Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Ontario's OHS Act - Farming

Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act as of June 30, 2006, will apply, certain limitations and exceptions, to all farming operations that have paid employees. The Occupational Health and Safety Act requires employers that regularly employ more then five employees to prepare and review at least annually a written OHS policy, and to develop and maintain a program to implement that policy. This document has been prepared to assist employers in understanding these obligations.

Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Policies

An occupational health and safety policy is a statement of an employer's commitment to a worker’s health and safety. A clear, concise occupational health and safety policy, signed by the highest level of management in the company, should state the employer's commitment, support and attitude to the health and safety program for the protection of their workers.
The employer's attitudes, relationships between management and workers, community interests and technology all combine to play an important part in determining how health and safety is viewed and addressed in the workplace.
Companies maintaining exceptional health and safety records have established a clear line of responsibility for correcting health and safety concerns. This action enhances working relationships between management and employees.

Here is an example of a good health & safety policy.

[Employer’s name/Farm operation ] is vitally interested in the health and safety of its employees. The protection of employees from injury or occupational disease is a major continuing objective. (“Company”) will make every possible effort to provide a safe and healthy workplace environment. All the company’s supervisors and workers must be dedicated to the continuing the objective of reducing the risk of injury.
[_____ ], as employer, is ultimately responsible for the worker’s health and safety. As the employer of [______ ], I hereby give you my personal promise that every reasonable precaution will be taken to ensure the safety of the workers. The supervisors will be held accountable for the health and safety of the workers under their supervision. The supervisors will also be responsible to make sure that all machinery and equipment are safe and that the workers work in compliance with the company’s established safe work practices and procedures. Employees must receive adequate training in their specific work tasks to protect their health and safety.
Every worker must protect his or her own health and safety by working in compliance with the law and with safe work practices and procedures established by the company (or farm operation).
It is in the best interest of all parties to consider health and safety in every activity. Commitment to health and safety must form an integral part of this organization, from the owner to the workers.
Signed: [______________ ]Employer (Farm operation)
Health and Safety Program
In addition to preparing a health and safety policy like the one above, the employer who regularly employs more than five employees must also have a program in place to implement that policy. This program will vary, depending upon the hazards encountered in a particular workplace. Program elements may include all or some of the following:

· Confined space entry procedure
· Lockout Tagout procedure
· Machine guarding
· Ergonomics
· Worker training e.g.., new employees, new equipment, new job procedures
· Analysis of the accidents and illnesses occurring at the workplace
· A health and safety budget
· A formal means of communication to address promptly the concerns of workers
· Material-handling practices and procedures
· Procedures specific to the individual farming operation, e.g., harvesting fruit, large animal handling
· Preventing occupational disease, e.g., preventing the transmission of diseases from animals to humans
· Maintenance and repairs
· Personal protective equipment, e.g.., respirators, hearing protection
· Emergency procedures
· First-aid and rescue procedures
· Electrical safety
· Fire prevention
· Engineering controls e.g., ventilation
Not a comprehensive list.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Corporate Human Resources Training

We do more then just industrial equipment training. The Bright Group has a complete line of corporate human resources training programs. Dealing with the development of a company’s management team and employees, we offer courses in supervisory training, what is involved in the role of the supervisor.

Learn effective communication, coaching and counseling techniques for your company supervisors, following that up with interaction leadership, leading with passion, and performance driven leadership training. The next levels of training we offer is high performance and work teams training, as well as workplace team building. With a strong relationship with one of our associate trainers in human resources development and workplace safety we can bring you such courses as:

Much More...

We can make this your only stop for human resources development.

Whatever your management needs are, contact us today and we’ll set you up.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

When Buying A Used Forklift

Here are a few tips on buying a used forklift. First off if you can, rent or borrow the type of forklift you are looking to buy. That way you can try it before you buy it. Here are some guidelines when purchasing a used forklift.

Room to operate:
The average four-wheel, sit-down forklift gas or electric, from 3,000 to 6,000 pound capacity requires at least a 12-foot aisle to operate comfortably.

The most popular forklift:
The most popular unit is a 5,000-pound, triple-stage propane with a side shift?

A used forklift is often a better choice when purchasing a lift truck, because the owner of a new engine powered forklift run them on the average, 6 to 7 years before deciding to trade them in. The electric forklift on the other hand is kept around for approximately 8 to 10 years. Both types of these machines are operated on the average for 1,500 hours per year in single shift operations.

The availability of used trucks over the past 4 to 5 years that were leased out over a 3 to 5 year period has increased. This gives you the opportunity to choose from a larger supply of machines with low hours and less wear and tear. Sometimes a short-term-rental lift truck will only accumulate about 1,000 hours of use per year and is likely replaced every 3 to 5 years. The downside to buying a low hour rental lift truck or a previously leased one is that they usually sell for 10 to 15 percent more than other fork trucks.

Here are a few things to look for when buying a used forklift.

The main sources where you are going to find used forklifts are: Dealers, end users, previous rentals or retired leases.

When you finely find a forklift, you are going to have to determine what type of condition it is in. Check to see how well it has been maintained over the years. If they have the maintenance records ask if you can see them. If there are no records, it might be a good idea to have a mechanic do a thorough mechanical inspection on the unit before you purchase it.

Inspection Tips: Only use a certified operator to do this.

Start by checking mast operation, both without a load and with the forklift's full rated load. Look to see how smooth it operates and whether it binds. .
Make sure you tilt the mast forward and back fully to see if there's excessive play (3/8 in. or more) between the mast channels, as well as between the carriage and the mast.
Check to see if the fork truck comes with an attachment and if it does, make sure it is operational and it will do the job for you. Also check to see if there is excessive side carriage play.

Possible Mechanical Problems:
It is advisable to make sure you have fully warmed up the vehicle before performing the following tasks. Check for leaks from the mast and tilt cylinders, engine, radiator, transmission, and the differential. If you encounter a leak, try to determine the source of it and the cost of repairing it before purchasing.

While you have a maximum capacity load on the forklift check the brakes. When traveling at 5 miles per hour you should be able to stop smoothly within one to two truck lengths.

Before your test drive:
Before taking it for a test drive examine the body of the forklift, if it appears to have dents in it or the panels are pushed in, it could be a sign of careless use of the vehicle.
After your examination take the forklift through a tight figure-eight pattern in both forward and reverse gears. It should respond quickly to the steering wheel and the tracking should be accurate.

Check the wear and tear on the tires. If they haven’t been replaced recently, look to see if there is uneven wear. If there is uneven wear, this maybe a sign that your axle may need to be re-aligned. If the unit passes these tests you just might have found yourself a used forklift. Before you get too anxious make sure a mechanic covers the 14 points on the in-depth inspection checklist.

Monday, February 06, 2006

New Courses - Skidsteer & Pedestrian Safety

We are pleased to announce that we have two new courses to offer you. They are skid steer and pedestrian safety training. The course content will be added to our website shortly. In the meantime you can still inquiry about getting onsite training right now for these courses.

Pedestrian safety training and what it does for your company.

It will teach your employees how to work safely around powered industrial equipment such as: forklifts, overhead cranes, aerial platforms etc. Providing them with the awareness they need to anticipate possible hazards before they happen. Therefore minimizing the risk of an accident

Just last year we added 10 & 30 hour osha compliance training for the U.S. clients

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Standard Manlift Checklist

For your reference we have posted a standard manlift pre-shift inspection checklist. We will be posting more inspection lists in the future. You can view the Manlift PDF file here If you can't open it, you can download a free version of Adobe Reader here.