights (front and rear combo) and strobes are the hallmarks of forklifts that are easily seen and heard. In addition, be sure to ask your forklift provider about available optional safety equipment.
  3. Planned maintenance – A robust planned maintenance program will catch small maintenance issues before they blossom into giant repair headaches. This will also dramatically reduce potential accidents, making your facility a safer place to work. Your planned maintenance program should be developed based on how your forklifts are utilized, your manufacturers recommendations and should be carried out by a professional, trained staff of forklift technicians.
  4. Regular Inspections – We recommend two types of inspections. The first, as required by OSHA, are daily inspections and are a must for any company. Your operators must be trained to perform accurate and thorough inspections of both Internal Combustion (IC) forklifts, electric forklifts, and any other type of lifting equipment you operate. Damage from previous operations can occur without the operator knowing it, and failure of major components can lead to serious injury, product loss and facility damage. In addition, putting your forklift fleet on a regular service cycle or Planned Maintenance Program, performed by lift truck professionals. This is the key to achieving maximum safety, up-time and productivity.

The benefits of a safe forklift fleet go far beyond reducing injuries. They include:

  • Lower Costs – Having safe forklift operators and providing a safe operating environment, like having safe automobile drivers and better roads, will reduce your operating costs. The frequently inspected equipment will operate within normal guidelines and minor service issues won’t blossom into giant repair headaches.
  • Improved Productivity – Safe operators in a safe environment will be more productive, since down time is reduced as a result of sound equipment and reduced operator and pedestrian accidents.
  • Reduced Insurance and Workers Compensation – A safe work environment with well-trained operators will likely result in lower insurance rates and workers’ compensation in injury-related claims.

Forklift safety is no accident. Taking these measures puts you on the path to creating a safe and productive work environment for your employees.  An investment in safety and productivity adds to your company’s long-term bottom line and benefits those who operate on and around forklifts.

Have a question about forklift safety, training, service or planned maintenance? Please contact your local Cal-Lift branch, or give us a call at 800-322-5438.