Safe Forklift Operations: Essential in Any Warehouse

What does it take to keep your forklift operators safe and prepared for any potential problems?

An employee uses a forklift.

What should all forklift operators know?

No matter what kind of products, supplies or raw materials your company stores in its warehouses and distribution centers, it’s essential to put comprehensive strategies in place to move those goods safely and effectively. Moving large pallets is typically a job for forklift vehicles, which puts forklift operators at the center of any workplace safety plan for warehouses.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has specific rules for the safe use of forklift equipment, with operators subject to strict requirements. This careful management of forklift driving is due to the potential for serious injury around such heavy machinery. The strategies for your warehouse should go beyond OSHA’s baselines and ensure every employee in the environment knows the proper procedures. Both forklift operators and all other employees who work around these vehicles should be aware of the possible danger they’re in and understand how to stay safe. Continue reading

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Excelling in Enterprise Safety Leadership

Leaders in the workplace bear much of the responsibility for employee safety.

Safety in the workplace begins at the top. Whether a leader is specifically assigned safety duties or directs a team in a more general capacity, he or she should be looking for opportunities to encourage good practices while keeping employees healthy and happy.

Managers both set the rules for their workers to follow and create a behavior example through their own attitude toward work practices. This ongoing influence makes it worthwhile to give safety training to leaders at various levels within companies, reminding them of their responsibilities and the potential they have to improve the workplace for everyone. Continue reading

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Better Interpersonal Skills in the Workplace: Internal and External Benefits

Better communication, increased empathy and other interpersonal abilities can be taught, and may have a positive impact on the modern workplace. 

Two employees collaborate.

Interpersonal skills improve teamwork and enhance customer service.

Workplace training sometimes focuses exclusively on the “hard” skills required to use essential technology and perform role-specific duties. This view of employee education is unnecessarily narrow, due to the continuing importance of “soft” skills. Employees who are expert communicators and empathetic teammates are well-suited to both cooperating internally and interacting with customers. Some workers emerge from college without fully developed soft skills, further increasing the importance of learning these abilities on the job.

No matter the industry in question, professional roles involve interacting constantly with other people. The more smoothly these interactions go, the more value the employee will generate for the company. This value may mean that meetings reach satisfactory conclusions, customers receive helpful answers to their questions, or partner organizations get great results from their own interactions with the business. Across industries and cases, soft skills can represent increased effectiveness. Continue reading

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Using Training to Enforce Ethical Leadership

Ethical operations can boost a company’s reputation and effectiveness – and such an approach requires leadership buy-in.

A businessman speaks to his team.

Ethical leaders shape company culture for the better.

Business leaders are expected to be the ones to set an example for their team members. This includes exhibiting a strong sense of ethics in and out of the workplace. When management conducts themselves in honest and forthcoming ways, this type of personal accountability is often emulated throughout the company

The direct and indirect benefits of creating an honest and forthcoming culture are many and varied. Companies that let unethical behaviors become commonplace are susceptible to regulatory fines and negative perception in the eyes of customers. Potential employees may also hesitate to join these businesses, not wanting to end up in compromised and problematic workplaces. Continue reading

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Changing Workplace Culture to Prioritize Safety

What types of leadership actions and priorities help a culture of safety take hold at a company?

A sign saying "Nobody gets hurt today!"

Leadership can have a positive impact on workplace safety.

While workplaces aren’t entirely defined by their leaders’ decisions, top-down attitudes do influence the day-to-day operational climate. Whether that is a positive or negative factor depends on the attitudes of the people in charge. Office culture and norms are definitively shaped by leadership, and that extends to fundamental pieces of the workplace experience, such as safety.

Running a secure office, one that goes beyond complying with Organizational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)  to make employees feel safe and confident, is a positive differentiator. Businesses that operate this way are better equipped to attract top candidates and retain existing workers, while avoiding the fines and legal consequences that come with carelessness and neglect. Continue reading

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