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Safety is a Partnership

 Let’s take a minute and think safety. Everyone out there has a responsibility when it comes to the safety of a company. Employees have their role and management has its role. These roles can overlap sometimes but in the long run safety is everyone’s concern.

 

Safety conciseness in the work place is a fairly new phenomenon. That doesn’t mean that previously safety was not a concern or something didn’t people take seriously, but it hasn’t been until recent years that safety has jumped from the back ground to the forefront of concerns for both employers and industry as a whole. With profit margins extremely tight and no room for unexplained or unexpected expenses, companies have to take every step necessary to ensure they can flourish in this highly competitive industry. Every dollar counts and downed equipment or injured employees are expense that can cripple a company running close to the edge, and are an expense even the best run companies don’t need.

 

Management and owners are taking safety seriously these days. Gone are the days when safety guards could be found lying on the ground around the equipment, adjusted so they were “no longer in the way”, or just plain missing all together. Today it is becoming more taboo to not where your safety equipment such as safety glasses, a safety harness for heights, safety boots and ear plugs just to name a few.

 

So, what has that meant for costs in a shop? Of course there have been some increases to cost, but in the long run the increase to the safety features doesn’t compare to the savings in injuries or time wasted in the shop. The number of serious injuries and time lost due to injury has been on the decline, which is good news for both employers and the employees. For example years ago it was not uncommon for a technician to visit the hospital more than once or twice to have debris removed. More recently the number of people attending physicians care for the same reason, while not completely eliminated, has dropped drastically in a large part due to the fact that technicians are not only encouraged to wear safety glasses, in some cases can be written up or relieved of duty for not wearing them.

 

The emphasis on safety has changed from the bulk of the problem being on the shoulders of the employee, to being on the shoulders of management. Employees have more resources and more recourse when safety issues arise. An employee can refuse to work in unsafe conditions and ask for investigations without the fear of losing their job.

 

Employers have a responsibility to provide a safe work environment for all employees and to establish health and safety committees with representation from the employees to ensure all reasonable measures are taken to address the safety concerns from all points of view. Giving everyone a voice to communicate their concerns goes a long way to create a spirit of cooperation and togetherness, as opposed to the confrontational atmosphere between worker and management of the past.

 

What other measures have employers taken to ensure the safety in the workplace? Training is a big one. As expensive as training can be, it can pay off with big dividends in the long run. When employees know what is expected of them and what to look out for injuries and damages can be avoidable. An employee who has been trained and licensed to run a forklift, for instance, is much less likely to damage freight for even tip it over due to overloading, lack of attention, or simply not knowing the difference.

 

Employers are also cleaning up the shops to help control costs of injuries and wasted time. A shop that is clean, neat and tidy is a much safer shop than one where cords and tools are laying all around causing trip hazards. Housekeeping is generally one of the most overlooked but easiest ways to save both time and money. When everything has a home and is put back in that home when the technician is finished with it, fewer tools are lost or broken, less time is spent running around looking for tools and there are less trip hazards lying around the shop floor.

 

It is not always about working harder but working smarter. When tool benches and peg boards are laid out is such a way that the technician needs to walk twice as far to get what they need to do the job it cost time and therefore money. Keeping tools organized by doing things such as drawing the outline of the tool where its home is on the peg board not only lets you find it faster but lets you know when a tool is missing as wells. Cords and hoses should be kept coiled in retractable housing so they aren’t lying all over the floor. Once again this reduces the trip hazards and extends the life time of the cord or hose by reducing the chance of kinks, splicing or fraying from incorrect or misuse. If things are neat and tidy and easy to put a way it’s much more likely the use will put away than if tools are just tossed on shelf with no sense of belonging.

 

Keeping floors clear of obstacle is only part of the problem. Keeping floors swept is also a concern. After all how are you supposed to see the painted lines for designated hazard zones if you don’t clean the floor?

I have titled this blog “Safety is a Partnership”. I hope I have demonstrated this opinion throughout the contents, but just in case I haven’t let me state it clearly now. Every employer has the responsibility to provide a safe work environment for its employees by providing the tools and knowledge required for their particular environment. Every employee has the responsibility to use those tools and the knowledge required to make the work environment a safe one.

 

What is the best way to make this happen? Employees need to be empowered to make the right decisions and take the right course of action for each job. Employees need to feel the company (management) is listening and responding to their concerns. Every single person who works for a company needs to feel they have a voice and that voice is heard.  After all who better to help manage the hazards and safety of the employees than the employees themselves? Aren’t they the ones working in the very places and doing the very jobs we’re talking about?

 

That doesn’t alleviate the responsibility of the employee, however. The best practices and safety measures in the world don’t do anyone any good if they are not followed. Safety glasses won’t help if they are sitting on the bench beside you when debris flies into your eye. Each person has the responsibility to know the safety rules and regulations and to follow them.

 

Safety really is a partnership between management and employee.

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Don Moody

Benlea is sad to annouce the passing of one of our own. Don Moody, has been a driver with us for the last few years and passed away suddenly on January 13th while wintering in Florida. Don was a valued member of the Benlea team and will be missed greatly. He was a hard working driver and always had a smile and kind work for everyone.

 

The management and staff wish to extend our deepest condolences to Don's wife and family during this very hard time. He will be missed.

 

There will be a memorial of life at Corbett Funeral Home on Dundas St. in Cambridge, Ontario. Details will be available at corbettfuneralhome.ca when arrangements have been finalized. Please contact the furneral home or visit their web page for further details.

 

 

 

MOODY, Don – Passed away suddenly on Friday, January 13th, 2017 at the age of 61, while at his home away from home in Florida. Loving husband to Debbie. Cherished father to April (Roy) and Sarah (Ben). Proud Papa of Madi, Kayla, Alex and Bella. Don will also sadly be missed by his siblings Linda (Alan), Larry, Ted (Stephanie), Bill, Patti, Kevin (Robbin), David (Sharon), Gord (Jane), Allan, and Ron (Pat); his brother-in-law Wally; his best friends, Art and Nancy, and Howie and Karen; and many nieces, nephews, extended family and friends. Predeceased by his parents Wilbur and Flo Moody, and his sister Sue. Details regarding a memorial gathering celebrating Don’s life may be found at corbettfuneralhome.ca at a later date. Donations made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation would be appreciated by the family.

 

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Tips for Winter Driving

          

The temperature is dropping and with it comes the messy weather. Rain, snow and ice all bring their own hazards. Here are a few things you can do to help ensure your trailer is ready and running when you are.

 

 

 

 

 

Check Tires

 

Checking your tires regularly means you can notice those small issues before they become big costly issues. Small leaks can become big problems as the temperatures drop. Big problems become costly when they occur on the road. To help avoid costly on the road service calls to replace tires, check them regularly prior to moving for the day and checking again at the end of shift can keep you running in the morning.  Noticing small leaks, worn treads and cracks, cuts or bulges early saves money in the end.

Good quality tires with the proper tire pressure helps with traction on slick roads. Keeping your fuel tanks topped up too can add extra weight for better traction in winter driving.

 

Door Seals

 

Making sure your door seals are intact each day can save a big surprise, especially if the trailer is used for storage. Bad seals can cause leaks and damage freight resulting in expensive freight claims, angry customers, and lost revenue. Not to mention the damage it can cause to the inside floor and walls of the trailer. Keep an eye on seals and have them looked at before they become problems.

 

Water and Ice

 

We all know when temperatures drop water turns to ice. When tires are frozen in the ice and mud they are not rolling on the road, which cost you money. Try checking where you drop trailers to make sure wheels and dolly legs are out of the mud and potential low spots where water and snow can pool. Good idea but of course not always possible. Keeping some salt with you and a shovel to dig out of the tough spots can save a service bill. If you know what trailer you are moving next take a look at it when possible. Pull it out and loosen it up or put down some salt to melt the ice before you need to move it.

 

Roof Conditions / Snow Loads

 

Check your roof before moving the trailer. Snow loads can cause driving hazards on the road, not to mention the citation. That mound of snow blowing behind you causes visibility hazards. That huge hunk of ice that blows off can cause major damage to other vehicles, or even kill. There is no easy answer about who is responsible for cleaning the snow/ice off the roof of the trailer. The only thing I can say is the driver is responsible for the condition of the unit(s) he/she is in care and control of and that includes dangerous snow loads. However, if the load’s too high, or is hanging off the side, common sense may indicate you should find a way to clean it before moving it.

Heavy snow and ice loads can also add weight to an already heavy trailer, putting you over your legal limits. And think about what that extra weight is doing to the roof of the trailer. What happens when all that ice and snow melts leaving behind pools of water that will eventually find their way inside your trailer damaging freight? The solution can be as simply as going through a truck wash to clean off some of the load, or as expensive as having a service call to clean the top off. While there may be no simple or cheap solution the potential hazards can be huge.

 

These are just some simple things (or not so simple as is the case with ice) that can help you with winter driving. Other things to remember are leave extra time to get where you’re going. Leave extra space between you and other vehicles around you. Keep extra supplies and tools in your truck for all kinds of emergencies. Doing a post trip can give you a heads up to potential costly and time consuming problems before you start your next shift. Don’t forget the gloves and winter boots. When weather conditions turn worse, the best thing to do is park; no load is worth a life.

 

Remember you can call our maintenance department and we will do an inspection of your trailer to ensure you are ready for the snow when it starts to fall.

 

Good luck this winter and drive safe.

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It's a Boy!

The Benlea Leasing family is growing! Ryan McConnell, one of our shop technicians, has welcomed a brand new baby boy. The baby was born on November 20th at 10:56pm weighing 9lbs 5ozs. This is the first baby for the proud parents, Ryan and Cara. Congratulations to the new family from all the staff and management at Benlea Leasing Group of Companies.

 

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Congratulations Michelle

The staff and management of Benlea Leasing would like to congratulate our very own Michelle Roy on her wedding Saturday June 11, 2016. Michelle has been in the Benlea family only a short time; however she has become an invaluable addition.

We wish you success

and most of all happiness

in your new life

as husband and wife.

 

Congratulations Michelle.

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Adam Cwilewicz
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June 15, 2016
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