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You Might Have A Bad Warehouse If... Forklift Driver Klaus Works For You!

By Kate Vitasek | 04/12/2010 | 4:04 PM

Sometimes it is not the warehouse that is the problem, but the people in the warehouse that do not use their top noggin when making decisions. Since the beginning of the blog, we have showcased several incidences where the people working in the warehouse have made bad decisions.

You may recall the forklift driver in Moscow who couldn’t help but test the product. Then there was the other forklift driver, who should have been an Olympic athlete. Either way they made poor choices while at work.

In the spirit of there never being too much of a good thing, visually speaking, here‘s another video on making bad decisions. This time it is courtesy of German film makers who created a parody of 1980’s work safety videos. The video, title “Forklift Driver Klaus – The First Day on the Job” (in German, GabelStaplerfahrer Klaus – Der erste Arbeitstag), is about a forklift driver named Klaus. The video walks the viewer through all the potential pitfalls a forklift driver has to watch for while operating in the warehouse.

Please be advised the film is rather graphic and may not be for those with a weak stomach!

Making bad decisions do not happen just in German warehouses. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OHSA, records show that about 100 employees are killed and 95,000 are injured every year in forklift accidents in the United States.  According to Martin Murray, OSHA issues more citations for bad forklift practices within the warehouse than for any other area. For best practices, we will defer to the OSHA guidelines for forklift training, as outlined by Mr. Murray:

  • Train, evaluate and certify all operators to ensure that they can operate forklifts safely, follow safe procedures for picking up, putting down and stacking loads
  • Drive safely and never exceeding 5 mph and slow down in congested areas,
  • Maintain sufficiently safe clearances for aisles and at loading docks or passages where forklifts are used
  • Train employees on the hazards associated with the combustion byproducts of forklift operation, such as carbon monoxide.

Just in case you are wondering how they use forklifts in exotic locales around the world, maybe this picture will give you a clue. The picture was sent to us by Paul Delp, President of Lansdale Warehouse Company.

Forklift Pick up

I really love your feedback - and love your contributions to share those bad warehouse stories to help educate the profession on what NOT to do, and maybe what to do if you’re not doing it.

If you've got an example of a bad warehouse practice, send me your story and photo(s) to [email protected]. If I feature your example in one of my blogs, WERC will send you a free copy of the WERC Warehousing & Fulfillment Process Benchmark & Best Practices Guide (a $160 value).

Your submission can be anonymous if you like so you don't get your boss or company in trouble! I'll be collecting examples all year and the winner will receive a free warehouse assessment by Supply Chain Visions, a $10,000 value. The runner up will win a free conference registration to the WERC conference (a $1,375 value).

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About Kate Vitasek

Kate Vitasek

Kate Vitasek is a nationally recognized innovator in the practice of supply chain management. Vitasek is founder of Supply Chain Visions—a boutique consulting firm specializing in supply chain management. She is also a faculty member at the University of Tennessee's Center for Executive Education. A prolific writer, Vitasek has authored the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals' best-selling mini-book series, Supply Chain Process Standards, and has contributed to other management books as well. Along with Karl Manrodt of Georgia Southern University, she co-leads WERC's popular annual benchmarking study.

About Steve Murray

Steve Murray

Steve Murray is a Principal Consultant and Chief of Research for Supply Chain Visions, a boutique consulting firm specializing in supply chain management. Prior to joining Supply Chain Visions he held a variety of functional and management roles in the distribution and manufacturing sectors, including 15 year managing an IT consulting firm. Steve has been instrumental in development of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professional's "Supply Chain Management Process Standards", the Warehousing Education and Research Council's Warehousing & Fulfillment Process Benchmarking & Best Practice Guide" and the WERC "Warehouse Certification Program". He is lead auditor for the WERC's Certification Program.


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