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Kalmar Works with Texas On-Site Consultation Program to Enhance Safety in Industrial Trucks
KRTC makes rough terrain vehicles capable of lifting 20- and 40-foot containers weighing up to 53,000 pounds, moving them and stacking them three high. In April 2000, KRTC received a contract with the U.S. Army to supply the vehicles and started manufacturing them at a Kalmar plant in Sweden. In February 2007, KRTC managers decided to build the vehicles at the Kalmar plant in Cibolo, Texas, a city of 14,000 near San Antonio, and to invest $18 million in a five-building expansion for the production of the vehicles. The workforce at the Cibolo plant is in the process of expanding from about 60 to about 260.
Stan Simpson, President of KRTC, learned about the Texas OSHCON Program while attending Industrial Truck Association (ITA) meetings. At the 2003 fall meeting, John Henshaw, then Assistant Secretary, USDOL-OSHA introduced the program in his keynote address. Back at KRTC, David Evans, Vice President-Services wanted to be proactive in addressing the safety and health of KRTC employees. He contacted the Texas OSHCON, a free service available to Texas employers through the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation, to help them identify and eliminate occupational hazards in the workplace.
On March 22, 2007, Al Chadwick, a Texas OSHCON consultant, performed a survey as part of the Texas OSHCON Program. As a participant in the Texas OSHCON Program, KRTC agreed to correct any serious hazards or imminently dangerous situations that might be identified. Mr. Evans and Mr. Chadwick agreed to a 30-day abatement period during which KRTC would eliminate serious hazards to the health and safety of the employees.
During the course of the Survey, Mr. Chadwick noted 16 violations of OSHA Standards, nine of which required action. Violations included no lock-out/tag-out procedure in place, breaker boxes with missing knockout plugs, a shop fan missing a grounding pin from the electrical plug and no eye wash stations within 25’ of the forklift charging station. KRTC resolved 15 of the violations within the resolution time period. The remaining hazard, the paint shop fire system that didn’t work, required an extension because a fire protection system specialist was not available to repair and test it. Mr. Chadwick also worked with KRTC representatives to develop a written safety and health program. KRTC supervisors noted and implemented 26 additional internal recommendations to ensure that KRTC would continue to meet OSHA standards.
All Texas OSHCON observations and violations were resolved with the full support of KRTC management and supervisors.
According to Mr. Evans, "KRTC management has demonstrated a strong commitment to the health and safety of its employees and has changed the culture to a ‘safety is just as important as quality’ culture. Our employees now expect just as safe a workplace as our senior management does."
"We, at KRTC, feel this voluntary program is of great value to anyone who in interested in maintaining a safe work environment for their employees", Mr. Evans said. "KRTC strongly recommends this program as a cost effective and efficient solution to any organization that would like an outside confirmation of its safety and health program!"
Stan Simpson, President KRTC, Cibolo, Texas (April 2008)
David Evans, Vice President – Services, KRTC, Cibolo, Texas (April 2008)
Al Chadwick, Texas OSHCON, San Antonio Texas (April 2008)
Developed through the OSHA and Industrial Truck Association Alliance