Protecting New Workers

Protecting worker safety should be a top priority, and if you’re an experienced manager or business owner, you understand how small investments in worker protection can pay off in big ways. Even something as simple as a handrail installation can let employees know that you care about their well- being, and can yield big increases in worker loyalty, commitment, productivity, and retention, not to mention countless savings on injury claims and expensive lawsuits.

But while you value the safety of your entire workforce, keep in mind that new recruits and inexperienced employees represent your most vulnerable population. These are the workers who are most prone to mistakes, misunderstandings, and avoidable mishaps. So these workers require closer managerial attention and stronger protections. Keep these tips in mind.

Supervision Matters

Even if your newer employees know exactly what they’re doing and they’ve performed a certain operation a thousand times during their careers, don’t let them work alone immediately after they’re hired. There may be dangerous aspects of the job that seasoned employees and managers take for granted, and your newer employees may not be prepared to handle these dangers without the presence of watchful eyes. Threats can include improper use of protective gear, neglecting standard cleaning and sanitization methods, and entering dangerous or injury-prone areas without recognizing threats (like overhead equipment, sudden temperature changes, or unexpected loud noises).

Use the Buddy System

Even if they don’t need direct training or managerial supervision, pair new employees with seasoned workers during every task they face throughout the day. Short-term partnerships can provide new employees with protection and mentoring, and current employees with opportunities to practice their leadership and training skills.

Don’t Just Hand Them a Manual

Of course new hires will require a printed (and online accessible) version of an employee handbook, a copy of all company policies that are relevant to their job description. This manual can and should include safety information that can protect new employees from dangerous equipment and workplace areas. But don’t assume that every piece of information in the handbook or manual will be read and memorized. Take responsibility for delivering this information in other formats, especially if it deals directly with issues related to safety. “Didn’t you read the manual?” isn’t a helpful question after a new employee has accidentally placed himself/herself or others in danger.

Make Use of All Teachable Moments

If a new employee makes a small mistake, don’t just forgive and ignore the error assuming that the employee meant well or didn’t know any better. The first few weeks on the job are critical in terms of early training and initiation, and now is the time to point out errors and correct them before they become dangerous habits.

For more on how to protect new workers (and protect others from their potential mistakes), reach out to the hiring, staffing and training experts at Lift Temp.

How to Dress for a Skilled Trade Interview

Here at Lift Temp, we often hear similar questions from job seekers and candidates for both professional and skilled trade positions. Candidates often turn to our experts for resume support, leads, and – of course – questions about the interview process. Here’s one we hear almost every day:

“I’ve been invited to interview for a skilled trade position (carpentry, metalwork, HVAC, auto repair, etc), and I have no idea what to wear. Should I dress formally? Or ready for work? A three-piece suit seems out of place, but it also feels wrong to wear jeans to a job interview. Help!”

Of course the answer will vary slightly according to the position level, industry, and workplace culture, but here are a few general rules that can keep skilled trade candidates on track.

Stay Tour Ready

Chances are, you won’t be asked to step onto the shop floor and perform dirty or potentially dangerous tasks as part of the interview process, so you don’t need to prepare for a day on the job. But there’s a strong chance you may be taken on a tour of the shop floor, garage, factory, or work area. Be prepared to shake hands with your future co-workers, meet your future manager, and walk through areas in which work-related activity may be taking place.

Neatness Above All

As you choose clothes that seem appropriate for a first impression and safe for a tour of the work area, reject all shirts, trousers, and shoes that are worn or stained. Your clothes should look neat enough to pass for brand new. If your very best attire (including shoes) just can’t make the cut, have it professionally cleaned.

Jeans, Skirt, or Dress Pants

Below the waist, wear neutral colors with modest coverage. No shorts, no skirts that rise above the knee, no sweats, and no distressed jeans. Neat, pressed khaki pants or slacks are a perfectly fine choice for both women and men.

Above the Belt

Above the waist, choose a blouse or pressed button-down shirt with long sleeves. Suit jackets and blazers are perfectly acceptable for the interview setting, but are by no means required. Ties are also perfectly acceptable, but you won’t hurt your chances if you leave the tie at home. Women can’t usually go wrong with cardigans or shrugs that feel professional, neat, and new.

Above all, create an impression that suggests cleanliness, order, good repair, and attention to detail. Take the same pride in your appearance that you intend to take in your work. Before you step out the door, take a final look at yourself in a full-length mirror and make sure you’ve taken care of every loose thread, tiny stain, and missing button. Contact the experts at Lift Temp for additional help and job search tips.

CNC Machine Tooling and Wire Bending

Computer assisted machine tooling, or CNC machining and machine tooling, involves the use of computer programs to automate a procedure or process that bends, cuts or shapes metal in the form of sheets, die, or wires. CNC programming and CNC machining are promising fields of employment for a variety of reasons, though some experts predict that a current spike in demand for these positions won’t last beyond the next decade. While open positions are rapidly increasing in this area, salaries are holding steady and vary widely according to the geographic locations of employers. If employees are willing to relocate to pursue these open positions, their prospects and salaries can improve. Job seekers also face better prospects if they continue to expand their knowledge base and keep their skill sets broad and flexible.

What’s New in CNC Machining?

Metal fabrication technology is currently moving through a state of rapid evolution. CNC wire bending machines, for example, have dramatically decreased in size and increased in versatility and capability during the past decade. At this point, highly sophisticated bending machines can receive input from a USB or desktop computer, allowing the machinist to control the bending process from a desk and requiring minimal interaction with the wire. Complex designs consisting of a set of vector lines can be applied to a wire feed, and a system of rollers can twist and shape the wire into a two-dimensional or three-dimensional set of bends and circular curves.

CNC Machining Job Outlook

Knowledgeable employees who can program and operate wire bending devices and wire feeds using CNC platforms are sought after by a growing population of employers with very specific needs. Salaries for these positions average between 40,000 and 41,000 dollars per year, or 19 to 20 dollars per hour. Many hiring managers for these roles don’t require applicants to hold a college degree, but becoming a certified CNC machinist will require job-specific training. This training can sometimes be gained on the job, depending on the nature of the company and the position.

Contact the staffing team at Lift Temp to learn more about apprenticeship programs, vocational training opportunities, and job openings in the this field.

The Basic Responsibilities of OH&S Legislation

Across all the jurisdictions and provinces of Canada, the language and broader points of Occupational Health and Safety legislation remain similar. The basic responsibilities of employees, employers, and supervisors are fairly consistent across most workplaces, though the finer points of the legislation and methods of enforcement may vary slightly from one region to the next.

Basic Employer Responsibilities

Supervisors and employees will need to read, process, and apply the information relevant to their own aspects of the law, and employees will likewise need to address other areas of responsibility. Here are some of the key points that will require employer attention.

A joint health and safety committee

Employers will need to establish and maintain a committee to address issues relevant to safety and injury prevention in the workplace, or otherwise compel employees to form and maintain a committee or elect a representative to handle this task.

Take precautions to ensure a safe workplace

Since only employers have the ability and authority to change the nature of the workplace, this task will fall under the employer umbrella of responsibility. This will include, among other examples, installing safety railings, preventing harmful substances from intruding into workspaces, and preventing shop floor accidents, machinery malfunctions, and traffic collisions.

Provide complete and adequate safety training

It will be the responsibility of the employer to provide and pay for safety training sessions and make sure all employees have completed the sessions and understand the content. These sessions will train employees to handle workplace safety emergencies and also use, handle and dispose of hazardous materials properly.

Supply protective equipment

Employers will need to provide all employees with personal safety equipment and protective gear that will be well maintained, inspected, and in good repair. This will include items like hard hats, gloves and protection from heat, cold, and hazardous materials.

Reporting

Employers will report all injuries, accidents and relevant safety incidents the proper department of the Occupational Health and Safety office. The reporting process must be timely, accurate and complete.

Setting standards

Employers will set and maintain high safety standards by appointing a supervisor who will control specific workplace metrics relevant to safety.

For more on how the responsibilities of OH&S legislation will be distributed and enforced, reach out to the workplace safety and staffing experts at Lift Temp.

Risk Management: Five Ways to Prevent Workplace Hazards

You may have the strongest and most effective policies in place when it comes to addressing and documenting workplace injuries. When your employees experience any incident, from a fall in an icy parking lot to a malfunctioning pressure valve on a dangerous machine, your HR, safety, and legal teams swoop to the rescue of both the person and the company. But here’s an even better way to deal with workplace incidents: prevent them from happening in the first place. Here are five steps that can derail unfortunate incidents long before they take place.

Perform Regular Audits

Choose simple, easy-to-measure safety metrics that can guide your entire program. Then record these metrics at least once and ideally several times per year. For example: measure the number of falls that occur on your shop floor, the number of hard hat rule violations each quarter, the number of machinery jams per week, or the number of times a cleaning inspection reveals cut corners. Use these metrics to monitor larger problems and address the issues that lie beneath. Too many hard hat violations, for example, can suggest deep flaws or gaps in your safety-gear training program.

Act Quickly and Decisively on Safety Reports

If an employee reports a potentially dangerous chemical leak, a wobbly hand rail, a strange smell, or weak adherence to safety rules on the part of a manager or superior, act on these reports quickly. Don’t allow them to accumulate or go unaddressed. Review your response record, and no matter how swiftly and effectively these complaints are dealt with, find room for improvement.

Update Your Data Platforms

Your reports are filed into your software system after they’re submitted, and you have the ability to call them up and review them at a glance. But can you cross reference different data feeds? Can you review the data in real time? Can you isolate certain metrics from others and determine if there’s a correlation between, for example, cold weather and a rise in PTO days? If you can’t do this with your current system, it may be time for an upgrade.

Refresh Manager Training Programs

Train your managers carefully, and provide refresher training as often as necessary. Not only should managers know how to explain and enforce safety rules (like preflight machinery reviews), they should also set an impeccable example. If they violate a safety rule, cut a corner, or put an employee in harm’s way for any reason, the consequences should be serious and well understood.

Use Digital Monitoring

Keep track of climate conditions, temperature, hazardous fumes, noise levels, vibrations, and other potential dangers with reliable measuring and recording tools. Don’t allow human judgement and human error to determine the definition of a “hazard”.

For more on how to keep your workplace and your employees safe, reach out and arrange a consultation with the experts at Lift Temp.

Partner With a Recruiter to Find Your Next Manufacturing Position

You’re looking for a job in the manufacturing sector, and you’re ready for whatever job search challenges lie ahead. But before you tackle this mountain on your own, consider enlisting the help of a industry-specific recruiter. Professional, established recruiters have dealt with hundreds of job seekers just like you, and if you let them lead the way, they can help you shorten the path to your goals. Here’s how.

Recruiters Work for Their Clients, Not for You

This means that no reputable recruiter will charge you for their help. Since they’re hired to find matching candidates for open positions, their interest is rarely insincere. If you seem like the right match for a given job, they’ll tell you. If not, they won’t sugarcoat a pairing that isn’t likely to pan out. Sometimes it’s easier to trust someone who isn’t asking you for upfront cash.

Recruiters Succeed if you Succeed

Again, since they’re motivated to find great matches and help their manufacturing employers staff open positions and stay on track, recruiters genuinely want you to succeed. Their reputation rides on their ability to present you to their clients and watch you shine. Help them to help you; Always be honest with your recruiter about what you can do, what you’ve done in the past, and what you’re looking for. They will know how to highlight your most important skill sets to the managers who can hire you.

Recruiters Know What Works and What Doesn’t

Experienced recruiters have been immersed in the manufacturing employment arena for years, and as a result of their connections and their deep backgrounds in the field, they have a strong understanding of the traits and credentials that managers tend to look for. They also have a sixth sense about the small details that are commonly viewed as red flags. They know which candidates seem promising on the surface but don’t tend to last very long, and they know which candidates are likely to perform well and thrive on the manufacturing floor.

Recruiters can Help You Edit and Polish Your Resume

Even if a specific open position doesn’t ultimately prove to be a match, the help and guidance you gain from a recruiter can shift your search in a better direction. They can give you pointers on your resume and a few key interview preparation tips that help you forge ahead and land the next position if this one doesn’t work out.

Partnering with a recruiter can help you expand your reach, improve your access to potential employers, and drive your job search forward. For specific career development tips, contact the manufacturing staffing team at Lift Temp .

Health and Safety in the Workplace: Supporting a New Generation

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety recently sponsored the first International Youth Congress as part of the triennial World Congress on Health and Safety. Young people from all over the world were represented by the congress, from countries including Japan, Azerbaijan and the UK as well as Canada, and these promising future contributors to the global manufacturing industry were invited to speak and learn about manufacturing issues that impact their generation.

Through a series of educational programs and interactive exercises, the 42 delegates involved in the program gained an opportunity to learn about the global trends that will shape the manufacturing industry in the near future, and they were provided with opportunities to discuss how their generation will drive the industry forward.

Some of the topics that received the most attention dealt with health and safety issues and the programs and policies that protect workers from illness and injury on the job. And within this category, the delegates discussed how current health and safety standards and policies do and don’t apply to the needs of younger workers.

Diversity in Workplace Health and Safety

One of the prominent concerns for health and safety experts can be considered an issue of diversity. Despite policy changes and workplace adaptations designed to benefit “generation Y”, it’s become evident that this generation isn’t defined by a few broad blanket statements and assumptions. The generation currently entering the manufacturing workplace is the most diverse one on record, with employees representing a countless variety of ethnicities, backgrounds, races, genders, and personal histories. A one-size-fits- all approach to worker protection won’t work in the manufacturing industry of the future. Instead, worker protections must be customized to adapt to specific workplace conditions, skill sets, cultural backgrounds and physical requirements.

Will your workplace be ready for a new wave of talented employees with highly specialized skill sets and diverse health and safety needs? Will you know what to do when these talented young applicants arrive at your door?

Maintain Flexible Workplace Policies

Health and safety polices will need to stay flexible and will need to evolve rapidly as the needs of new employees grow and change. Managers and business owners will need to keep pace with new forms of technology that will streamline incident reporting and new forms of safety technology that will protect workers from exposure to dangerous conditions. The new generation of manufacturing talent will appreciate employers who can stay compliant with changing regulations and adapt quickly to an evolving business climate.

For more on how to attract, retain, and protect the health of a younger workforce, contact the staffing experts at Lift Temp.

Workplace Safety: Four Environmental Conditions to Avoid

Workplace hazards can be filed into several categories, including threats that cause immediate injury as well as those that cause harm from long term physical stress or exposure to toxic chemicals. Many dangerous workplace conditions fall into the category of “environmental hazards”; under these conditions, workers are exposed to air quality issues, temperature extremes, and other circumstances that surround them during the working day and may cause serious illness or injury. Four of the most dangerous workplace environmental concerns are listed below—If any of these potentially impact your employees, take a closer look and find ways to avoid the threat or implement stronger protections.

Noise Pollution

Loud, sustained, or stressful sounds can harm employees in three distinct ways: First, a sudden sharp burst of sound can cause trauma to the tympanic membrane or the sensitive anatomy of the inner ear. A traumatic form of hearing loss may be temporary or permanent, and it may be resolved through quick and appropriate medical intervention. Second, long term hearing loss may be equally damaging, and tends to take place when employees are exposed to ambient noise that exceeds safe decibel levels. Sustained stressful sounds can lead to psychological harm as well. All three dangers can often be prevented with proper noise control and policies enforcing the use of protective gear.

Heat Exposure

Employees who work under very hot or humid conditions, especially those who are required to wear uniforms or protective gear that can exacerbate heat stress, must be monitored and protected from hyperthermia, dehydration, and heat exhaustion. Fans and cooling systems can keep air in circulation and keep indoor temperatures down. Employees who work outdoors should be provided with adequate break periods and access to drinking water. Skin protection and shelter from the sun may also be necessary. Employers must take responsibility for providing these resources and enforcing their use.

Cold Exposure

Cold conditions can expose employees to hypothermia, skin damage, and poor judgement which may lead to injury. Like heat exposure, cold-related hazards can be kept at bay with proper indoor climate controls. But under outdoor conditions, employees must be presented with protective clothing, including hats and gloves. Use of protective gear should be monitored and enforced, and break periods should be mandatory.

Light Conditions

Employees who work under low light conditions or outdoors during nighttime hours must be protected from the hazards and injuries that result from compromised vision. Proper traffic signaling and working signal lights on forklifts and shop floor vehicles are a must. But lights at workstations should also be sufficient to prevent employees from harming themselves or others while operating equipment or completing their assigned tasks.

For specific guidance and more information on protecting your employees from environmental threats in the workplace, contact the Ontario staffing team at Lift Temp.

Reporting a Workplace Illness or Injury

ven when operations managers and business owners take every available precaution to prevent injury in the workplace, unavoidable accidents sometimes occur. And despite the best intentions, sometimes these injuries do actually result from negligent employers and unsafe conditions. Regardless of the cause of the accident, proper and accurate reporting must take place immediately after the incident occurs. According to the Ontario Ministry of Labour, several steps must be taken by the mining plant owner, mine owner, employer constructor, or business owner to notify the proper personnel.

Who Should Be Notified

The Ministry of Labor Health and Safety Contact Center, The Joint Health and Safety Committee, and the union (if one exists) should be contacted immediately if any person is injured or killed in the workplace, whether that person is a worker or not. The employer must also send a written message to the director of the Ministry of Labour, and this message must be delivered within 48 hours. The message should document all available details regarding the incident.

The Joint Health and Safety Committee and the union must be notified within four days. Again, the notification should involve a written message that documents every detail of the incident include the circumstances and the apparent cause of the injury or accident.

Occupational Illness

If a worker has contracted an occupational illness or filed an occupational illness claim with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, the employer will have four days to send written notification to the Ministry of Labour, the Joint Health and Safety Committee, and the union. These rules apply to both current and former workers.

The Ministry of Labour, the Joint Health and Safety Committee, and the union will also need to be informed within two days if an incident or accident occurs that could have caused injury, but no workers or non-workers on the site were hurt. Again, this message should contain all available and prescribed information, and it should be submitted by the owner of the mine or mining plant, the constructor, or the employer.

Self-employed workers must also follow the same rules, submitting written notification containing all available details and circumstances to the Ministry of Labour in the event of a workplace illness or injury. This message must be submitted within the same time frames described above. Employers and self-employed individuals with questions should contact the Ministry of Labour or visit the Ministry website. In the meantime, contact the experts at Lift Temp for additional assistance.

Fired? How to Discuss this Fact during your Interview

You’ve been polishing your elevator pitch and working on your personal brand, and you’re ready for just about anything during your upcoming interview. But there’s one question that you’re dreading above all others: Why did you leave your last position?

If you left your last job involuntarily, most employers will want to know a little more about the circumstances surrounding this event. After all, if you were dismissed due to reckless negligence, ignorance of your responsibilities, or unprofessional behavior, they’ll want to factor this into their final hiring decision. It doesn’t mean you’ll be dropped immediately from the running, but it’s still something your potential employers will want to know about…probably.

On other hand, some employers won’t ask about these details and will give you the benefit of the doubt. And almost all responsible employers understand that involuntarily job loss usually has nothing to do with personal performance or bad behavior. Here are a few tips that can help you navigate this conversation when and if it comes up.

Don’t Bring It Up

Don’t assume you’re being proactive or helping your case if you jump in front of the subject before your employers ask about it. As far as you’re concerned, the entire conversation should focus solely on your strengths, your credentials, and your relevant experience. If your interviewer chooses to ask about this detail, answer politely and provide whatever information is requested of you. But if not, just let it lay.

Keep Red Flags out of Your Resume

As you complete your resume, state your dates of employment clearly and honestly. Attempts to fudge this information are usually much more transparent than most job seekers believe. And if your resume reveals a leaning toward sketchy behavior, this can spark an avalanche of skeptical questions during the interview.

Answer Completely, Directly, and Honestly

If you’re asked exactly why you were dismissed from your last job, don’t dodge the question, but don’t provide more information than necessary. Fine the fine line between downplaying a potentially serious issue and incriminating yourself by saying too much. If you were dismissed due to a layoff or cutback, just say so, and then redirect the conversation back to your strengths. If you were fired due to poor performance or a behavioral issue, simply explain what happened in your own words, and be brief but direct. Don’t over apologize, and don’t make excuses or blame someone else for your misdeeds. Just own your mistake, discuss what you learned from the incident, and move on.

Control the Drama

As you explain, keep reading your employers cues, gestures, and body language to determine when you’ve adequately addressed the subject and it’s time to move on. As soon as she seems ready to let the subject go, stop speaking.

For more on how to handle this potentially volatile issue and keep it from undermining your chances of landing a new job, reach out to the staffing experts at Lift Temp.