The Checker Blog

How Are Investments in Safety Similar to Infrastructure Spending?

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Mon, Mar 25, 2019 @ 07:00 AM

safety like infrastructure

Executives, managers, supervisors, and other individuals in leadership positions sometimes put safety procedures and protocols in the last place in order to expedite projects. Some even go as far as disregarding it completely. Why?

Generally, it all has to do with their bottom line. Many people in leadership are concerned about profits first and everything else second. While this method of operating a business may generate some short-term benefits, it will prove to be a total disaster down the line.

The Infrastructure Analogy

To understand why this is, it’s illustrative to look at safety in the workplace in the same way as maintaining a country's infrastructure, which is generally comprised of public (and sometimes private) physical improvements such as roads, bridges, tunnels, railroads, sewers, water supply, power plants, electrical grids, telecommunications, etc.

In a business setting, “infrastructure” is composed of a company’s vehicles, equipment, and other assets. It's safe to say that a business cannot function without these things, just as a country's economy will not thrive without a well-established infrastructure.

But as most of us know, the infrastructure itself isn't enough for a country to run smoothly. That infrastructure also needs to be maintained. The problem is that the benefits of this maintenance usually aren't clearly visible. By definition, maintenance is essentially ensuring that things remain the same.

That’s why lawmakers often avoid these infrastructure investment, realizing that the public will not be aware of its effects and will not give them credit for it. It's only when a car-packed bridge collapses or a river dam bursts that the importance of infrastructure maintenance becomes apparent.

The same thing happens with safety in the workplace. Business leaders are more interested in profits and expediting projects (visible effects) than prioritizing safety in the workplace (maintenance).

Both infrastructure and safety are too often seen as a given, and only after severe damage is done, will they be given any attention.

Streamlining Safety

To counteract this problem, the best approach is to streamline safety procedures and make them as unobtrusive as possible in the day-to-day operations of your business. For this purpose, The Checker Software is highly effective— designed to optimize safety audits and inspections without any disruption to the business. This cloud-based software can be used on any device with an internet connection, streamlining safety procedures even further.

The Checker Software makes use of an extensive library of hundreds of ready-to-use checklists for a large variety of vehicles, equipment, and other assets. Checklists can also be easily customized to fit every organization's unique needs.

The Checker Software sends out personal reminders, notifications, and alerts, red-flagging any non-compliance issues and ensuring that nothing will slip between the cracks. It will also automatically compile safety reports, sending them to designated recipients (maintenance, management, safety personnel, customers, etc.).

And thanks to the software's analytics and archiving capabilities, users can analyze data, spot developing trends, gain business insights, and maintain a historical record of all inspection and audit activity. 

Takeaway

Just like maintaining national infrastructure, a company’s safety efforts may not be “sexy.” But safety is essential to the long-term well-being of a company, and The Checker Software is a powerful tool in being as safe as possible.

Topics: safety management, safety awareness, inspection software, equipment maintenance, vehicle safety, equipment safety, safety audits, audit software, audit/inspection software

Tips for inspecting

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Mon, Nov 26, 2018 @ 05:07 PM

 

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Safety is the most important reason to Inspect your fleet vehicles. Safety for Employees, yourself and for other road users. An Inspection enables you to identify and report existing defects or potential hazards and can save you problems later on.

  • Compensation Claims

If your Employees are involved in a motor vehicle incident and injured while driving a vehicle for work duties, a compensation claim will have to be filed by the employer, as that is considered a workplace injury, whether they are using a Company Vehicle, or their own.

Accident prevention is a fundamental component in maintaining a safe and healthy workplace; contributing to increased worker morale and decreased worker injury and/or absenteeism.

  • Employer Safety Policies

Employer safety policies are a critical element in reducing motor vehicle incidents. Policies not only support and reinforce traffic laws and responsibilities, they also manage road risks through programs and policies to promote safe driving behaviors and ensure worker vehicles are safe and properly maintained.

  • Inspecting your vehicle

Worn, failed or incorrectly adjusted components can cause or contribute to accidents. Preventive maintenance and Inspection procedures help to prevent failures from occurring while the vehicle is being operated.

There are many causes of motor vehicle incidents such as road conditions, distractions, weather, speeding, driving skills and health, that can contribute to collisions and injuries. Keeping your vehicles safe is one less hazard to worry about.

  • Questions for Management

1. Are there excessive demands for the repairing of your vehicles? This should be viewed as an indicator of inadequate maintenance and Inspection procedures, and a vehicle maintenance situation which could cause or contribute to accidents.

2. Are there established inspection and reporting procedures for drivers?

3. Are drivers equipped with Inspection aids and the necessary report forms?

4. Are drivers encouraged not to drive when they discover a deficiency which should cause the vehicle to be placed out-of-service?

How many times have you seen a vehicle with any of these issues?

- Only one headlight working

- One or no brake lights

- Turn signal not working

- Low tire pressure

- Unsecured load in a pickup truck

- Out of fuel

These are just a few of the many unsafe conditions that would have been caught if a proper Inspection had been performed. It doesn't matter what type of vehicle you use, always inspect it. How else can you know whether there is sufficient window washer fluid for that snow storm you are about to encounter, or whether the lights, gauges, indicators, steering, horn, brakes and flashers are working properly?

For more information about The Checker, feel free to visit our website or email us at info@thechecker.net.

Topics: why inspect?, inspection software, vehicle safety, inspection forms

Why Inspect All Vehicles?

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Mon, Nov 26, 2018 @ 09:59 AM

 

fleet social media

Safety is the most important reason to Inspect your fleet vehicles. Safety for Employees, yourself and for other road users. An Inspection enables you to identify and report existing defects or potential hazards and can save you problems later on.

  • Compensation Claims

If your Employees are involved in a motor vehicle incident and injured while driving a vehicle for work duties, a compensation claim will have to be filed by the employer, as that is considered a workplace injury, whether they are using a Company Vehicle, or their own.

Accident prevention is a fundamental component in maintaining a safe and healthy workplace; contributing to increased worker morale and decreased worker injury and/or absenteeism.

  • Employer Safety Policies

Employer safety policies are a critical element in reducing motor vehicle incidents. Policies not only support and reinforce traffic laws and responsibilities, they also manage road risks through programs and policies to promote safe driving behaviors and ensure worker vehicles are safe and properly maintained.

  • Inspecting your vehicle

Worn, failed or incorrectly adjusted components can cause or contribute to accidents. Preventive maintenance and Inspection procedures help to prevent failures from occurring while the vehicle is being operated.

There are many causes of motor vehicle incidents such as road conditions, distractions, weather, speeding, driving skills and health, that can contribute to collisions and injuries. Keeping your vehicles safe is one less hazard to worry about.

  • Questions for Management

1. Are there excessive demands for the repairing of your vehicles? This should be viewed as an indicator of inadequate maintenance and Inspection procedures, and a vehicle maintenance situation which could cause or contribute to accidents.

2. Are there established inspection and reporting procedures for drivers?

3. Are drivers equipped with Inspection aids and the necessary report forms?

4. Are drivers encouraged not to drive when they discover a deficiency which should cause the vehicle to be placed out-of-service?

How many times have you seen a vehicle with any of these issues?

- Only one headlight working

- One or no brake lights

- Turn signal not working

- Low tire pressure

- Unsecured load in a pickup truck

- Out of fuel

These are just a few of the many unsafe conditions that would have been caught if a proper Inspection had been performed. It doesn't matter what type of vehicle you use, always inspect it. How else can you know whether there is sufficient window washer fluid for that snow storm you are about to encounter, or whether the lights, gauges, indicators, steering, horn, brakes and flashers are working properly?

For more information about The Checker, feel free to visit our website or email us at info@thechecker.net.

Topics: why inspect?, inspection software, vehicle safety, inspection forms

Why You Should Inspect Cranes More Than You Have To

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Wed, May 23, 2018 @ 09:51 AM

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When I talk to management for companies that use cranes, I always ask, “Do you inspect your cranes?”

An answer I often here is, “Of course, we do. We inspect them when we get them. And we inspect them again every year, as required.”

Standards vary worldwide, but OSHA’s rules for the U.S. are illustrative. A company can be in compliance with OSHA’s regulations for overhead and gantry cranes by conducting only one complete crane inspection a year.  

OSHA does require operators to daily keep an eye out for:

  • Maladjustment of any operating mechanism that interferes with proper operation
  • Deterioration or leakage in lines, tanks, valves, drain pumps, and other parts of air or hydraulic systems
  • Hooks with deformation or cracks
  • Hoist chains that are worn, twisted, or stretched beyond manufacturer recommendations
  • Excessive wear of any component.

 

But these aren’t necessarily formal inspections (i.e., documented, with each component of the crane clearly passing or failing). A formal inspection of the hoist chains is required monthly, but the other “inspections” can be done by simply looking to make sure there are no issues.

Depending on the activity, severity of service, and environment, formal inspections may be required more often than annually, but in normal conditions, once a year satisfies OSHA’s requirements. That’s just not enough. Annual inspections may keep regulators off your back (as long as no incidents occur), but inspecting cranes that infrequently is simply bad business.

Regulations about crane inspections shouldn’t even have to be put into writing. They’re beyond common sense—like don’t walk in the middle of a busy road. The potential cost of a crane accident is so far beyond the labor involved in conducting very frequent and documented crane inspections that’s it’s not even a close decision.

With a few minutes of inspecting a day, using inspection checklists for cranes, you can ensure that crane operators are actually doing their daily inspections. Plus, the completed checklists serve as documents confirming “no negligence” if anything terrible does happen.

Heavy machines and heavy loads, with humans and property all around—much is at risk. Why not reduce that risk as much as possible?

Takeaway

When it comes to crane safety, doing only the minimum inspecting required is risky business.  Using inspection checklists to conduct frequent crane inspections pays off by protecting against the potentially enormous human suffering and financial costs associated with crane failures.

Topics: safety management, legal compliance, equipment maintenance, inspections and profitability, vehicle safety

Preparing for IIoT with Technology that Benefits You Now

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Mon, Apr 30, 2018 @ 11:23 AM

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The so-called “Internet of Things” is changing the way we live. 

The phrase essentially refers to everyday items—things you wear, vehicles, home appliances, etc.—that are connected to the internet. The Internet of Things allows consumers to wear health-monitoring devices, remotely control appliances in their home, and drive cars that always know where they are and what the traffic is like ahead. 

Eventually, virtually every physical aspect of our lives will be connected to the internet in some way. 

In industries such as manufacturing, the Internet of Things is often referred to as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). The IIoT will have a transformative effect on how products are manufactured, sold, and distributed. Combined with emerging technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, the IIoT will enable greater efficiencies than ever before possible as machines become increasingly “smart.” 

But what does this have to do with your operation now?  

Maybe not a lot, at the moment. For most businesses, the IIoT is still largely in the future. The technology is not yet evolved enough for widespread full-scale adoption of IIoT solutions 

But you can begin to prepare for the IIoT revolution. By adopting other computing technologies that can help you increase efficiencies and develop a company culture that’s technologically friendly, you can keep pace on the road toward technological transformation. 

For example, an area in which many companies can move forward technologically is their audits and inspections. Companies that are still using paper for their audits and inspections can adopt a software solution such as The Checker Software. 

You’ll gain immediate benefits, such as improved accuracy; faster, foolproof communication of results; instant creation of corrective action steps; easy monitoring of progress toward resolution; and automatic documentation archiving for compliance and analysis purposes. 

The Checker Software is cloud-based software that requires no complicated setup or major investment, but it is a solution that can immediately allow you to embrace technology to improve efficiency (and safety). 

The full potential of the IIoT may not be realized for years, but you don’t have to wait to begin taking advantage of technology. Steps such as implementing The Checker Software for audits and inspections can help you develop the technological mindset that will be necessary to succeed in the coming years. 

Takeaway 

Don’t wait for the maturation of the IIoT to begin looking for technological solutions to improve your business. Existing technology like The Checker Software can benefit you now, while helping you prepare you for the technology of the future. 

Topics: safety management, inspection software, equipment maintenance, vehicle safety, audit software

Are You Ready For Summer?

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Wed, Apr 11, 2018 @ 09:33 AM

 

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Many people think of summer as a time for vacations, enjoying the outdoors, and relishing the long, lazy days. 

But in some industries, such as construction and landscaping, summer is anything but a time to take it easy. Instead, it’s the busiest time of the year.  

That means that vehicles, equipment, and other assets that have gone unused during the cold months will be called upon again. 

Before they can be used, they will need to be inspected to ensure they’re in good, safe working order. And they’ll need to be regularly inspected as they’re used to ensure they continue to be safe and operate as they should. 

If you use inspection checklists such as The Checker to facilitate your inspections, now’s the time to order more if you don’t have them for the assets you’ll begin using again—or if you don’t have enough to get through the summer.  

The Checker inspection checklist books are designed to guide personnel through inspections of hundreds of different types of assets, with detail specific to each type of asset. They make it easier for personnel to conduct audits or inspections, while increasing accuracy and providing documentation of compliance with internal and regulatory standards. 

If the assets haven’t been inspected over the winter, The Checker can serve as a reminder of what to check for each asset. And for personnel who’ve never used the assets, the checklists can educate them about what needs to be checked. 

In those industries where summer is the busy season, there’s a lot to do to prepare for the heightened workload. Don’t forget about the inspecting you need to do, or the tools you need to do it the right way. 

Takeaway 

The Checker inspection checklists make it much easier to prepare assets for increased work during the warm part of the year. If you don’t have them in stock, order now.  

Topics: why inspect?, safety awareness, equipment maintenance, vehicle safety, equipment safety

A $50 book could save you $50,000

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Wed, Feb 21, 2018 @ 09:37 AM

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We were recently approached by a municipality looking for inspection checklist books. Something bad had happened, and now they were focusing on inspections.

They had a front-end loader they used at a dump site. The loader never left that site, and it was never touched by  maintenance. And no one was inspecting it to see if it needed to be! They weren’t even checking its fluid levels on a regular basis.

Not surprisingly, the fluid levels fell too low, and the loader’s engine overheated, causing serious damage to the engine.

After they got the $50,000 repair bill, they couldn’t believe they had been so negligent as to not check the fluid levels. “What were we thinking,” they bemoaned to us.

Unfortunately, stories like that are common. In an effort to save a little money and time in the short-term, organizations neglect to do audits and inspections that could prevent large losses in the future.

This organization wanted to make sure nothing like the loader debacle ever occurred again, and they had correctly decided that using inspection checklists would be an important step in maturing their inspection policies and procedures.

Inspection checklists aren’t a magic solution that will ensure necessary audits and inspections are done. If they’re not used, they’re obviously not going to help.

However, with checklist-usage requirements in place, checklists are a low-cost tool to support any effort to improve audit and inspection policies. They can be used by personnel to make sure they check everything that needs to be checked while documenting the inspections at the same time.

The Checker inspection checklist books average only about $50 (with volume pricing available to lower the cost even more). And we have more than 100  different books—each one created for a specific type of asset. These are not the generic checklists you may have seen (e.g., a vehicle inspection checklist that could be for a car, truck, or off-road vehicle). Our checklists have all the detail necessary to guide proper inspections.

Each book contains 150 inspection checklists, or enough to last for at least half a year in a single-shift operation. That’s a lot of inspection support for not a lot of money.

Spending $50 for a half-year’s worth of protection against the costs of asset failure (not to mention the costs of regulatory non-compliance) is a lot better than choking on a $50,000 bill!

Takeaway

Small spending on audit/inspection tools such as The Checker inspection checklist books (or The Checker Software via the cloud) is good business because the costs of insufficient inspecting can be dramatically high—many, many multiples of the small amount it costs to improve your inspecting.

Topics: legal compliance, equipment maintenance, vehicle safety, safety audits

Telematics Software Isn’t All You Need to Manage Your Vehicles

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Thu, Feb 01, 2018 @ 12:30 PM

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Telematics software is a powerful tool for fleet management, but it’s not a sufficient solution for managing vehicle inspections.

With its remote diagnostic capabilities, telematics can help with identifying vehicle performance problems, such as a vehicle’s current fuel efficiency, but it can’t replace the need for a visual inspection. Telematics isn’t going to tell you, for example, that there’s a crack in the bucket of a backhoe.

Much telematics software isn’t even designed to provide useful information about a vehicle’s condition. Instead, it is designed to monitor driver behavior, such as location, average speed, braking tendencies, fuel usage, and idle times.

However, some telematics software does monitor conditions relative to maintenance, such as the level of oil and other fluids. Some solutions can even be used to intelligently schedule preventative maintenance based on a vehicle’s condition and shop resources.

But even the telematics software designed to facilitate predictive maintenance isn’t designed to ensure compliance and documentation of inspections performed. Just because a vehicle can automatically communicate its condition doesn’t free you from the obligation to conduct and document inspections as legally required.

Ideally, a telematics solution that provides diagnostic data about a vehicle’s condition would be used in conjunction with audit/inspection software designed specifically to guide, document, and report vehicle inspections.

The telematics software can help maintenance personnel keep on top of important vehicle metrics, while a robust audit/inspection software solution (e.g., The Checker Software) can be used to detect defects that are undetectable by telematics software, as well as to provide readily available inspection documentation for compliance and liability-minimizing purposes.

In addition, you can instantly communicate results to the people you choose, add notes and pictures, and assign tasks to resolve defects. And the inspection data you gather is not only important to demonstrate your commitment to safety, it can be used (via configurable dashboards) to guide decisions about operational, maintenance, and procurement issues.

No telematics software can do that. And no telematics software can be used to audit or inspect not just vehicles but also facilities, jobsites, and any other asset you need to check.

So, yes, telematics software has its place—keeping tabs on assets—but it’s no replacement for audit/inspection software that can manage all aspects of a comprehensive program designed to improve safety and ensure compliance. Telematics software is a valuable tool, but it’s not an inspection management tool.

Takeaway

If you’ve invested in (or thinking about) telematics software for your fleet, don’t presume that it’s a sufficient replacement for software designed to manage audit and inspection processes. You need both.

Topics: safety management, inspection software, equipment maintenance, vehicle safety, audit software

10 Steps to Develop an Effective Motor Vehicle Safety Program

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Thu, May 21, 2015 @ 01:00 PM

Motor vehicle safety is one of the most critical aspects of occupational safety for most businesses. You don’t have to operate a huge fleet for it to be vitally important.

For evidence of that truth, consider this fact: From 2003 to 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, work-related motor vehicle crashes killed 18,716 U.S. workers, more than any other work-related cause.

It’s important to note that 16% of those deaths occurred off public roadways and 18% were pedestrian worker deaths. Whether it’s on-road or off-road use, any business that has employees operating motor vehicles is vulnerable to the consequences of unsafe vehicle use—fines, liability, and the host of costs that come with on-the-job accidents or fatalities (work disruptions, worker’s comp premium increases, administrative/management time, etc.).

It's important to inspect all types of commercial vehicles.It doesn’t matter whether you have personnel driving big rigs across country, back hoes or pickups across a job site, or sedans to the next sales meeting, you need to take steps to create a motor vehicle safety program that minimizes hazards and risk during that driving.

1. Start at the top.

For a motor vehicle safety program to be effective, it must have support at all levels of management, starting at the top. This support must not be in word only; it needs to be backed up with meaningful rewards for safe behaviour, as well as with consequences when safety is neglected.

2. Provide training on motor vehicle safety.

Before anyone drives for your company, they should be trained in:

  • Best practices for safe driving.
  • Relevant laws (speed limits, seat belt use, load weight, etc.).
  • Specific safety measures to be taken for the vehicles they’ll be driving.
  • How to recognize defects in the vehicles they’ll be driving.

This training should be periodically reinforced with “refresher” training. When drivers have been at fault in an incident or have demonstrated unsafe behaviour, they should receive corrective training as soon as possible.

3. Develop processes for continuous improvement.

On a set schedule, collect and review data about your company’s motor vehicle safety, looking for areas where improvement is needed. Whenever an incident occurs, investigate it as matter of course to see if policy or procedure changes could have prevented it.

4. Don’t let unsafe drivers drive.

If you’re hiring someone for a position that will require a lot of driving, avoid candidates with bad driving records. Periodically review motor vehicle records to identify drivers who have violations that indicate they need more training in safe driving.

5. Implement a pre-use and post-trip vehicle inspection system that personnel must follow.

Using an inspection checklist system such as The Checker, you can prevent unsafe vehicles from being operated. Inspections should be required, even when not mandated by law. Personal vehicles are not exempt—if they’re being used for business, they should be inspected because all the risks to the company are still present.

6. Require operators to keep their company vehicles properly maintained.

Your maintenance department may handle the heavy maintenance, but the personnel who operate the vehicles daily can be responsible for providing routine, simple maintenance (e.g., keeping tires properly inflated, keeping fluids at correct levels) or bringing it to the attention of appropriate maintenance personnel. All vehicle operators should:

  • Understand how maintenance issues can lead to accidents.
  • Know how to report maintenance issues and have the means to do so.
  • Be assured that the company truly wants these issues reported and will act on them.

7. Don’t rush drivers.

When supervisors are scheduling tasks that involve operation of a motor vehicle, they need to allow enough time for the operation to be at a safe speed.

8. Ban handheld use of phones, tablets, GPS devices, etc. while driving.

Distracted driving leads to unsafe driving, and it’s not just texting that can distract vehicle operators—simply trying to answer the phone or make a call can do it. You may even consider banning phone conversations of any sort while driving.

9. Prevent impaired driving.

If alcohol and illegal drug use is a problem, you obviously need to get that driver from behind the wheel on the job. However, much work-related impaired driving occurs because of legal prescription drugs. Therefore, require drivers to report any prescriptions they are taking so you can determine if they will affect their driving competence.

10. Prevent drowsy driving.

Drowsy drivers are not safe! Carefully follow all rules regarding driver rest and implement your own rules if necessary—and then enforce those rules diligently. It only takes a second of nodding off for a tragedy to occur.

Takeaway

Neglecting motor vehicle safety is a mistake that can have major negative repercussions—in both a human and business sense. Whether you have a fleet of thousands of vehicles, or only a few, it’s wise to develop a motor vehicle safety program to minimize risk.

 

Image courtesy of Sergei Scurfield, Creative Commons.

Topics: why inspect?, safety management, vehicle safety, equipment safety

Overlook the Dangers of Forklift Batteries at Your Own Peril

Posted by Shawn Macpherson on Mon, Mar 09, 2015 @ 11:30 AM

Battery-powered forklifts—ranging from small pallet forklifts to high-lift trucks—have become increasingly common as technology has advanced. Batteries now run longer, can be recharged more quickly, and produce less emissions.

Doosan_forklift_in_June_2012However, both types of batteries commonly used in forklifts—lead acid and nickel-iron— pose serious hazards. To safely charge and change batteries in forklifts, you must systematically guard against those hazards through proper training, the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), and sound procedural policies supported by safety checklists used during the process.

PPE

Batteries used in forklifts are heavy—some weighing more than a ton. Inside the batteries are corrosive chemicals, and as they’re being charged, they can release volatile gases. To protect against drops and contact with harmful chemicals or gases, PPE must be used.

Safety footwear (e.g., steel-toed boots) should be worn to prevent injuries from dropped batteries. Chemical-resistant gloves, acid aprons, safety goggles, and face protection are essential to protect against acid splashes when adding sulfuric acid to batteries to charge them.

The Charging/Changing Station

Battery removal, charging, and replacement should occur in an area set aside for that purpose. Because batteries release oxygen and hydrogen gases when they are charging, the areas should be well-ventilated with a fume hood or an exhaust fan to prevent explosions due to build-up of those gases.

Because they are so heavy, batteries should only be removed and replaced using a forklift or battery cart specifically designed for transporting batteries. Using the proper tools and procedures, personnel can ensure the battery is stable during movement and doesn’t fall.

To put batteries in place for charging, a conveyor belt, overhead hoist, or other suitable material-handling equipment should be used.

If batteries are charged in the forklift, the trucks must be properly positioned and securely braked (in a properly ventilated area!). The battery vent caps should be inspected to make sure they’re working, and the battery cover should be open to allow heat to escape.

A fundamental rule of thumb is that acid should be poured into water, but water should never be poured into acid.

Other considerations include:

  • An  eye/face wash shower should be installed and be reachable in 10 seconds or less from the charging/changing station.
  • For handling electrolytes, provide a carboy tilter or siphon.
  • Smoking should be completely forbidden in the charging area.
  • Open flames, sparks, or electric arcs should be avoided in the charging area.
  • Anything metallic (e.g., tools) must be kept away from the top of uncovered batteries.
  • Moisture on top of the battery  can lead to corrosion and cause the battery to become electrically conductive; it is a sign of a problem (overfilling, excessive out-gassing, or leaky seals) that needs to be corrected immediately.
  • Have neutralizing agents on hand at all times in case of an acid spill.

The Role of Checklists

With so many potential safety hazards involved, it’s impractical to expect personnel to adhere to all safety procedures without a checklist to guide them. At the Checker, we have such a checklist, which has been proven to help companies keep their battery charging stations safe.

Whether you use The Checker or another checklist, you need to be using something. Handling and charging forklift batteries is a dangerous activity—there’s no room for complacency, and the potential for human error must be minimized. Checklists that personnel must complete are the best way to ensure that critical safety steps aren’t overlooked.

Takeaway

Battery-charged forklifts offer many advantages, but steps must be taken to ensure safety while servicing them, such as using PPE, ensuring the charging station is suitably set up, and using checklists. 

 

Image courtesy of U.S. Air Force, Master Sgt. Scott MacKay, via Wikimedia Commons.

Topics: why inspect?, vehicle safety, batteries, forklift safety