A classroom full of people spent their afternoon learning about and practicing using one large and loud piece of equipment, the forklift.
“We do have traditionally 15-20 people injured every year operating a forklift,” said Joseph Bergan, Occupational Safety Engineer at Safety Works!
The “train the trainer” class is part of the Aroostook County Safety Symposium going on this week at Northern Maine Community College. The goal is to get county businesses and municipalities up to speed on new and current safety regulations.
“The bottom line is, it saves lives, it saves money,” said NMCC safety instructor Carl Allen.
Brian McGuire of the Houlton Water Company was one of the class members getting re-certified in fork lift training on Monday. The company spends a lot of time unloading water pipes, sewer pipes and transformers, so he says making sure they’re doing it safely is crucial.
“A lot of us have wives and kids and its very important that everybody goes home at the end of the day,” said McGuire.
The symposium is put on by the Aroostook County Safety Directors Association. It offers sessions of interest under four tracks; general industry, construction, forestry, and municipal. It includes everything from an introduction to the new ADA standards, to chainsaw safety, to information on the new global harmonized system.
“All these topics that people need and can’t usually keep up with on their own companies, gives us an opportunity to get that word out over three days,” said Allen.
“I think there’s an element of complacency that comes around in most every field and then there’s still..sometimes there’s a lack of knowledge,” said Bergan.
This is the fourth year of the symposium in the county – and it ends Thursday. To sign up, visit www.acsda1.com.