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Creating a Culture of Safety

Anyone involved closely with workplace safety will have heard presentations, webinars or people just generally talking about the need to develop an organizational “culture of safety” in order to reap long term incident reduction benefits.

It's a term that, despite being around since the Chernobyl disaster in the 80's, has become a bit of a buzz word more recently with safety professionals and modern business leaders. But what are the building blocks to creating this type of positive behavior within your teams and how do you ensure that your efforts focus on real improvements rather than adding gimmicks or additional bureaucracy?

In recent times, it has been unfortunate that so called safety improvements from overzealous safety officers or from those looking to delay a job have given safety some bad press. However, adopting a safety focused culture does not have to limit your ability to get work done, nor does it have to lead to a reduction in productivity when implemented correctly.

 What is a Safety Culture?

Safety culture in its simplest form is related to the principles or values an organization attaches to the prevention of worker injury, or to put it another way… the way in which a company “thinks” about safety. Adopting a safety culture can be achieved within an organization of any size, but it is not something that can be completed overnight. It should be seen as a journey of continued improvement.

Outlined below are 6 areas to assist the implementation of a safety culture in any organization. There are of course others that could be included here, but implementing each of those below would be a major step towards ensuring a sustainable safety approach is achieved.

 Create Excitement

To get long term commitment your organization and teams need to be excited about making an improvement.  Maintaining motivation about safety means communicating real benefits which are relevant to your team and explaining the rationale behind it.  Encourage support from all levels of the business to help refine your ideas and trust that employees will want to support your efforts if you remain positive and actions taken are relevant.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that introducing gimmicks is a way to excite people. It's not. You can suck all the energy out of a room the minute the safety “word-search” activity is produced or an outdated safety video is shown.

Take time to celebrate major milestones and to congratulate those who are willing to make significant contributions.

    You can suck all the energy out of a room the minute the safety “word-search” activity is produced or an outdated safety video is shown.

Remove Blame

People are more likely to engage if they are not on the defensive. In order to truly understand, not only the learnings from incidents and near misses but elements that may overtime contribute to incidents, an inclusive approach to feedback is required ensuring the team can talk openly about problems, potential improvements and opportunities.

While this certainly doesn’t mean that deliberate acts or behavior should go without being addressed, it is important that everyone feels they can provide feedback without negative repercussions.

Generating an environment where improvements can be suggested without department protectionism is critical to developing a positive safety culture.

 Empower Workers

Establishing a safety culture needs people to support the organization’s vision, so make them part of the plan from the start. Take your team members and co-workers with you on the journey rather than pointing to a destination.  Give trust to your local team. They will be more likely to want to engage with the program and to reinforce any new procedures long after the first safety sign is erected.

Companies trying to “get serious” with safety oftentimes immediately put up a new set of safety signs prohibiting this and that. While well intentioned and likely warranted, this may be seen as enforcing rules from the top down. You will likely gain greater buy-in by giving local supervisors a say in how improvements can be made – they are part of the solution.

 Sustained Approach – Consistently and Continually Improve

We can all recall projects or initiatives which start with enthusiasm. These are usually accompanied by big announcements and then over time motivation slowly fades. This can happen when people are distracted by other priorities, management support weakens or when the project encounters a challenging situation.

Any plans should be realistic and based upon the level of support your organization can sustain, not just when you start off.  This doesn’t mean significant safety risks don’t need to be dealt with... these of course should be addressed right away, but in terms of training, environment and procedural implementation it is better to introduce a culture of safety program in a way it can be sustained by the organization. You’ll want to avoid a one step forward, two steps back approach, which results in employee frustration and eventually disengagement.

The journey to a true safety culture is a marathon not a sprint.

One important element of consistency is how you apply resources to any plan – while it is not always necessary to have a dedicated safety professional in house (skills or trainers can be brought in as required, especially for smaller businesses), it is important that anybody who is assigned responsibilities alongside another function has the bandwidth capable of sustaining the assigned responsibilities.


The purpose of communication should be to pass on information about all elements relating to safety including positive messages. This goes beyond communicating incident rates and recent occurrences. Where workers have experienced improvements in working conditions or are perhaps trying out a new tool/method – share these with the organization to show that safety is not just about rules and procedures.

If you want to change the behavior of your workforce, consider how safety messages are transmitted, are they just posted on a board or are they included in a monthly meeting or shared using digital media which is more accessible and iterative. The way in which an organization communicates about safety will demonstrate the commitment your organization has to making changes and improvements.  Simply posting safety results without really sharing the why is not sufficient. 

 Top Level Support

Are senior managers committed and engaged? I don’t mean do managers attend meetings… or do they say the right thing during facility tours this means doing the right thing when no one is watching – being committed to a culture of safety means wanting to see daily improvements in the way the organization is addressing safety related matters and being prepared to support the safety team/committee.  Having support from top management is essential for success.

Commitment to a culture of safety means managers need to lead by example. This means that if rules are imposed on workers (such as wearing PPE in a particular area) leaders need to support that when they are in those areas. It’s not only about talking the talk – leaders actions are a far better measure of their support of a safety culture.

    It’s not only about talking the talk – leaders actions are a far better measure of their support of a safety culture.


If a safety culture is implemented correctly and adopted by team members, not only will safety improve, but areas such as productivity, employee retention and even product quality will benefit. When workers see that the company has taken a genuine interest in their well-being, they feel valued which in most instances leads to better on the job performance.

Building a safety culture, is about attitude - your companies, your co-workers and your own.  If each of the 6 areas noted above are addressed and people are committed, then your drive towards the successful implementation of a safety culture will become a reality.


Forklift Down? Rent a Reliable Telehandler Lift at i80 Forklift

We are an area leader in providing reliable telehandler lifts, which are available for rent in Northern California. We ensure that your lift is delivered to the jobsite on time when you need it. We also maintain and repair all of our lifts to ensure that down time on the job is avoided completely or kept to an absolute minimum.

Give us a call today for a quote for your next project.
  • One day minimum rental - rental fee plus transportation and taxes
  • We provide transportation for delivery and pick-up
  • Our units vary from 6,000 lbs. to 10,000 lbs. with 42' to 55' lift

    Interstate 80 Forklift, Inc.
    70 Union Way
    Vacaville, CA 95687
    Direct (707) 451-5100 Fax (707) 451-5101


The Importance of Genuine Cummins Products

Showcasing the Importance of buying Genuine Holset Turbochargers. Better engine protection, performance with less risk of failure are amongst the many benefits of Genuine Holset Turbochargers.
Learn more at https://cumminsengines.com/parts


Test Your JLG Knowledge

JLG Industries

How well do you know JLG® machines and services? Test your knowledge in our Trivia Challenge, and you could win this month’s prize: a JLG® auto tech kit.

Follow this link to test your knowledge: https://www.jlg.com/en/ground_support/trivia-2018-april.aspx




One Man can install or remove in seconds

Model     Overall Length     Fits     Weight per set
1664      72"     4" x 48" forks  108 lbs.
1665      72"     5" X 48" forks     113 lbs.
1666      72"     6" x 48" forks     148 lbs.

Things You Should Know About Fork Extensions

◆  Overall length of fork extension must not exceed 150% of fork length.
◆  Inside width of fork extension must not be more than ½" wider than fork.
◆  Forklift capacity is substantially reduced when center of load is moved out beyond standard 2 ft. load center.
◆  Do not pick up load with tip of fork extensions.
◆  Load must be centered on fork extensions or closer to the backstop.


Fall Arrest vs. Fall Restraints

Falls are one of the leading causes of injuries in the workplace. As you work to mitigate the dangers of falls in your facility by putting safe guards in place, keep the differences between arrest and restraint in mind: Fall arrest means to be caught while falling and fall restraint means to be restrained from falling in the first place.


JLG Compact Crawler Boom Hits Homerun at Camden Yards

The foul poles at Baltimore’s Camden Yards serve two functions. As transplants from the old Memorial Stadium, they bring more than three decades of prior history to the now 22-year-old baseball stadium. As vertical extensions of foul lines on the field they help umpires determine whether a fly ball is fair or foul during gameplay. For this reason, it is important that the poles are regularly painted and highly visible for day and night games. But the crisscross ironwork poles are 70 feet tall, which can present a challenge to those tasked with painting them.

Last year, Maryland Stadium Authority turned to Rentals Unlimited, Inc. in Clarksburg, Maryland, and the JLG® X700AJ Compact Crawler Boom for help. According to Jim Joyce, sales manager of the equipment and truck rental company and long-term JLG customer, painting the foul poles challenged his company to recommend a piece of equipment with a footprint small enough to fit on the ball field’s warning track and offer enough reach to access the top of the poles.

“Running a machine across the actual playing field was out of the question,” he said. “So, we measured the warning track and were confident the Compact Crawler Boom would easily fit on the track and provide access to the poles.”

Boom’s compact size meets challenge
With a width of just 3 feet 3 inches, a 440-pound platform capacity and non-marking tracks, the X700AJ proved to be the perfect choice for the ballpark application, enabling contractors to apply two coats of yellow paint top to bottom on each of the two poles.

“Everyone who saw the machine before we put it to work was surprised by its capabilities,” said Joyce. “I think it was the boom’s size that threw them. It weighs just 7,000 pounds, but extends to 70 feet, and it’s easy to operate.”

The compact size and vertical reach of the X700AJ has made it a profitable addition to the fleet at Rentals Unlimited. “The crawler is a unique piece of equipment. Its compact size means it’s easy to transport and once on the job site, it will go through 39-inch doorways and fit into other hard-to-reach areas. The machine is self-leveling, so if it’s on uneven ground, it will level itself. And, it’s able to climb up and down steps, with rubber tracks that won’t harm sensitive flooring or landscaping.”

In addition, the X700AJ is environmentally friendly with an optional Lithium-ion battery for cleaner, greener operation. Dual power onboard—gas or electric engines, accompanied by an electric AC motor—are standard to reduce noise and emissions in public spaces. Other features include a hydraulic jib for greater reach, rotation of platform and a zero-turn radius with counter rotation.

Versatility leads to interesting assignments
The versatility of the machine has taken Joyce and his company on some interesting assignments beyond the Camden Yards application. “We took it down a flight of steps and through some doors at a facility that housed an Olympic-size pool in the Washington, D.C., area,” he said. “Once inside, we drove the boom down inside the empty pool and used the leveling feature so we could safely position the machine on the sloped bottom of the pool. This provided access to the roof about 60 feet above the pool and enabled workers to replace several rusted roof panels.”

Joyce described another application in which the machine climbed a long flight of stairs and drove through a 42-inch door in a large medical facility. “And then there was the large retail store in Virginia. The Compact Crawler Boom was the only piece of equipment small enough to fit through the front doors and still offer enough reach to allow workers to wash the large windows positioned well above the doors. This machine just opens up a whole avenue of opportunities for the rental business, and its success seems to have a snowball effect.

“That’s the story here,” Joyce continues. “Expand your fleet with the purchase of a Compact Crawler Boom and open up new doors. And the great thing is, they don’t have to be big doors – just 39 inches and you can move right through them.”


Test Your JLG Knowledge

How well do you know JLG® machines and services? Test your knowledge in our Trivia Challenge, and you could win this month’s prize: a JLG® auto tech kit.

Learn more at: https://www.jlg.com/en/ground_support/trivia-2018-april.aspx


What You Should Know About Testing Requirements for Tires

The construction equipment industry has evolved many times over in the past century. It continues to strive to provide the best solutions to help our world move ahead efficiently and safely in all aspects of construction equipment use.

The construction equipment industry has evolved many times over in the past century. It continues to strive to provide the best solutions to help our world move ahead efficiently and safely in all aspects of construction equipment use.

A significant portion of the industry relies on a long-time mainstay that keeps vehicles moving - tires. While tires may seem to be a relatively simple component compared to other equipment technology, they play a crucial role in keeping the vehicle productive, reliable, and safe.

In recent years, tire technology has continued to evolve with new concepts in tires introduced. They look much different than what most of us think of as traditional tires and require no filling medium. Much of the discussion here will apply to any tire technology, though some points will be for specific technologies.

Tires are selected for use on vehicles based on many criteria – traction / braking, speed and load rating, ride ergonomics / vibration, ground pressure, maneuverability and packaging, wear / reliability, surface marking, and stability characteristics.

The filling medium(s) chosen to occupy internal voids or spaces within a tire and how they are applied is also an important consideration. The most prevalent choices for filling construction tires are air, foam (urethane), foam and crumb rubber mixture, and rubber. Each tire fill type can affect multiple properties of a tire’s performance which we will examine below.

Traction / Braking

Tire traction can be somewhat subjective and may vary widely for vehicles covering multiple applications and markets. Testing involves subjecting tires to and operating vehicles on differing terrains and surfaces and in a variety of environmental conditions to understand how well they grip those surfaces. The ability of the tire to expel material such as rocks and mud from the tread pattern is critical to performance. Voice of the Customer (VOC) trials are often sought as feedback for new designs. Tires also directly affect vehicle braking and therefore must be carefully considered and tested to satisfy compliance with all applicable regulations.

Speed and Load Rating

Tire manufacturers rate their tires for speed as well as load carrying ability - key to meeting the primary use of many construction use vehicles. They utilize guidelines from organizations such as the US Tire and Rim Association (TRA) and the European Tyre and Rim Technical Organisation (ETRTO). Tire ratings are based on a combination of Empty Vehicle Weight (EVW) and Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) (empty vehicle + payload) and their respective travel speed duty cycles.

    Tire ratings are based on a combination of Empty Vehicle Weight (EVW) and Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) (empty vehicle + payload) and their respective travel speed duty cycles.

Many construction vehicle tire offerings serve a multitude of vehicle applications, making it difficult for tire suppliers to publish use guidance for every application. Tire fills can also have a significant effect on the speed and load rating of tires. As a result, bench testing and / or vehicle testing is often performed that combines expected loads, speeds, tire fills, and application profiles with construction site road hazards to assure the tire performs on the vehicle as required and expected.

Ride Ergonomics / Vibration

Tires should support and enhance the vehicle driving experience. The tire design as well as the type and amount of tire fill can affect ride ergonomics and vibration. Vehicles are tested to understand adverse frequencies, vibration, or other effects that may be transmitted into the vehicle. Measurements are often collected at sensitive components and the operator’s station to quantify the effect of the entire vehicle dynamics (including tires) on those systems.

Ground Pressure

The width and diameter of tires, the tread type of tires, the type of tire fill used, and the compliance of tires all factor into how much force will be directed onto any operating surface by the vehicle. Ground pressure is important in understanding vehicle flotation with respect to soil compaction, vehicle flotation with respect to surfaces such as mud and sand, vehicle transportation floor loading considerations, and floor loading where vehicles are operating on constructed surfaces. Ground pressure is determined generally through testing and calculation to determine what percentage of each tire surface area is supporting the vehicle load on a given terrain.

Maneuverability and Packaging

Tires must allow the vehicle to achieve vehicle design requirements dimensions in width, length, turning radius, height, and steering. Wide tires can adversely affect vehicle width, the maximum steer angle possible, as well as resistance to steering due to ground contact friction. Large diameter tires can affect vehicle overall length and height dimensions of the vehicle. Tire fill types may affect how well the vehicle can maneuver. Vehicle dimensional analyses as well as multiple performance tests are conducted to assure targets of maneuverability and packaging are met.

Wear / Reliability

Tires and their filling medium must exhibit wear and structural integrity characteristics that are in line with intended industry expectations. Vehicles with tires that consume the available working tread too quickly or become damaged too easily (chunking treads, bulges / broken belts, punctures, fill compromised, etc.) will not meet customer’s expectations. Vehicle testing is undertaken on a variety of construction surfaces, applications, and road hazards to assure the wear rate is reasonable and that the tire and it’s filling medium survives structurally to reasonable expectations.

Surface Marking

Some use applications require vehicles to not mark the surfaces on which they are operating and therefore require unique tire compounds. Special applications such as this may create unique tire testing considerations for tire and vehicle manufacturers.


Of significant importance is how well the tires and their associated fill maintain their structural shape when loaded in various configurations – ultimately affecting the stability of the vehicle. Every tire option offered on a vehicle must adequately support the vehicle to meet all applicable regulations and the published load carrying capability of the vehicle. Tire type (bias ply, radial, solid, etc.) as well as fill medium can significantly affect the sidewall and overall stiffness of a tire when subjected to a combination of vertical and transverse loading. Significant testing and simulation is performed on vehicles to assure the tire options offered can adequately support the base vehicle weight and any required payload according to industry regulations, standards, and published load diagrams.

Tires are, and will remain for the foreseeable future, an integral and important component of many construction vehicles today. Their selection and use influences multiple aspects of vehicle performance that must be confirmed through a combination of calculation, simulation, and test.

Source:  https://www.jlg.com/en/direct-access/2018/04/13/what-you-should-know-about-testing-requirements-for-tires