Warehouseflow’s Tip of the Month – November


Like more information or a facility review?  Contact us – warehouseflow.com

This Month’s Tip From WarehouseFlow Advisors-Jun




This Month’s Tip From WarehouseFlow Advisors-MAY



Companies Behaving Badly – Don’t Be a Safety Fool. Fool.


toptenlistoshaOSHA has released their top ten list. (See the whole list here). Not as popular, entertaining or well known as David Letterman’s top ten list and definitely not as funny.  Unfortunately once again the number 1 issued citation continues to be FALLS.  Why? Look in the mirror.  It’s you who actually believes you can do the job without fall protection.  You actually believe nothing bad will happen because you are a man and don’t need no stinkin safety harness cramping your style. Any way you have great balance and agility and well, those things only happen to the other guy. As you continue to use luck and chance as your safety program, one day, your false sense of confidence overrides common sense and a gust of wind hits that 4X8 plywood board just right and suddenly, you’re in flight. If you’re lucky, you’ll snap your neck on impact and die instantly, no pain. Worse, you could just break your spine and spend the rest of your life in a wheelchair full of regret.  As mom used to say, “Just cause the other guys jump off a roof, it doesn’t mean you have to do it.”  You should be offered fall protection gear when working over 6 feet especially when there are no guard rails or other fall preventive barriers in place. ASK FOR IT. Don’t accept that’s not how we do things here. Insist. If they try to challenge your manhood or call you names or fire you for asking, CALL the OSHA national hotline – 800-321-OSHA (6742) and report them. You do not have to die trying to make a living no matter your status. Si usted es amenazado con ser despedido por negarse a trabajar de una manera insegura, llame a la línea nacional OSHA – 800-321-6742 e informar de ellos.Usted no tiene que morir en el intento de ganarse la vida, sin importar su estatus.  Well I do believe that this is unfortunately another episode of Companies Behaving Badly.


Missouri Manufacturer Named a Severe Violator by OSHA after Worker Killed on the Job – PREVENTABLE – A 58 year old maintenance worker believed his employer, Hussmann Corp. would keep him from being crushed to death while working on a scrap metal table.  In reality his employer knew of the hazard but couldn’t care less if anyone was injured or killed as they were found to have 3 Willful and 12 serious safety violations along with a proposed fine of $272,250 and placed in the severe violators program.  They couldn’t be bothered to train their workers on safety procedures, place devices on machinery to prevent sudden startup during LOTO, fix problems related to its LOTO procedures, effective guarding on machines and unsafe practices related to powered industrial trucks.  Don’t understand, since there was a death and willful violation why no one is sitting in a jail cell.  Don’t let anyone tell you not to do a proper LOTO.

OSHA cites U.S. Steel for ‘willful violation’ leading to two deaths in Alabama last year PREVENTABLE – U.S. Steel must have had a flash back to the early 1900’s as they instructed employees to commit a dangerous act that wound up killing Leo Bridges, 61 years old and Edward Bryant, 53 years old and injuring a third. This blatant disregard for human life earned U.S. Steel 1 Willful and 7 serious citations and a proposed fine of $107,900.  I couldn’t put it any better then OSHA, “Management knew that attempting to operate the valve while the furnace was still running placed workers at risk, yet they allowed them to do it because they didn’t want the production line down for hours. This employer chose productivity over the saftey of its workers, and two people died as a result of this decision,”said Ramona Morris, OSHA’s area director in Birmingham.  The person at U.S. Steel who made this decision to keep production going at the cost of human life, in my opinion should be on trial for murder.

Image: <a href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net"


OSHA: Roofing Contractor Ignored Electrocution Hazards that Killed Worker – PREVENTABLEGreed is an awful virus that infects some companies to the point where they couldn’t care less what happens to their workers on the job and Kolek Woodshop Inc. is an example of that kind of company.  Their employee, Andrew “CK” Sakala Jr. was given an aluminum ladder to use while performing his tasks which happened to be very near a 7,200 volt power line, a hazard his employers knew about. His aluminum ladder came in contact with the power line conducting the electricity, killing him. However Kolek’s stupidity doesn’t end there as three days later, they sent another worker to finish the job Sakala Jr. had started and they exposed him to the same hazardous conditions that killed Sakala.  OSHA issued 1 Willful and 4 Serious citations and a proposed fine of $67,900.  The willful was issued for sending the second worker into the same hazards and they also found that they didn’t offer ladders with nonconductive side rails that would have prevented electrocution.  They also erected an aluminum scaffold too close to the power line, exposed roofing workers removing shingles to fall hazards and failed to train employees.  All that costs money and cuts into profits you know.

OSHA fines Dollar General $83,000 for ‘serious’ violations – PREVENTABLE – Don’t know what’s going on at Dollar General stores, but it appears they don’t spend any money on a corporate training program as quite a few of their stores have had violations found over the years.  In fact, since 2009 they have received more than 40 violations. This time one of their stores in Atlanta was found to have 3 Repeat safety violation and a proposed fine of $83,050 for blocked exits, locked exits and blocked electrical panels.  Dollar General issued a statement, “Dollar General is committed to providing a safe work environment for its employees and safe shopping experience for its customers. As such, Dollar General employs a number of policies, procedures and training programs to continually educate store teams to promote and facilitate a safe and welcoming environment.”  However Dollar General, there is a BIG difference between employing policies and procedures and enforcing them. You can have all the procedures in the world but if the corporate culture doesn’t support a safety program it’s just talk and they talk the talk but can’t walk the walk.

OSHA Finds Safety Violations at Fairfield Bowl – PREVENTABLE – Dave Geiger, a 53 year old employee at Fairfield Bowling Alley had no idea he would die that day.  He was probably doing what he did every day, unfortunately this time he may have been concentrating on a repair and forgot about the unguarded moving machine parts.  Imagine the horror he experienced the last few minutes of his life as his hooded sweatshirt got caught in a pinsetter and he slowly chocked to death.  The following investigation by OSHA turned up 8 Serious safety violations and a proposed fine of $45,500.  In addition to the lack of proper guarding of moving machine parts they did not have a plan to prevent the machinery from operating while employees performed maintenance.  They didn’t have a LOTO program. You do not have to operate any machinery with exposed moving parts and don’t accept the excuse the machinery is old and there are no guards for it. That’s a lie. There are plenty of companies that can fashion proper guards.

OSHA probe into Wallingford chemical spill finds ‘serious’ violations – PREVENTABLE – When ever, where ever you work and chemicals are involved, even just moving chemicals in sealed containers, you should receive training on what to do if there is a spill and what kind of PPE you need to use.  If they don’t do this they don’t care about you.  R+L Carriers Shared Services LLC’s terminal in Wallingford had a chemical spill when a drum of tetrahyrofuran, a highly flammable liquid was punctured.  The following investigation found 2  Repeat and 4 Serious safety violations along with a proposed fine of $86,900.  It turns out that the employees did not know how to evaluate the hazards involved, the appropriate PPE to wear and not trained on the procedure to contain a spill safely or as first responders because management lacked an emergency response plan.  Why waste time training what to do in an emergency?  This is not the first time either as OSHA found similar hazards at the Chicago terminal in 2011 but apparently the message didn’t get through to upper management.

Des Moines post office fined for defective forklift and tugs – PREVENTABLE – The U.S. Postal Service is an inept, obsolete and a poorly operated company that is totally devoid of leadership.  If they were a real company they’d be in bankruptcy and closed by now.  They have been cited several times by OSHA at facilities across the nation for putting workers in harms way.  You’d think a quasi-government agency would know better.  This time at the Des Moines main post office an employee had enough and called OSHA with a complaint.  The equipment they had a forklift and 2 tuggers were unsafe to operate but still were allowed to be used by management.  This little lapse in common sense is going to cost the USPS $49,500.  If management can’t be bothered to get the equipment you need to do the job repaired, don’t operate the equipment.  It’s unsafe.  You know damn well if you still operate it and wind up in an accident and injuring another employee the companies lawyer is going to throw you under the bus and ask you why you used it if it was unsafe.  A good manager would have taken care of this issue immediately instead of letting it fester like this.  Very poor leadership when you send mixed messages on safety.  One day you tell the employees don’t do unsafe acts and then the next you tell them it’s o.k. to use unsafe equipment.

Toy firm and builder in court over warehouse roof death – UNITED KINGDOM – A Lancashire based toy distributor and a builder have been sentenced after a worker plunged to his death through a warehouse roof.  He was not given any fall protection gear and now it’s jail time. Read the story.

API: DOE crude-by-rail report highlights importance of accident prevention & Facts, Science Must Guide Rail Safety Improvements RAIL SAFETY – This is a big issue especially if you live in a town that these trains travel through or may soon be passing through.  Can we really trust our infrastructure and can rail cars be improved?  Read both articles and then I’d be curious what you think?

Roofing company puts safety first – DOING IT RIGHT – There are companies out there who understand that their employees are their most important asset and taking the time to do proper safety training works.  Korellis Roofing is one of those companies and a great example of doing it right!

Well my friends, that brings another episode of Companies Behaving Badly to a close.  Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read the articles.  Please feel free to use any or all of these examples at your next safety tailgate/toolbox meeting and would greatly appreciate it if you’d just mention you found them at witzshared.com.  It is said that a company safety program works well as long as the CEO in the boardroom to the maintenance worker in the plant participate and commit fully to the program.  As true as that is, I can also tell you from fact that you can be the lone voice of safety in your company, plant or warehouse and commit to keeping those who work for you safe and that means catching people doing the right thing and reward and commend them but that also means those who you find violate the safety rules have to be called out on it and face the consequences.  I would pay for a lunch out of my own pocket to reward a safe worker and I found the time to write up reprimands when needed.  I have turned workers from both sides into safety disciples.  I would take flack from my own staff sometimes wanting to know why other shifts didn’t have to follow the rules like they did.  I told them because I cared more.  I would take flack from other supervisors or managers who called me a showboat or kiss ass.  Didn’t care what they thought, I knew I was doing the right thing and that along felt real good. Eventually our safety program grew from the warehouse up to the corporate level.  It wasn’t overnight but the change was subtle until everyone was doing it right.  Workplace safety won’t work without YOU!  Until next time my friends, take care and remember the life you save could be your own.




5 Steps For a Successful Peak Season – STEP 4

As we had learned in step 3 – Training, even though it is listed as the third step, it is still an extremely important detail to a successful peak season. With that said, this next step, safety is not only just as equally important as training but in fact, they go together hand in hand.  Safety is always a challenge in the workplace but then add in temporary workers and getting them to buy-in to your safety program is even more of a challenge.  Then, if that’s not enough include young workers, ages 15-24 and it will be a trial by fire.  Even if the temporaries receive safety training through the temp agency, you’ll need to reinforce it even further through your own safety orientation including clearly spelling out the consequences of not following safety rules including those infractions that’ll get them escorted off the premises immediately. (Please note for the purpose of clarity in this article, when I speak of safety I’m also including sanitation as cleanliness is part of safety.)

STEP 4 – Safety

To help make this more manageable for you and easily digestible for temp workers, break safety down into different levels/categories of skills and knowledge.

General safety for all (orientation) – this is safety information you want everyone to know.  Evacuation plan including route and assembly area; type of signal used to alert of emergencies (do you use bells, horns, whistles, etc.); required wear needed to be in the general area like appropriate clothing, hairnets, beard-nets and other general P.P.E. like bump caps, safety glasses, steel toe shoes and ear plugs; use of pedestrian ways;  cell phone use while working; keeping work area free of clutter and debris;  where to place cardboard, plastic and other trash; not using boxes and product in lower racks as stepping stools to reach upper racks; how to report an accident, dealing with liquid spills or other hazards; signage; do not touch let alone operate any machinery or equipment without being cleared to do so by management.  I know temp agencies want their people to report accidents to them but I’ve always insisted that they tell us immediately first so we are aware of any issues or hazards and can ensure proper treatment quickly.

Specific safety  – this would focus on the area and type of work the temp has been assigned and what equipment they’ll be using.  Use of tuggers, forklifts, manual and electric pallet jacks and other vehicles are always a safety concern. Take the time to watch them in action after their training is completed.  For minor concerns coaching will help greatly but I strongly reccommend a zero tolerance when it comes to horseplay or willful acts by temporary employees.   Another specific area would be use of the compactor and banding of bales for recycling.  Only trained temporaries should be allowed near the machine if it is so decided.  Even if someone says they had previous experience using the equipment, still make sure they’re properly trained by your standards before being allowed to operate it.  Step ladders, stairways, mezzanines and any other means of travel within the building should also be a safety concern.  Don’t take it for granted that temporary employees know how to use those modes properly and that they fully understand any associated hazards.  I worked in a large plant that used man-lifts to get up and down the 9 stories.  We had an outside contractor come in for a construction project who the company assumed knew how to use the man-lift.  He tried to save time and bring his tools along on the man-lift and fell, breaking his ankles, wrist and ribs. If they will they be working near Conveyor belts, again make sure they’re aware of the associated hazards and know where emergency shutoff buttons are located and how to use.  Will they be operating mechanical pallet dispensers, shrink wrap machines, they need to know and understand L.O.T.O. for dealing with jams or who they need to contact and how.


Bottom line, for a successful peak season look at each job a temporary employee will do as if it’s you first time and see if there are hazards lying in wait and don’t assume they’ll recognize the hazards on their own.  When you clearly communicate like with anything else, most workers will learn and comply but you will also find those gems out there who’ll keep you on your toes.  I once had a temporary worker, trying to impress me with his enthusiasm, climb up the side of 5 levels of racking like an acrobat to retrieve an item off the top. Needless to say I was not amused.

Next installment – STEP 5 – Leadership

Companies Behaving Badly – It’s a Virus of Course




It must be a virus!  How else can you explain all the falls that are still going on.  As of September 6th. 2014 – 1,296 workers died due to their job this fiscal year.  In 2013 Falls were the most cited violation in the construction industry as 294 died due to falls (36.9% of all 796 deaths in construction).  It must be the virus that keeps us from leaning from past experience as fall protection is still the #1 OSHA violation as 6,143 have been issued so far.  So let’s stop the madness. It is so easy to buy fall protection gear, you can even get it online from Grainger. Stop making excuses and you workers, why do you listen to idiots that tell you it’s O.K. to work without fall protection.  You know they’re called ACCIDENTS for a reason, not on purposes.  You don’t know if a gust of wind is going to hit that sheet of plywood and push you or if you will slip on someones spilled coffee.  If you are forced to work in unsafe conditions and no one in management is listening, you can go to the OSHA website and file a complaint online or call OSHA at1-800-321-OSHA.  Well unfortunately, this sounds like another episode of Companies Behaving Badly.

A continuación se presentan los pasos para ponerse en contacto con OSHA para presentar una queja. Sé que la realidad es que la mayoría de ustedes no tienen máquinas de fax para presentar una queja y lo hago encontrar este paso ridículo. Llame al número 800 – la vida es demasiado importante. No deje que los jefes se aprovechen de ti. Usted tiene los derechos para un lugar de trabajo seguro.Éstas son las opciones para presentar su queja de seguridad y salud:

1. Online – Ir a la línea Formulario de Quejas Las quejas escritas que están firmadas por los trabajadores o sus representantes y presentados a un área de OSHA o la oficina regional tienen más probabilidades de resultar en inspecciones de OSHA. Las quejas recibidas en la línea de los trabajadores en los estados de plan estatal aprobado por OSHA serán enviadas al plan estatal apropiado.
2. Descargar y Fax / Correo – Descargue el formulario de queja de OSHA * [En Espanol *] (o solicitar una copia a la oficina local de área de OSHA regional o), completarlo y enviarlo por fax o por correo de vuelta a su OSHA regional o local de servicios Oficina. Las quejas por escrito que están firmados por un trabajador o representante y presentadas a la Oficina de Área de OSHA más cercano tienen más probabilidades de resultar en inspecciones de OSHA. Por favor, incluya su nombre, dirección y número de teléfono para que podamos contactar con usted para dar seguimiento. Esta información es confidencial.
3. Teléfono – su oficina local de OSHA local o regional. Personal de OSHA puede discutir su queja y responder a cualquier pregunta que tengas. Si hay una emergencia o el peligro es potencialmente mortal, llame a su oficina local de OSHA local o regional o al 1-800-321-OSHA.

Security Guard Killed on the Set of ‘Falling Skies’ – PREVENTABLE – A horrible accident that could have been prevented as Amrik Singh Gill, a security guard on a television production site was pinned against a tree as a unattended 5-ton truck sitting on a slight slope, slide down, killing him. The truck driver should have know better than to leave his vehicle like that.  As with forklifts if you are going to be out of sight of the vehicle make sure it is correctly parked. Engine off, break on, forks down.  Do it the same way every time, make it a habit for life.

Forklift accident in Edmond leaves two dead, one injured – PREVENTABLE – Two brothers, Michael Birney, 56, and Daniel Birney, 54 were killed when the forklift supporting their elevated platform tipped over and crashed to the ground.  A third person, a 21 years old male was severely injured and is in the hospital.  They were moving decking tile when the accident occurred.  The investigation is currently in progress, but forklifts tip over when the maximum weight capacity is exceeded and/or not used on a level surface.  Always check the manufacturers plate for the weight limits at various heights before using and if there is no plate tag the vehicle out of service and report it.

Man crushed to death in forklift accident near Tampa – PREVENTABLE – Ricardo McCalop, 51, an employee of Infra-Metals owned by Reliance Steel & Aluminum, was near the end of his shift and looking forward to spending time with his family when the forklift he was driving overturned and crushed him.  He was moving a steel beam when it struck a pile of other beams causing them to shift and hit the forklift knocking it over.  Why you would allow workers to operate in an area of such tight quarters is beyond me, it’s just an accident waiting to happen.  Don’t set your employees up for failure.

Company fined $70k for forklift death – PREVENTABLE – Even in New Zealand they know a forklift in need of repairs should NOT be used as Busck Prestressed Concrete Ltd was convicted in District Court for the death of 47 year old employee, Anthony Wells.  Busck Ltd. in all their glorious stupidity allowed a modified 6.5 tonne telehandler operate in service even though the headlights, front indicators, brake lights, front hazard lights, horn, screen washers and front wipers were NOT WORKING in addition to having a missing right mirror and 4 different brands of tires, each with a different tire pressure!  As if this wasn’t enough of a recipe for disaster they also had a trainee with NO formal qualifications operate the vehicle!  Because of their arrogance in allowing this machine to operate Anthony Wells was hit and killed in the early hours of February 25th and now they were ordered to pay a fine of $70,000 and pay reparation of $60,000 for a total of $130,000.  The repairs would have been much less. Do NOT operate a forklift or any vehicle that is in need of repairs even if someone in management tells you it’s o.k.  If they threaten your job for refusal to drive a death trap call OSHA!!

OSHA investigates forklift accident at P&G distribution center PREVENTABLE – In the early afternoon of a Friday an employee of the Procter & Gamble D.C. in Pennsylvania was seriously injured when he was trapped between a forklift and a shelving unit.  OSHA is currently investigating the accident but my suspicion is that the forklift driver didn’t look before backing up and/or the worker didn’t alert the driver he was behind him.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a forklift driver just quickly slip into reverse and move without so much as a glance to see if the area is clear.  It’s like the same morons who just pull out into traffic from a parked position without first signaling and looking to see if traffic is clear. Why would you think you are the only one out there?  If your warehouse doesn’t have specific walkways for employees to use to avoid forklifts or other vehicular traffic you are just delaying the inevitable.

Cal/OSHA fines UC Berkeley $26,000 in death of custodian – PREVENTABLE – Even in the environment of a great institution of higher learning where some of the greatest minds have been taught, common sense can still be lacking.  Damon Frick, 45 was busy cleaning windows when the lift he was using collapsed under him and he fell 22 feet and later died from his injuries at Highland Hospital.  Mr. Frick had assembled the lift by himself before using and if one of his supervisors had bothered to check in with him and his work maybe he’d still be alive today but then, they even allowed him operate at that height ALONE!  The University was quick to cover their butt by showing they had documentation he was fully trained, back on March 12, 2012 on a piece of equipment that’s used once a year. There was no refresher training conducted in-between or practice and you have no idea how ironic this is since Berkeley is also the home of Continued Education where courses for Lawyers, Doctors and other professionals are offered so they can keep up to date on practices and procedures.  This is now costing UC Berkeley $26,250 for ineffective training, improperly assembled equipment, no documentation of safety inspections, maintenance records as well as no operating instructions on the lift.

OSHA cites MCM Industries Co. for serious violations – PREVENTABLE – It takes a lot to finally push an employee to make a complaint to OSHA.  Usually the final straw is when they realize the company isn’t going do anything about an obvious hazard and that’s what MCM Industries Company was doing.  In fact when OSHA conducted their inspection they found 23 violations including 1 WILLFUL which you know means they knew about the problem but couldn’t care less about fixing it.  Workers who help these owners and bosses to earn money on their sweat were exposed to amputation injuries from lack of required guards on mechanical power presses.  Hey boss, how about we put some amputation hazards under you desk.  Think you can still concentrate on your job?  They also received 17 serious violations including, surprise, surprise, no L.O.T.O. procedures and for all this a proposed fine of only $126,700.  I strongly feel that if you demonstrate indifference to human life with a willful violation we should be talking million dollar fines and/or jail time.


Condiment Maker Faces $235,000 in OSHA Fines – PREVENTABLE – Again, an inspection initiated by an employee complaint from an employee in the Brundidge, Alabama facility of Supreme Oil Company of New Jersey. This worker understood the hazards as OSHA found 8 repeat violations, having been found previously in a 2012 inspection for no guardrails on staircases and open-sided platforms, wet floors, untrained workers in L.O.T.O. In addition the company exposed workers to struck-by, amputation and electrical hazards.  A total of 14 violations for a total of $234,960 in fines. It is so sad when companies care about profits more than employee’s lives.

OSHA cites Canton aluminum plant for safety violations – PREVENTABLE – Here is a third case of an employee finally seeing enough and calling OSHA and filing a complaint and this time 2 Willful violations were found along with 1 repeat and 2 serious for a grand total of $130,200. The name of this company who couldn’t care less if an employee was maimed or killed on the job is Matalco U.S. Inc. and they had no problem exposing workers to amputation hazards and failing to remove a crane with broken safety mechanisms out of service. Can you believe that?!  They knew if there was an emergency and a worker went to shut it off it wouldn’t! They also exposed workers falls of more than 23 feet over an open pit.  The best is during their inspection, OSHA actually observed workers standing on aluminum blocks and elevated by a forklift to perform tasks on the furnace exposing them to falls at least 8 feet.  They are now in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program but again I believe larger fines and jail time sound appropriate for this owners and bosses.

Want to save over 3 Billion dollars this week?: The Importance of Workplace Safety – READ THIS – Great article in the National Law Review on how workplace safety can be done and save money while increasing pride amongst your workers.

10 easy, low-cost solutions for warehouse safety – READ THIS – Safety.BLR.com has a great article on low cost solutions for improving safety.  This is awesome information for you small businesses.

OSHA Announces Final Rule On Recording Requirements – CHANGES – New recording requirements become effective January 1st. 2015. All work related fatalities must be reported including work related inpatient hospitalizations of one or more employees and all work related amputations and all work related losses of an eye. Read and see what are changes will take place.  Make sure you are compliant.

Changes to OSHA Law are Coming to California – CHANGES – Also beginning January 1st. 2015 CAL/OSHA has some significant changes putting more of the burden on the employer and reducing the ability of CAL/OSHA to make modifications to civil penalties.


That my friends brings another episode of Companies Behaving Badly to a close.  As always I want to thank you for taking time out of your busy day, stopping by and reading this blog.  Please feel free to share these incidents at your next tailgate/toolbox safety meeting.  The more information your employees have the better job they can accomplish.  Be active on your company safety committee and if you don’t have one start one, it’s easy to do.  Speak to your supervisor or H.R. department.  You do not have to work in unsafe conditions and no one can force you to do an unsafe act.  Don’t wait until someone dies, report unsafe acts to OSHA.  Remember the life you save may be your own.  Until we see you again on October 15 – take care.




5 Steps For a Successful Peak Season – STEP 3

Even though this is presented as the 3rd step in the series, you should never under estimate the impact of training on your operation as it is a very critical element. Training as with communication works best when it’s delivered consistently, concise and with conviction. This goes for all types of training from forklift certification to safety meetings to emergency evacuation procedures. If you treat training as a joke, that’s how it’ll be perceived and what you’ll get. This is your opportunity to set the tone in your house.

STEP 3 – Training

You know what jobs you’re filling with the temporary workers, now gather all the written procedures, SOP, descriptions and policies that cover those jobs and any other pertinent company policies and prepare your training plan. It is extremely important to have this information on hand and readily available not to mention a great habit to develop, reviewing and/or updating job descriptions, procedures and as well as conducting a hazard analysis at least once a year to keep your workers safe, practices current and regulatory obligations filled. Get your stuff printed and assembled and rehearse giving the training. Decide what kind of handouts, videos, power-points or other media you’ll use in your presentation. Don’t forget to include checklists, PPE that’s required and how to properly wear it, what materials are recycled or tossed, procedures on reporting and handling of spills, injuries, forklift use, sanitation and even include breaks and lunch periods. This is also a great way to get your staff involved in the training by having them demonstrate how to wear PPE or do a LOTO or any thing else you want to show.

Depending on your location it may also be a big help if you had the training material translated into the predominate language of the temporary workers. Some workers may speak english much easier than they can read it and this is information you want to make sure you get across. Remember, even though these are temporary workers they are still human beings and should be treated with the same respect as anyone else. I was the day shift manager at one place where my boss the D.C. manager would send temps home for extremely minor offenses as he patrolled the time clock area like a mad hen protecting her nest. Barking out their infraction as he pulled their time card and told them to go home. I would cringe with each one, “Your a minute late, go home”, “your shirt is not tucked in, go home.” It drove me nuts trying to plan the day while losing staff even before the shift began. Needless to say as he continued his campaign for crimes that were never explained upfront let alone written down anywhere he also sabotaged our relationship with the temp agency. Don’t ever hesitate to run your operation the way you see fit but make sure to be up front with workers and explain the rules clearly including the consequences if the rules are not followed but make sure they’re reasonable and not unattainable. One last comment on respecting all temporary workers. Even if their first language isn’t english that doesn’t mean they are any less intelligent and you never know who’ll surprise you with a great idea to save time and money for the operation.



Make sure to document all training by using a sign-in sheets and make sure all employees attending sign to acknowledge their attendance, attach copies of the training material used for that meeting and keep for your records. Well trained employees do impact your bottom line and can lead to a well executing, sustainable workforce.

Next installment – STEP 4 – Safety