Home >> BLOG >> Preventing A Tragedy

Preventing A Tragedy

By Steve Guglielmo

As I mentioned in my 1st Quarter editor’s note in The MHEDA Journal, one of the things that we are really focusing on this year is the MHEDA-TV video platform. As part of that renewed focus on video, we are in the midst of putting together a video thought leaders series about storage & handling and engineered systems, similar to the forklift thought leaders series that debuted last year.

Yesterday, we worked on a script about safety in the warehouse, so all this week I’ve been researching different articles and tips about warehouse safety. One common theme that started to emerge was that many customers don’t start to consider enhancing their warehouse’s safety until AFTER a tragedy has occured.

This point was really driven home for me when I was forwarded an email that was sent by a member. The email said, “We recently had an issue with some LPG trucks operating in a non-ventilated building and several customer employees became asphyxiated from carbon monoxide poisoning. They all survided but some were hospitalized and this has created a major discussion about emissions testing.”

That is incredibly scary. The employees all survived but it very easily could have gone the other way. This email chain received a variety of great responses but the most concerning response to me was this sentence, “Customers most often do not think about lift truck emissions until someone gets sick, unfortunately. However, emission testing should be promoted wherever applicable. It’s a very easy sell as a Value Added Service while performing the routine Planned Maintenance and most often at a nominal charge of $91 per machine. This is much cheaper than medical bills, lawsuits and a loss of production.” (emphasis mine)

It’s no secret that the warehouse can be a dangerous place. Accidents happen. But the prospect of asphyxiating because of improper ventilation and an LPG truck isn’t really an accident. It’s negligent.

So now I ask for your opinions/advice. Have you ever encountered a similar issue with your customers? How did you deal with it? How do you make your customers understand the value add of emissions testing? Let us know on twitter (@MHEDA_Journal) or Facebook. I look forward to reading your responses.