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Are You Forklift Safe?

“90% of all forklifts will be involved in an accident”

Forklift accidents are incredibly common - how common? 90% of all forklifts will be involved in an accident during their lifetime of about 8 years.


It’s difficult to believe that 9 out of 10 forklifts will be in some kind of an accident. Thankfully, not all of these accidents cause serious injury or extensive property damage. However, most of these accidents are preventable with thorough education, training, and records keeping.

“Overloading the weight limits is the number 1 cause of forklift accidents”

What’s the number one reason for the accidents? Overloading the weight limits. When you think about it, that’s hardly surprising. As safe as a machine can be, when it is overloaded there is really no way to ensure safety no matter what measures the manufacturer takes..

The second most significant cause of forklift accidents is collision with people. Many factors can contribute to such an occurrence: space that doesn’t have visibility and is not large enough for proper maneuvering of the machine, extremely noisy environments, distractions, you name it. At the end of the day the responsibility is on management to design and implement the correct safety measures throughout the facility, and on employees to adhere to these measures at all times.

Even when a forklift is used to move items within the weight limit, if the cargo isn’t properly fastened it poses significant danger. If you’re a forklift operator you can probably think of a few instances where cargo had to be adjusted to make sure it was safely fastened. However long it takes; doing it safely is the only option. Apparently not everyone is as safe as you are - and this factor is one of the most common reasons for accidents.

“While it does have the word “lift” in it, a forklift should never be used to elevate a person”

While the word “lift” is part of the name of the equipment - forklifts are definitely not designed for people.One would think that this is a basic and obvious rule - yet, it is in the top 5 reasons for forklift accidents.

Awareness of your surroundings is an important skill. Particularly during the operation of heavy equipment. Yet, driving a forklift off of a loading dock is a major source of accidents. A space not properly designed for visibility and maneuverability with a forklift is a huge factor in more than one of the top reasons for accidents.

If an operator can’t see exactly where the loading dock ends; and if there aren’t proper safety guidelines in place to mitigate any such limitations then it is only a matter of time until someone drives it off the dock.

“Forklift maintenance should be a no-brainer”

Poor maintenance is another major source of forklift accidents. Unlike some of the other causes that often rely on situational judgment and are dependent on many factors; maintenance should be a no-brainer. Yet, it is not always fully performed. One way to ensure that you never skip a maintenance check is to use a logbook to track everything.

The following are 5 forklift accidents that are based on one or a combination of the top causes mentioned above.

Accident number 1:

Two forklift operators attempted to move a heavy metal structure out of a warehouse. While trying to lift the object from the supporting metal shelves it twisted and lost balance. The metal structure swung towards the lift truck and actually entered the cabin. As a result the operator was struck by the object and suffered serious injuries.

Following an investigation it turned out that the company never trained its operators or provided any guidance as per forklift operation at all. No risk assessment took place, nor was the site supervised. The worker survived - one can only hope that this company is going to comply with safety measures from now. If you aren’t trained in the operation of the specific truck you’re driving then how can you assess the safety of what you are about to do?

Accident number 2

An outsider may not know it but there are many different kinds of forklift each designed for a specific job - one license doesn’t mean that an operator can use all types of forklifts. Nor does it mean that an operator can use the forklift he is licensed with to perform a job not suitable for it.

Such a situation resulted in a long lasting injury that requires therapy visits by a worker at a factory dealing with lumber. The worker in question was dipping timber in preservative liquid and apparently not using the correct equipment to do so. As a result the timber posts became dislodged and fell from the truck striking the operator.

An investigation determined that the company responsible didn’t provide the right equipment for the job; moreover, the operator wasn’t trained to do the job in the first place. It was determined that the company was responsible for not using the right equipment, not properly training the operator, and not properly inspecting the forklift itself.

Accident number 3

Forklift operators aren’t the only ones who require knowledge and safety training in forklift operation. Anyone who deals with lift trucks must be fully aware of all safety requirements and procedures.

Injuries and accidents inevitably follow when heavy equipment is used by untrained or improperly trained personnel. Such an accident occurred when a forklift mechanic (someone who should know forklifts!) was fatally injured as he attempted to troubleshoot the machine.

Such an accident won’t happen in any of the newer models of lift trucks as they have a safety feature which prevents them from starting. However, the mechanic in question didn’t have such luck and while attempting to diagnose an issue had accidentally placed the truck into gear.

This may not have lead to serious consequences if the mechanic had practiced otherwise safe procedures. However, this particular mechanic had parked his van so close that when the lift truck moved it pinned him between the truck and the mirror of the van.

Despite attempts from coworkers and ambulance he unfortunately didn’t make it. A little extra time and effort is well worth it when dealing with heavy equipment. If you’re in a situation where you are interacting with heavy equipment - even if not as an operator - take the time to make sure it is safe.

Accident number 4

A young employee was pinned to the ground by a forklift truck when he was attempting to unload a vehicle at work. It turns out that the 19 year old employee (still a teenager at the time) wasn’t trained at all in the operation of a forklift.

Worse, many of the other employees had no training either and the site was unsupervised. Out of all the forklift accidents that we’ve chosen to present this one had the most impact from careless operation.

Unfortunately for the worker, the proceedings against the company were too late as he had already sustained serious and life long injuries. Forklifts are involved in almost 25% of all accident in the workplace - and in many cases these accidents are preventable with proper safety measures and standards.

Accident number 5

An overturned lift truck has killed an operator in a large steel fabrication company. An investigation into the incident revealed that the operator wasn’t wearing a seat-belt at the time - yes, forklifts have seat-belts laws too!

The truck was backing up and hit a step which caused to to overturn. How did the truck overturn in the first place? A small step on the road shouldn’t immediately cause a forklift to flip over. However, it turns out that the company in question wasn’t enforcing neither the seat-belt nor safe driving speed laws.

The resulting judgment was that the company failed to establish safe management practices in the warehouse. Once again, the accident - perhaps inevitable - could have been much less severe if the driving speed was safe and a seat-belt was worn.

If you are looking to make your workplace safer, then focusing on education, training, and records keeping are a top priority. Lacking in these factors is the cause of nearly all forklift accidents and plays a huge role in the $100 million losses annually.

Search out your local forklift training provider and stay up to date on all of your certifications. Even though someone is trained, it doesn't mean that they are good for life. Refresher courses are an essential part of good safety standards. (perhaps plug in a few local providers or maybe some USA providers and they may help promote)

Recording everything is absolutely essential and for that purpose keeping a logbook is the key.

May 22, 2017 Written by Eugene Matoussov 168 comments

Design a Custom Logbook in 7 Easy Steps

This guide is designed to help you with our custom logbooks quoting system. Each step is explained with screenshots of the actual web pages. Though this guide refers to our particular process, it is helpful for anyone looking to design a custom logbook.


1. Hardcover or Wirebound?

In my previous article I covered the differences between wire bound and hardcover books, and in what situation each is appropriate. The short of it is that hardcover books are usually more durable and provide more reliable evidence in court. In some cases there may be legislation that makes the use of hardcover logbooks mandatory. Wirebound books are generally more affordable and can be easier to write in as they lay flat when open, or bend all the way back. If you keep notes for internal purposes only, or there is no legal reason to go for hardcover, wirebound could be a more economical choice. To learn more please refer to our logbook buying guide.


    The first page in our automated quoting system asks you to select the binding type:


    choose a hardcover or wire bound format 

    Once you have selected the binding type that corresponds with your needs, click “next” to proceed.


    2. Book Size and Orientation

    The size of the logbook depends on its intended use. If you need a book to be frequently carried around then you may want to go with a smaller size log book. It is generally advised to fit the inspection procedures and details of at least one full day or shift on one page to keep things organized; which sometimes requires a book as large as 12” x 18”.

    Choose the size and orientation of your book 

    The orientation of your book depends on the page layout. By now you have probably noticed that some options depend on the design of your page - it is best to finish that first. If you haven’t designed it yet, then select your best guess and once the quote is processed we will advise you further. If you need help with your logbook page design, please follow this guide.


    3. Title and Stamping

    When ordering a hardcover book you can choose to have the title on the Cover, on the Spine, or Both. When books are stored on a shelf, only the spine may be visible - in this case you may opt for a title on the spine. Consider the use and storage of your book when choosing the position of the title. Extra stamping will increase the cost of your books; however, when ordering large quantities the additional cost is minimal.

    hardcover book title 

    If you are ordering wirebound books, both plastic and light card cover, then the title can only be printed on the front cover of the book.

    wirebound book title 


    4. Cover Colour

    Your choices for colour differ based on the binding type you select at the very beginning. The colour of a hardcover book comes from the material in which the cover is wrapped, and therefore the choices are limited to the materials available. The title of a hardcover book is foil stamped in one of four colours: white, black, silver, or gold. Should you require a design outside of these parameters please submit the closest matching configuration and indicate your requirements in the comments, one of our representatives will contact you.

    hardcover books colour selection

    Wirebound books with a plastic cover can be printed in most light colours - the range is predefined for you on the automated quoting system (if you require the full colour range, please submit the closest matching configuration and indicate your needs in the comments, and one of our representatives will contact you directly) . However, unlike the hardcover books, the title is printed and not foil stamped - so it can be full colour, text only, or text with a logo. The logo can be sent to samples@logbooks.com.

    plastic cover colour selections 

    Wirebound books with a white card stock cover can have any combination of colour printed on the outside for their cover and title, and therefore have a colour picker available for each - as with the plastic cover, the logo file can be sent to samples@logbooks.com.

    light card colour selection

    You can type the colour name in the text field under the colour picker and it will be automatically selected - like the words “red” and “gold” in the above example. Typing “lightgreen” will select a colour, while “light green” (with a space) won’t.


    5. Inner Pages

    If you haven’t yet a rough idea of the layout of your logbook, follow this link for a quick guide. Based on your needs you may require one page per day for a year, for a number of months, or just a round number of pages such as 100, 200, or 250, purely for convenience.

    You will need to decide on printing on two sides of the sheet, or just one. A page is one side of a sheet of paper, so if you select one sided printing then there will always be a blank page on the other side of the sheet of paper. This could be useful if you need to write with heavy inks or markers, or any other special consideration. However, in most cases it is not needed as we print on 70lb paper that won’t bleed through. Chances are that you will need to select double sided pages (printing on both sides of the sheet).

    number of pages in the logbook

    Now you simply need to enter the number of pages in your book and we will calculate the sheets. For example, if you print on each side of the sheet and need 200 pages, then that comes out to 100 sheets of paper with a page on each of the two sides.


    6. Misc Details

    Do you need your pages numbered or dated? Will each page be the same or will there be different pages? If you require the first 10 pages to be variant A, another 5 to be variant B, and the rest to be variant C (click for an example) then you can explain it in the comments.

    As long as your pages are black and white it won’t matter what you put on the pages themselves. The exact design and layout that you have selected will be confirmed at a later stage; it doesn’t impact the cost. If you require colour pages then please indicate this in the comments and we will provide you with an accurate estimate adjustment.

    logbooks quantity selection

    When you enter book quantities we suggest that you enter 3 different ones to see the price changes as the number of books increases. There is usually a significant price drop between making 1 and 2 books.

    You may wish to add a page with guidelines or instructions at the beginning of the book - please provide any accompanying explanations in the comments section. 


    7. Contact Information and Quote Estimate

    The contact information page requires the standard contact details - those are important for our quoting process. All of the details stay confidential and no financial information is required at this stage.

    contact form

    On your final page you will get an outline of all of the details that you have entered and the prices for your quote. The costs are estimated and when submitted will be confirmed by an estimator in house. While the vast majority of requirements can be accounted for in this automated quote, perforation, colour pages, tabs, envelopes or inside pockets, and custom logos on hardcover books will be incorporated by our estimator once you have submitted your quote request.

    automatic quote estimate

    The final page displays a summary of your quote details on the left side and the prices on the right side. The savings per book on larger quantities are displayed as a percentage in the “You Save (per book)” column. If you’re interested in a different quantity there is no need to redo the whole quote - simply type a new number in the “other quantity” box and click on the “Update Quote” button to see pricing.


    If you need to change any of the quote details simply press on the “Previous” button to go back to any stage and make modifications. Once the quote is complete, please click on “Submit Quote” to send it over to us for verification - we will provide you with a final quote within one business day. In the vast majority of cases the price will be virtually identical - exceptions include extras such as perforation, coloured pages, tabs, envelopes or inside pockets, custom logos on hardcover books, and other special requests.

    October 05, 2016 Written by Eugene Matoussov 283 comments

    How to Design a Logbook Page?


    The page layout of a logbook can involve a fairly complex design process. You may be lucky and already have a template at hand - but if you need to make one from scratch, or redesign an existing layout, then this guide will help.


    Where to start?

    The most important first step is to outline the activities and measurements that need to be recorded. Once you define the scope of the information you need to record you can proceed to the layout. Consider the following questions:

    • Is there an existing logbook that you are replacing (if yes, it can help with establishing the general scope and order of recording the information)?
    • Is there a repeating structure/format to the information?
    • Are all details recorded at the same intervals - is there anything that needs recording more frequently or less frequently?
    • How long will one logbook last?
    • Is there a specific order in which the information is recorded or that the procedures are performed?


    Once you’ve answered these questions and outlined a basis for your requirements, you will need to decide how detailed the information will have to be. This will determine how much space to allocate to your entries. If there is an existing logbook or notebook that is currently in use, it can serve as a blueprint to identify necessary parameters and words that repeat frequently and can be incorporated into your eventual logbook design to save time.


    Categories and sections are the starting point of your page layout

    It’s useful to break up the information into sections by category. If you always record things in a certain order - especially if the logbook will be used by people other than just yourself - designing the layout to effectively facilitate that order of information entry will help make the process more consistent.


    It may be easier to start with a sheet of paper rather than a file, as the paper allows for greater flexibility when initially laying everything out on the page. A digital file is restricted through formatting and can be distracting with the amount of detail and adjustments it allows, while a physical sheet of paper will let you easily outline sections and adjust them without concerns for formatting. Section off the main parts of your page layout allocating appropriate amounts of space for each based on the amount of detail required.


    Use existing records and practices to inform the details of each section

    Once the rough layout of the page is complete you will need to specify the details of each section. The best source for that information is a collection of existing records - however, if this is the first logbook to be made then simply recording everything that will go in the logbook for a few days will work well. When there are 5-6 days worth of data it will be possible to see the range of records to be accommodated by the final logbook. Consider extreme situations when extra detail may be required so that the final logbook can be used in all cases - rather than just the default scenarios.


    One of the biggest time savers lies in converting fully written out notes into “yes/no” or “check” tables. The user simply marks “yes” or “no” instead of writing everything out each time they perform a check or inspection. The same principle works with tables that list ingredients or actions allowing for the user to simply enter a number (such as “water level XX mm” where one would enter just the number of millimetres instead of writing out the entire section)


    When your page layout is complete, or far along enough to give you an idea of book orientation(landscape or portrait) and number of pages; please follow this link to complete our automated custom logbook estimating tool. You don't have to submit a quote request to see prices - this tool is great for estimating costs quickly and easily. If you're not sure what to put in the steps of the logbooks estimating tool then this guide will make it a breeze, and explain exactly what goes in each step.

    If you have question regarding the final logbook page design, please include them with your quote application if you chose to submit one. Otherwise you can contact our team at quote@logbooks.com and one of our designers will help you.


    If you’re still not sure if it's worth it to customize your log book, please use our time saving calculator to estimate how much you will save by customizing your book.

    September 28, 2016 Written by Eugene Matoussov 83 comments

    Custom Logbooks Save Time and Money

    What's the difference between a custom and a standard log book? It turns out that it could be hundreds of dollars per book in savings - when going with custom. Surprising? Yes. How is it possible?

    Consider the following logbook layout:

    Custom logbooks for the pharmaceutics industry with detailed instructions

    How long will it take you to write all of this on the page?


    Assuming that for logging such events you develop shorthand, it still could take upwards of 3-4 minutes. Perhaps your logbook needs are much simpler and it only takes 1 minute to write out all sections that repeat daily. If you write quickly (and sometimes illegibly) it could come down to only 25 seconds per page.


    A standard (Engineers) year long logbook will have 365 entries, which multiplied by 25 seconds comes out to a little over 2.5 hours per book. Keep this in mind as you go over the following table:


    1 book

    2 books

    10 books

    Standard wire bound




    Custom wire bound

    Hours saved: 2.5
    Extra cost: $52
    Time value: $125
    Net savings: $73

    Hours saved: 5
    Extra cost: $49
    Time value: $250
    Net savings: $201

    Hours saved: 25
    Extra cost: $48
    Time value: $1250
    Net savings: $1202

    Standard hardcover




    Custom hardcover

    Hours saved: 2.5
    Extra cost: $117
    Time value: $125
    Net savings: $8

    Hours saved: 5
    Extra cost: $121
    Time value: $250
    Net savings: $129

    Hours saved: 25
    Extra cost: $243
    Time value: $1250
    Net savings: $1007


    Compared directly, a custom logbook seems more expensive than a standard one. However, this conclusion only works before factoring-in the time savings. 2.5+ hours of operations(per book) will cost significantly more than $100 in most situations, which means that ordering customized books is often worth it.


    As the table shows, even ordering one custom log book can be more cost effective than a standard book in the long run. As the quantities increase the choice becomes pretty clear - keep in mind, this table illustrates only 25 seconds of writing redundant input per page.


    What will a custom logbook mean for you?


    Instead of general examples, why not look at your own particular needs and estimate the savings you stand to gain. Below is a calculator that will help you estimate the time and money you can save with custom logbooks. The first step is to identify (roughly) what you could print instead of writing every time. The easiest way to do that is to go through 5-10 of your daily logs and look for similarities. A more indepth guide on this can be found at our article about logbook page design.

    Step 1: Enter number of words you will print instead of writing by hand

    Step 2: Enter number of pages you will have in each book

    Step 3: Enter the approximate value of 1 hour of work to the company (not just the employee’s salary, but the total cost of one hour)


    You can now see the hourly and monetary savings for your order. This is on a per-book basis. Head over to our custom logbooks quote system and get an instant price estimate for your custom order.


    September 27, 2016 Written by Eugene Matoussov 169 comments

    7 Heroic Children Who Saved People From Fire

    What can children do in a fire emergency? This isn't your average light conversation topic. When was the last time you spoke about it to anyone, or even given it any thought? We don’t want children to be in a fire emergency in the first place. The plan is that if it happens, their parents will guide them.  
    June 07, 2016 Written by Eugene Matoussov 0 comments

    Do You Know Enough About Fire Safety?

    Fire safety is one of the most significant safety concerns in our society. Fire has been a great driving force of human development and at the same time brought a lot of risks and dangers. We can’t give up all things that cause fire - especially since some come from nature (lightning), all we can do is educate and spread the knowledge of fire safety.
    May 11, 2016 Written by Eugene Matoussov 0 comments

    Guest Article: Refrigeration Equipment Maintenance

    The good news is that through proper maintenance your system should provide you with 30 years of reliable operation. The first step to being able to provide safe and useful maintenance on an ice rink refrigeration system is to fully understand the system. This essential knowledge is gained through proper education. A professionally facilitated refrigeration operator's training program will pay for itself many times over in lower energy costs, reduced downtime, and increased equipment longevity.
    December 14, 2015 Written by Eugene Matoussov 7 comments

    What Is A Log Book and Do You Need It?

    Join us for a Q&A session with Jim Barratt, the President of Log Books Unlimited. Continue reading if you have any questions about logbooks; from ‘Do I even need a logbook at all?’, to ‘How to ensure that you are using the right one?’. What you find out may surprise you!
    November 26, 2015 Written by Eugene Matoussov 93 comments