From a training and safety perspective, one of the biggest challenges the industry sees right now is increasing awareness about why safety training is so important. Many companies don't understand their responsibilities, under ANSI standards, which includes training requirements for aerials — and, not just that they're required by law and enforced by OSHA, but there are very good reasons for the training to keep their operators safe. When companies don't invest the time or money to train their people, they chose to take a chance and hope nothing happens. Ensuring that operators, and personnel, are properly trained is one of the first steps in helping to prevent accidents.
To counteract this trend, Genie has made it a company mission to not only raise awareness for training, but we are also committed to helping train the industry. We understand the power of training and the need for it. For example, for OSHA’s Stand Down Day, I created a document called “10 Safety Tips for Operating Aerial Platforms,” and it was a great piece that defined what people need to be trained on. It became a poster, and OSHA shared it on their website, which is something they typically do not do. We send the “10 Safety Tips” posters out to jobsites now, and we’ve heard that operators are coming back to managers and asking to be trained.
Another thing we’re doing is making safety and training information available and easily accessible. For example, if an operator goes to our website and clicks on the safety or training section, there's a lot of information on there about our Train the Trainer courses and our Genie Lift Pro Online Training Courses.
Also, we have seen the industry as a whole become more active in raising awareness. The trade media have been covering safety and training topics regularly in their editorial content, and those messages are getting to all levels of readers – from operators to upper management.
All of this activity has one goal: To make sure people operating equipment are properly trained. And, it's paying off. Through our training sessions, we’ve met many others who also want to be trained…which leads to new training sessions. It’s an exciting time right now. It's not very often that you can tell people that what you do for a living actually helps save lives, and it's definitely the most rewarding position that I've ever had.