Programs Designed to Improve Operator Safety and Simplify Triennial Evaluations
NEW BREMEN, Ohio (Nov. 13, 2009) – Crown Equipment, one of the world’s leading forklift manufacturers, has created two new training programs to help its customers improve workplace safety and comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. The Triennial Operator Evaluation Program helps facility supervisors evaluate operator performance, while the Operator Safety Awareness Program helps them promote forklift safety on a regular basis.
“Our goal with these programs is to make evaluating operators and reinforcing safe operating practices easier for facility supervisors,” said Ron Brewer, Crown’s operator training manager. “By creating tools that are straightforward for managers and interesting for operators, we help our customers create a safer workplace and potentially avoid costly fines.”
OSHA regulations require that employers conduct evaluations of their forklift operators at least once every three years. OSHA interpretations have specified that these assessments should consist of both an observation of the driver during normal operation, and a verbal evaluation to measure his or her knowledge.
Crown’s exclusive Triennial Operator Evaluation Program provides straightforward guidelines for different types of forklifts, which help supervisors observe an operator and identify areas for performance improvement. The guidelines also break down evaluation criteria into simple checklists that indicate whether an operator has demonstrated an understanding of specific topic. The triennial program assists employers in fulfilling this OSHA requirement and helps them improve record-keeping with Performance Skill Check forms that can be stored on paper or electronically.
“Managers who don’t evaluate their operators every three years are putting employees and company at risk,” said Brewer. “We’ve seen a lot of cases where companies completely retrain their operators on a triennial basis. They spend a lot of time and money doing that, and they’re still at risk because OSHA requires evaluation. Topic specific retraining and re-evaluation is required only if the evaluation reveals areas the operator has not demonstrated competent and safe understanding or performance. Crown’s Triennial Evaluation Program provides step-by-step instructions for an efficient operator evaluation.”
Most material handling professionals view safety as a key element of their lift truck operations. Respondents to the recent Modern Materials Handling’s Lift Trucks Usage Study cited safety as one of the biggest concerns in terms of managing their lift truck fleet heading into 2010. Eighty-three percent of the respondents to the August 2009 survey also cited safety features as an important characteristic when evaluating lift trucks for possible purchase.
While initial operator training and triennial evaluation contribute to operator safety, most industry experts agree that regular reinforcement should be a key component of any forklift safety plan. Crown’s Operator Safety Awareness Program includes easy-to-implement educational tools that emphasize safe operating practices. These materials can be used during the weekly or monthly safety meetings held in many warehouses and manufacturing plants.
“For safe practices to stick with an operator, they need to be reinforced on a frequent basis,” said Brewer. “To be fully effective, it is important that the reinforcement is engaging. For example, the Operator Safety Awareness Program includes videos that show a forklift driver working in a potentially unsafe manner, and the training participants are asked to spot the improper habit. Even experienced operators find this challenging; it’s a learning exercise that makes a lasting impact.”
Crown training programs follow the company’s Demonstrated Performance® (DP) format, which favors hands-on, self-paced learning modules over classroom instruction. The company offers a comprehensive lineup of training tools, including DP MoveSafe® operator training, DP TrainSafe® instructor training, and DP LeadSafe® supervisor training. Crown also offers courses and programs for service technicians.
About Crown Equipment Corporation
Crown is one of the world’s largest lift truck manufacturers. Crown’s award-winning line of lift trucks maintains a reputation for exceptional product design, engineering and manufacturing. From the smallest hand pallet truck to the highest lifting turret truck, Crown seeks to provide users with safe, efficient and ergonomic lift trucks that lower total cost of ownership and maximize uptime. Headquartered in New Bremen, Ohio, Crown manufactures lift trucks that are sold throughout the world.