The Significance of Safety Training for Managers and Supervisors
Consistent with CICB's Mission Statement, our ongoing aim is to provide quality training, inspections, and consulting services to our clients. These efforts produce a cost-effective and safe environment that is compliant with current regulation at all levels. These endeavors cannot be realized without the total commitment of our client's supervisors and managers. Without supervisor and management training, these key players cannot fully support the mission of safety for their organizations.
Many times we read of costly accidents in terms of lives, lost time, or product loss that could have been prevented with more focused training of supervisors and managers in the serious craft of material handling. The obvious emphasis is in training the operators. Often overlooked, however, is the critical need for supervisors to be aware when something just doesn't look right. With training, these middle level managers can spot when corners are being cut or some time-saving chances are taken to expedite completion of a lift project.
Supervisors and managers need, perhaps even more critically than the operators themselves, to understand the specific requirements of OSHA, consensus standards, and policies of the company for whom they work.
More often than not the when training operators they walk away from our courses having learned at least two or three things they were completely unaware of previously. If the operators can be surprised by a little-known requirement, how can the supervisors be expected to be aware of them, when they haven't been given the opportunity to receive even an abbreviated form of the same training?
Regulations are clear about the responsibility of operators. It is spelled out in many places in OSHA and consensus standards; but few companies ever realize the requirement for training of supervisors and managers, as well. Clearly, the first line of defense against accidents is the operator, but the trained eye of an alert supervisor or manager can surely serve as the second line of defense. A trained supervisor, manager, or project manager can also spot when contractors may need an added viewpoint. Knowing limiting capacities, crane configurations, or weather considerations can be of limitless value to the completion of a project, in a safe and cost-effective manner.
OSHA places the responsibility of compliance on the end user, the owner of the crane, the supervisor, lift director, and operator. It is our moral responsibility to have working knowledge of the safety standards, and to educate our clients by recommending and encouraging their compliance. During an OSHA visit, compliance officers may use the company's material handling policies, especially if they are MORE stringent than OSHA, the consensus standards, or even the manufacturer's requirements.
2006- An industrial facility in Houston, Texas was found in violation of provisions of OSHA 1910.179 for failure to provide training and maintaining inspection records for overhead cranes. The fines were levied subsequent to an investigation of the facility following the death of a worker involved in an overhead crane accident. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration determined that none of the workers who were operating cranes or performing rigging duties had been trained in accordance with the provisions of the cited reference.
Additional fines were assessed resulting from OSHA's examination of the maintenance and inspection files of the cranes in the facility. The records that were examined failed to present adequate detailed information and data on the condition of the cranes in the facility including brakes, wire rope, and hook records. A third party that performed the inspection was also fined.
In order to effectively manage your facility's material handling program, your knowledge of applicable standards, awareness of team training, and familiarity with required inspection requirements are crucial.
Managers and supervisors are critical elements of the risk management formula!