Tag Archives: Safety

The Pressure to Perform

The Pressure to Perform

 

Tire pressure is the manufacturers recommended inflation rate, variant on load, speed, and other components. Proper measures of tire pressure are read during cold inflation before the machine is operated. Checking the psi of each tire should be an essential part of any pre-use inspection.

Both under and over inflation of your machines tires will result in unnecessary wear, potentially leading to loss of control or accidents. Do not be fooled though, tire inspections should not just be done visually, tires can lose up to half of their pressure before appearing to be flat. This lack of proper inflation puts the tires at risk of tread loss and loss of structural integrity.

Lack of pressure will also cause bending when the tires move. This allows for build-up of internal heat, increasing resistance requiring the machine more fuel or more frequent stops to charge. The depletion of air may seem impossible in your machine’s new tires, but it is important to note that even properly maintained tires naturally leak pressure over time, up to 10% of the recommended weight.

Under Inflation

A machine with low tire pressure is at a reduced level of stability even in the most perfect operating conditions. Additionally, it is more complicated to make quick maneuvers when pressures are low. Even though 5 psi below the manufacturer’s guide can seem insignificant, it is important to acknowledge that in some machines that can be 20% of the tire’s recommended pressure.

Over Inflation

Having increased tire pressure leads to stiff, rough riding tires. The additional pressure allows for the machine to have less contact with the work surface below, which reduces stability. Over inflation can also lead to tires being easily damaged when contacting hazards that were not immediately noticed. Although it may be tempting to overinflate tires for heightened cornering response, it is important to keep machine operators safe with pressures kept at the recommended psi.

Performing with Confidence

Once you have determined the appropriate tire pressure recommended by the equipment manufacturer, you should add a pressure check to your pre-use inspection. This inspection should be done on all equipment, whether rented, leased, or owned. Recommendations may include several different pressures dependent on load, it is important to take the days tasks into account when determining the appropriate psi.

In several new machines tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) may be available. Please note, that even if this feature is installed, it is important to research how the monitoring occurs. With some systems, no alert will be set until the pressure has reached below 25% of the recommended weight. As we mentioned above, the reduced pressure can quickly cause accidents on the jobsite.

If the machine has been fitted for a different tire size than it was manufactured for, it is important to research the changes in necessary pressure. Many manufacturers include pressure recommendations for OEM tires and alternative tire sizes, be sure to reach out to your local Hugg & Hall for more tire specifications.

Selecting the Right Forklift Tires: Pneumatic vs. Cushion | Toyota Forklifts

Safe Jobsite Lunches

Jobsites are up and running and the heat of summer is quick approaching! As millions of Americans carry “Sack Lunches” onto the jobsite, it is important to assure proper cooking and handling has been done. So, make extra of your favorite dish or grab something on the way, because we want you to get the most out of the brown bag, and enjoy your SAFE lunch!

To do so, read the guidelines below to keep your lunch safe & bacteria free.

Although it may be tempting to carry your lunch in an affordable brown bag, or to keep it in the bag from the store this can be very dangerous. The ideal start for carrying your food is the use of an insulated container with AT LEAST 2 freezer packs – one above and one below the perishable foods.

The insulated container and freezer packs keep cold food cold and reduce the spread of harmful bacteria. The bacteria multiply rapidly in foods within the “danger zone,” 40°F to 140°F, for more than 2 hours (1 hour when temperatures surpass 90°F). The ability to keep your lunch at a safe temperature allows for a much more imaginative mealtime. Keep reading to see our mealtime tips!

 

Safe lunches begin with safe food preparation. It is important to follow these simple steps.

  • Cooking food to safe temperatures is vital in food preparation; use clean utensils and wash all working surfaces each time. When storing leftover meals, immediately place in packaging or airtight containers. Be sure to portion large quantities into smaller dishes to get food in the “safe zone” (at or below 40°F) quickly to reduce the risk of bacteria.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. In addition, wash all storage dishes, work surfaces and even your insulated lunch container. If you are in a situation where you must use a classic brown paper bag, be sure they are purchased from the food preparation aisle at your local supermarket.
  • Do not over prepare your packed lunch. Packing too much perishable food will can cause cooling issues with your cool packs and causes issues of food disposal on the jobsite. If you do pack too much, share with a friend to limit food waste.
  • When handling liquids or fluid foods, use a thermos to keep foods cold or hot. Hot foods should be packaged in a preheated thermal container. Preheating can be done by placing boiling water into the container and letting it set for a few minutes before filling with your preheated food.

 

All perishable foods that are intended to be served cold, must be kept cold. Foods prepared with meat (including fish and poultry), eggs, dairy, cut & peeled fruits and vegetables, pasta and rice dishes meat these guidelines.

  • Prepared foods made in advance and packaged the evening before should stay refrigerated until they are ready to be added to your lunch container. When morning arrives, you should then add foods that do not require refrigeration such as chips or cookies.
  • When arriving at work, place your lunch in a cool dark place. If it is possible to refrigerate, do so, but in many workplaces this option is unavailable. In addition to cooling packs, a frozen water or sports drink can significantly help keep your food cool.

 

Foods that require reheating should be microwaved until they are steaming and heated throughout. Let foods reach edible temperatures to avoid burning.

 

Although many foods require thorough preparation and care to avoid food-borne bacteria, there are some that can remain at room temperature (68-72°F). In hot temperatures, room temperature can be met in an insulated container, and on cool days can be safe without additional preparation.

Safe foods include:

  • Nut butter sandwiches (peanut butter, hazelnut spread, almond butter)
  • Breads & crackers
  • Prepared popcorn
  • Whole intact fruit (fruit with the peel)
  • Fruit cups/ pudding cups
  • Dried fruit, nuts & seeds
  • Cookies, bars, prepared snack mixes
  • Prepared meats, seafood & beans (canned that can be opened and eaten immediately)

 

Job Site 𝑺𝒑𝒓𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝑪𝒍𝒆𝒂𝒏𝒊𝒏𝒈 Tips & Tricks

Ahhhh — It’s that time of the year again, time for spring cleaning. 

Temperatures are rising, flowers are blooming, which means it’s the perfect time to give your job site the deep “spring cleaning” it’s been waiting for.  

Let’s face it, taking the extra time to clean up after yourself and others can be a pain. Here at Hugg & Hall, part of our commitment to safety is ensuring our work areas are organized and clean at any given moment, always in compliance with OSHA standards. 

Below we’ll go over the benefits of maintaining your job site, preventative measures to keep tidy year around, and tips for giving your site the 𝑺𝒑𝒓𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝑪𝒍𝒆𝒂𝒏 it needs. 

A Clean Job Site Has Its Benefits 

It should be obvious that clean sites help minimize the potential of slip hazards, falling debris and unwanted guests like insects and vermin; but there are also many benefits to cleaning up that you may have never considered:

  • Site cleanliness will decrease the number of wasted materials. With a proper organization system in place, workers will be more efficient not having to navigate through scattered debris and materials.
  • Organization exudes professionalism and quality workmanship, which will greatly strengthen your reputation.

Also, we should never forget that a clean job site is a productive and profitable one. When employees are happy with their work environment, they are more likely to do the job to the best of their ability!

“Spring Clean” Isn’t Just A Season

Spring doesn’t have to be the only time of year you show your tools and equipment a little extra TLC, here are some preventative measures for keeping your workplace clean — all year around! 

It’s a team effort 

  • Set up a housekeeping system that involves everyone on the team. Focus on the importance of cleaning and removing debris after it has been created and assign tasks to specific people to create accountability.

Keep waste properly contained

  • Keeping a lid on waste, literally, is important– especially when the waste could spill, evaporate or smell. Containers and product drums should be sealed tightly and labeled with the proper safety requirements.  

Eliminate the problem at the source

  • The less waste that is created at the site, the less disposal and cleanup is necessary. Choose products with minimal packaging. Measure carefully so you order only the materials you need, in the optimal sizes.

Tidying Up Tips & Tricks:

  • Regularly power wash equipment and work area after each use.
  • Establish a regular cleaning schedule.
  • Create an organization system for tools, equipment, and other stored items for easy access.
  • Shop vacuums are a great way to easily dispose of loose materials such as dust.
  • Keep dumpsters and trash cans easily accessible at all times.
  • Section off or create signs for any area that may have insecure material.

If you establish a good housekeeping routine, clean up hassle will be a thing of the past! 

Employee Spotlight: Rhonda Griffith

Meet Rhonda Griffith!  Rhonda has been with Hugg & Hall for 20 years and works as our Accounts Payable Manager at the company’s corporate location in Little Rock, AR. 

Griffith is originally from Carlisle, AR and currently resides there, but spent most of her life in Hazen, AR.  Griffith is happily married to her high school sweet heart, Marty and they will celebrate 36 years in May. They have two children. Their daughter Ashley and son-in-law Kyler live in Cabot, AR where Ashley is a family nurse practitioner.  Their son, Martin and daughter-in-law Courtney live in Little Rock, AR but travel a lot since Martin is a welder and inspector for 798 pipe liners. In December, Martin and Courtney welcomed Griffith’s first grandchild, Katelynn. Griffith stated “we are so excited to be Gigi and Pop!”.

Griffith enjoys spending time with family, being outdoors, and has a “green thumb”. She loves planting and watching her flowers grow. In the summer, you can “find me relaxing by the pool,” said Griffith. Something you might be surprised to learn about Griffith is she was crowned Rodeo Queen and spent most of her childhood on a horse and traveling to horse shows and rodeos.

Griffith says a typical workday is “Crazy – but I love it – lots of invoices, interruptions, and lots of money being spent”. Her daily job duties include managing a “great group of employees, along with vendor invoices and check disbursements, all the while maintaining a strict schedule to keep us on good terms with vendors”. Each month includes 8000+ invoices to process for payment, fuel cards for over 350 company vehicles and corporate credit cards to maintain. All this keeps Griffith and her team very busy. “I love what I do, but it’s not just the job, it’s the people…I love my Hugg & Hall family!” Griffith stated.

We are thankful for Griffith’s years of dedicated and loyal service.

A Day in the Life: Product Support Sales Representative

product support

Over the last 60+ years, Hugg & Hall has strived to be superior in the industry to assure businesses always receive the best service. As innovators in the industry, we excel in providing services that our competitors may not even offer. With each purchase, in any department, Hugg & Hall meets exemplary customer service standards.

A key role in providing unmatched service are Hugg & Hall Product Support Sales Representatives (PSSR). The individuals in this position work everyday to provide businesses the customer service that has come to be expected from Hugg & Hall. Knowing your needs and exceeding your expectations are their mission. Here is, “A Day in the Life of a PSSR.”


Your PSSR doesn’t wake up a superhero, that takes a cup of coffee. Once your PSSR has consumed their hero juice, they are set for the busy day ahead. They have a schedule filled with parts & service requests, but the agenda is likely to change with their first phone call. Today that phone call may be a customer with a machine down, but the requests are different each day.

With each request it is important to set daily goals to easily manage all tasks. These goals are to follow-up with customers, visit as many customers in person as time allows and to clearly communicate Hugg & Hall’s business practices. Long term goals are also in place as your PSSR always wants their value to be recognized by you, the client. Building strong relationships with clients and understanding that every business has different needs allows for a PSSR to be truly successful.

Today your PSSR is tasked with ordering a rental to temporarily replace the down machine while ordering and delivering parts to keep other operations moving forward. As the PSSR passes a new warehouse, they make a stop to understand the new business opportunity. The PSSR explains to the potential client that having a PSSR on their side is no additional cost to the consumer and leaves a business card making a note to reach out in a few weeks.

As their day moves forward your PSSR is sure to never over promise, but they try their best to over deliver each time. This honesty differentiates our PSSRs and allows them to truly shine in their role. Being inquisitive, dependable and knowledgeable with all their day’s tasks are also key to their performance.

Through industry knowledge and observations, a Hugg & Hall PSSR assures that every situation is handled differently and appropriately for the application at hand. As the day draws to an end the PSSR has accomplished more than you could imagine all while making each client a number one priority.

 

A PSSR on your side assures the greatest possible service that Hugg & Hall can provide. They work each day to ease the daily stress of operations in many different industries. If you don’t already have a superhero on your side, call today to meet with a Product Support Sales Representative.

Employee Excellence: Brandon Brantley

“There are employees that work hard daily who may not get an “atta-boy”, “great job” or an “I appreciate you”. I wanted to make sure Brandon Brantley knew we appreciated him and that he did a great job.” – Justin Hines, Nexans AmerCable

Hugg & Hall Equipment Company has a quality standard that is beyond many other companies; Brandon Brantley has gone above the standard of excellence to best serve clients in our El Dorado, AR location.

Brantley works as a delivery driver for Hugg & Hall and started with the company a month ago. He conducts day runs between Hugg & Hall locations, as well as deliveries to customers. In his short time with the company, he has made a significant impact in the delivery division. Brandon said that his favorite thing about being a driver for Hugg & Hall is, “interacting with the customers.”

Brandon’s hometown is Farmerville, Louisiana where he currently resides with his wife Nikki. He has his hands full with a son, Logan, daughters Macayla and Karlee, and a granddaughter Paisley-Brooke. He enjoys spending time with his family and has a passion for horses & equipment. You may also be surprised to know that he is afraid of heights.

In his first few weeks, Brandon has noted that every day is memorable. If he weren’t currently working for Hugg & Hall, Brantley mentioned he would like to operate equipment. He thinks it is important for others in the profession to, “Never take safety for granted.”

Hugg & Hall would like to thank Brandon Brantley for his hard work; welcome to the team Brandon!

Winter Weather Safety

Winter Weather Safety

When winter weather strikes, it is important for construction sites to stay active and productive. Bitter cold, snow and ice can cause conditions that are damaging to equipment and could cause personal risk; leading to jobs falling behind schedule. To reduce the chance of injury or downtime, read on for tips to stay safe & to keep your team working at their highest productivity.

 

Personal Safety in Winter Conditions

·        Preventing Slips, Trips & Falls

As temperatures approach the freezing point, it is necessary for your company to take the proper steps in preventing slips, trips & falls. Thin patches of ice begin to occur when air temperatures reach the 30s and become dangerous quickly. No matter what kind of construction site you are working on, it is important to always put your team’s safety first.

In the winter months, proper personal protective equipment (PPE), plays a significant role in keeping employees safe. Non-slip footwear is essential in preventing slips, trips & falls & clothing, such as gloves, jackets & hardhat liners allow employees to stay comfortable and warm on site.

Like inappropriate footwear, equipment and ladders create additional job site hazards in the winter months. Avoid hazards while climbing onto equipment by conducting routine inspections for surface ice.  If any ice or snow is detected, clear the surface immediately and be sure your team’s footwear is also free of snow and ice. As always, assure your team is in their fall protection for additional safety.

·        Recognizing Cold Related Illness & Knowing First Aid

Workers can experience serious health complications due to freezing temperatures, preventing sickness in the winter is ideal, but in many situations, cold related illness may still occur.  Recognizing cold related illness, such as hypothermia, frostbite & trench foot, and knowing basic first aid, can be lifesaving on your job site. 

  • Hypothermia

When exposed to the cold, your body begins to lose heat faster than it can produce. This causes your body to use much of its stored energy, leading to hypothermia. Early signs of hypothermia include shivering, loss of coordination, confusion & feeling fatigued. Prolonged hypothermia leads to blue skin, dilation of the pupils, lowered pulse rate & a possible loss of consciousness.

If an individual on your team is experiencing the symptoms of hypothermia please alert the job supervisor and request medical assistance. Move the victim into a warm area and remove any wet clothing, covering with additional clothing or blankets; warm beverages may help increase the victims body temperature. Once the body temperature has increased, keep the victim dry and warm.

  • Frostbite

A loss of feeling and color in cold affected areas can be defined as frostbite. Areas most often affected are the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers or toes. Frostbite can cause permanent damage to body tissue and may even lead to limb amputation. Symptoms of frostbite include reduced blood flow, numbness, tingling & stinging, aches and pail waxy skin.

Workers that are suffering with the symptoms of frostbite should immediately find warmth. The victim should avoid using the affected appendage and immerse it in warm (NOT HOT) water. If no warm water is available keep the affected area warm with body heat – do not rub or massage the frostbitten area and do not expose to heat, as it may cause additional damage or burns.

  • Trench Foot

Also known as immersion foot, trench foot is an injury caused by exposure to wet and cold conditions over a prolonged time. Trench foot can occur in temperatures up to 60°F if the individual’s feet are constantly wet. This injury occurs because wet feet lose heat at a higher rate than dry feet and to prevent heat loss, the body constricts all blood circulation to the victim’s feet. Symptoms include discoloration, numbness, lower body cramping, swelling, blisters and bleeding under the skin.

To care for trench foot, remove the victim’s shoe or boots, as well as their socks. Dry the victim’s feet and be sure to avoid walking as it may cause additional damage & seek medical attention.

Preparing for Harsh Weather Conditions

With the change of season, it is important to keep an eye out for the health and safety of yourself & other employees. Taking breaks in heated areas and proper hydration are essential to winter safety. Time away from the elements in a heated area should be encouraged in order for employees to stay dry. Breaks are also a great location to check for the sign of cold related illness. For information on providing your job site with a heated break area, click here.

 

Now that you know the dangers of winter conditions & how to prepare for them, you will be better able to stay active and productive in the winter months. For further preparation we recommend keeping an updated calendar and having a set breaking system to keep your employees safe.

When Harnesses Are & Aren’t Required

When Harnesses Are & Aren't Required

When are you required to use a harness? The short answer to this question is: it’s complicated. There are many variables that contribute to when a worker is required to wear a harness such as working heights, the type of equipment, job site conditions and company policies. However, a good starting point is to refer to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s requirements that state: 

General Industry requires fall protection for any worker over 4’. 1910.28(b)(1)(i)

Construction requires fall protection for any worker over 6’. 1926.501(b)(1)

Instances where the general height rules do not apply include when job sites are in/around certain safety hazards like dangerous equipment, machinery or hazardous materials into which workers could fall. In these situations, fall protection or authorized guarding is required regardless of the working height. 

James Lennartz, Training Manager at Hugg & Hall, recently spoke on the many considerations related to fall protection and when harnesses are and aren’t necessary. 

“When it comes to the requirements of wearing fall protection it depends on both the equipment and/or the local/state/employer requirements,” said Lennartz. “According to the ANSI Standard (ANSI/SAIA A92.22); the guardrail system of the Mobile Elevated Work Platform (MEWP) is the primary fall protection for occupants.”

“When required to use personal fall protection, either fall restraint or fall arrest, operators and occupants shall comply with the instructions provided by the manufacture regarding anchorage(s),” said Lennartz. “Basically, if the person is using a scissor lift (Group A) they are not required to wear a safety harness as the guardrail system is adequate enough to provide fall protection. Now, local/state or employer can require an operator to wear a safety harness. If the MEWP is a boom lift (Group B), then here it is. All group B MEWP operators and occupants shall use personal fall arrest or fall restraint systems at all times.” 

Specific rules may vary based on the companies and organizations involved as well as federal/state/local laws. Lennartz spoke on Hugg & Hall’s own policy regarding fall protection. 

“Our drivers are required to wear a harness when loading and unloading booms only. We also require the same of customers and other drivers when on our yards,” said Lennartz.

Exceptions

There are a few exceptions to the basic rules and workers/managers always need to be trained on and understand the organizational rules and federal/state/local laws governing their job site. Safety should always be the first priority and fall protection is an important and essential part of work site safety. 

The Benefits of Proximity Alarms

The Benefits of Proximity Alarms

What are proximity alarms?

Proximity alarms are sensors that allow equipment operators to detect people and/or objects in blind spots. The sensors have been shown to benefit operators and pedestrians by reducing accidents and collisions. Operators are alerted to objects and people in their path with in-cab warnings, which can be both visual and/or audible, allowing them the time to stop or shift positioning, thus avoiding potentially serious safety hazards. Equipment owners/users and fleet managers should consider the addition, and understand the benefits, of proximity alarms which are shown to improve the overall quality of safety on job sites. Read on the benefits of proximity alarms below!

Why to consider proximity alarms for your equipment

 

  • Efficiency- One of the top reasons to add proximity alarms to your equipment is efficiency. Navigating blindly can be difficult and time-consuming and proximity alarms reduce the stress and necessity of superfluous mirrors and/or asking a separate person to guide the operator. The sensors alert operators of objects which have been detected in the path of the machine at close range and objects behind rear tires at expanded ranges. Proximity sensors are a great way to improve onsite productivity and your team’s overall efficiency. 

 

  • Safety- There are roughly 150,000 construction site accident injuries each year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As such, an obvious advantage to adding proximity alarms to your equipment is the improved safety measure that it provides. The proximity alarms alert operators to objects and pedestrians nearby thus creating a safer work area for both the operator and the pedestrian(s). For some tips on how to ensure a safe job site for your crew, read an informational article here

 

  • Limited Downtime/Damage- Another definite benefit of proximity alarms is the reduction of damage to equipment, and the associated downtime any damages may create. Alerting operators to nearby objects and obstructions is a clear-cut way to reduce the hassle and associated costs of an accident or collision. This a particularly helpful benefit for time-sensitive projects that can’t spare the downtime. If you want to enact an extra precaution to protect your job site from an accident, damage and/or downtime, consider adding proximity alarms to your machine. 

How to Perform a Pre-Operation Inspection

How to Perform a Pre-Operation Inspection

Safety should be the most important priority on any job site and equipment should be inspected before each use to ensure the safety of both operators and pedestrians. A pre-operation inspection is a visual examination performed by the operator before each use/shift. The purpose of pre-operation inspections is to provide a safety net which may serve as a method of avoiding preventable accidents. Here’s a helpful checklist of items that should be inspected before operating your mobile elevating work platform (MEWP), telehandler or other machine. 

  • Make sure that the machine has been checked for oil leaks before each use. It’s also important to make sure that the engine has the correct level of oil because operating with low-levels of engine oil has the potential to result in costly damage to the engine. 
  • Check the entire machine for obvious damages or signs of collision/impact. 
  • Ensure that there are no hydraulic leaks and top-off if necessary. 
  • Also, check for engine coolant and battery fluid leaks before each use and add more if needed. 
  • Check entry points for efficacy and damage. 
  • Check wear pads for damage.
  • Check electrical system for damage. 
  • Check fasteners for damage. 
  • Check hydraulic system for damage.
  • Check alarms for damage. 
  • Check switches and horn for damage. 
  • Check engine for damage. 
  • Check tires and wheels for damage. 
  • Check fuel and hydraulic tanks for damage. 
  • Check motors and drive hubs for damage. 
  • Ensure that each manual (operator’s, safety, etc.) are not damaged and located in the appropriate storage container.
  • Check to ensure that all decals and messaging is present and legible. This is an important step to ensure that safety messaging and non-verbal communication can support safe operation. 
  • Check tires to ensure that they have the appropriate pressure. It’s especially important to check for tire pressure when the seasons change as colder weather can cause pressure to drop and warmer weather can cause pressure to increase. This is important because overinflation can cause an uneven tread and underinflated tires decrease fuel efficiency and cause the shoulders of the tire to wear prematurely. 
  • Check the machine for any cracks or structural damage. 
  • Check all components for any inordinate rusting.

Remember to conduct any necessary performance testing, check the workplace for obstacles/safety concerns and to operate per the owner’s manual. Once the full inspection has been completed and the machine is ready for operation, double-check that components have been re-fastened and covered. A secondary purpose of pre-operation inspections can be to identify any needed routine maintenance on a machine and determining whether maintenance is necessary before operation. It’s important to stay up-to-date with routine maintenance to avoid costly (and preventable) repairs that can intrude on project timetables and create avoidable downtime.