Forklift Safety Matters: 7 Questions to Ask Your Service Provider

by Olempia Castillo on June 13, 2019
Forklift Service and Repair OSHA matters
One of the riskiest mistakes a company can make is choosing a forklift service provider without asking about their safety record. Incidents and subsequent investigations can lead to costly fines, downtime, damage to your reputation and increased insurance costs.

The worst time to find out your forklift service provider has a poor safety record is after an incident. Take a proactive approach to safety by asking a few simple questions about their safety record and service technician training.

If you’re hesitant to ask, don’t be. Responsible operations that follow OSHA’s record-keeping requirements will know their safety stats and be happy to share them with you.

7 Safety Questions to Ask Your Forklift Service Provider

Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) and OSHA rules don’t just apply to your staff, they apply to all on-site workers. For example, if a forklift technician operates a lift on your premises without a current license and has an accident - guess who’s liable?

Another example: if you have a truck-mounted clamp added to your forklift, OSHA also requires a clamp release interlock (for 2010 model trucks or newer). If the technician isn’t up-to-date on OSHA requirements, you risk accidental load release, fines, or much worse.

Protect your workers, reputation and products by asking the questions below:

1. How many OSHA-recordable incidents have you had in the past three years?

2. What is your experience modification rate? 
An experience modification rate, also known as E-Mod, Experience Rating, EMR or MOD Rate) is a simple metric that indicates how a company’s safety record compares to others in the same industry. Put simply: an EMR of less than 1.0 means the company is safer than average and an EMR higher than 1.0 is a red flag.

You can also ask for the company's TRIR and DART scores. OSHA requires companies to calculate, record and post these scores each year.

TRIR  = Total Recordable Incident Rate
DART = Days Away from Work, Days of Restricted Work Activity, Days of Jobs Transfer

3. What certifications do they have?
Confirm that the technicians who will work on your forklift are also certified to operate it.

4. What equipment training do your technicians receive?
At TMH, when you call for forklift repair, we send the best. Well over two-thirds of our 118 certified technicians hold a master-level certification.

Choose a forklift service provider with an established culture of safety and compliance. Find out about the company's commitment to safety by asking:

5. What OSHA-required safety programs do you have in place?

6. Does your company have a safety department, safety manager or part-time safety-related employee?

7. Do you have a safety committee? How often do they meet?
TMH has a dedicated Safety Department and I am the full-time Safety Specialist. We have a safety committee that meets monthly and our safety record is very good. As of June 2019, our EMR is .73 - excellent!

For questions about EHS, OSHA or our culture of safety, contact us online or by phone. If you need forklift service or repair in the Bay Area, Central Valley or elsewhere in Northern or Central California, we’d love the chance to earn your business.

SF Bay Area - Livermore (510) 675-0500
Fresno (559) 834-9500
Sacramento (916) 376-0500
Salinas (831) 757-1091

Further Reading
Conducting a Warehouse Safety Audit: Checklist & Tips
Top 7 Causes of Warehouse Accidents and How to Prevent Them

Confusing Invoices, Unscheduled Visits and Other Things You Shouldn't Have to Tolerate from Your Forklift Service Provider

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Topics: Forklift Safety, Service, Forklift

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