Category Archives:Store

Commercial & Industrial Trash Compactors

Many severe injuries are caused each year by improper use of trash compactors. Injuries such as amputations, lacerations, and even fatalities have been the direct result of trash compactor misuse. It is important that management institute specific safety controls and instruct

employees as to appropriate safe practices to follow when using trash compactors.

Management controls

  1. Written safe operating rules should be reviewed with all employees who will use the compactor. Documentation of this training should be maintained in the employees’ personnel files.
  2. Appropriate safety signs for proper use of the compactor should be posted.
  3. Bilingual signs may be necessary in some geographical areas.
  4. The “Emergency Stop Buttons” should be well labeled and located in a prominent, easy to reach location. If the compactor is equipped with a loading door, the door should be interlocked with the main power switch so that the compactor will not operate when the door is in the “open” position.
  5. De-energizing and/or lockout procedures should be established and followed during maintenance and repair operations.
  6. If a loading platform is necessary, it should be substantially constructed of noncombustible materials and have a nonslip surface.
  7. The general public and untrained employees should be kept from the trash compactor room at all times.

Safe practices

  1. The compactor area of room should be kept locked at all times.
  2. The compactor operating key should never be left in the machine when unattended. Only responsible, trained employees should be given keys.
  3. The entire area (especially the floors) surrounding the compactor should be kept clear of debris and other materials at all times.
  4. Employees should never place hands and arms, or climb into the compactor.
  5. Long-handled hooks and rods should be used to clear jams. When performing such operations, the compactor should be de-energized.
  6. All point of operation guards should be kept in place at all times. If maintenance/repair operations require their removal, guards should be replaced prior to the restart of the compactor.
  7. Electrical control box doors should be kept closed and secured at all times.
  8. Never hose down the compactor when the power is on. Turn the power switch to the OFF position and remove the key prior to washing the compactor or the immediate floor area.
  9. Before compacting garbage, the interior of the bin should always be checked.
  10. Stand well back when dumping refuse into the compactor and when compacting trash. Safety glasses equipped with side shields should be worn during these operations.
  11. Before compacting, the operator should note the location of the emergency STOP button(s).Fluorescent lighting tubes or glass should not be compacted unless they are enclosed in cardboard cartons.



Jef Spencer

HFA Operations

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Forklift Startup and Shut Down. Starting and ending the day safely.

Just a quick checklist for anyone who utilizes a forklift or lift. Startups and end of the day shut downs play a key roll in injury prevention.


  • Check for obvious physical damage and fluid leaks on the floor.
  • Make sure the overhead guard, load backrest extension, seat belt and all other safety devices are attached properly.
  • Inspect tires. Make sure the forks are properly attached and locking clips are in the proper position.
  • Check the capacity plate.
  • Check the parking brake and service brake and all controls and gauges.
  • Make sure hood latches are adjusted and fastened.
  • Check fluid levels.
  • Listen for unusual noises.
  • A maintenance department tag means: Do not operate the forklift. Do not try to repair the forklift yourself. Leave the tag on the forklift and see your supervisor.


  • Return your forklift to the proper area.
  • Put the directional lever in neutral.
  • Set the parking brake.
  • Completely lower the forks.
  • Put the mast in full vertical position.
  • Turn off the forklift.
  • Take the key and return it to its proper place.


Your forklift is your responsibility until it is returned to its place at the end of your shift.



Jef Spencer

HFA Operations

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Ensure Your Signs are ADA Compliant

You’ve seen them in just about every business environment and they are most likely your directional facilities signs to help the customer find restrooms, services, and exits. But are you ADA compliant? If they aren’t, you could be subject to sizeable fines. But just how big of a fine? As of March 2014, the potential fine for a first-time ADA violation increased to a maximum of $75,000!

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that has been in place since 1990. This law protects disabled individuals from discrimination within all spaces accessible to the public. As of March 2011, compliance is now required and enforceable by federal law.

The ADA guidelines have specific parameters for signage products.

Listed below is a brief summary of some of the principal areas that the ADA regulates.

Character Properties + Braille Dots

  • Raised characters must be uppercase, sans serif and free of oblique, script or italic characters.
  • Raised characters shall be raised a minimum of 1/32 inch from their background.
  • Raised characters heights shall be between 5/8 inch and 2 inches.

They must be accompanied by Grade 2 Braille dots and positioned directly below the corresponding text. Braille must be separated a minimum of 3/8 inch from raised text and other raised objects. Braille dots are to be domed or rounded, not flat or squared.

Overhead and projection mounted signs do not require raised characters or Braille dots, but the characters should be designed to meet their required viewing distance.

  • Overhead signs should have a minimum of 2-inch character height.
  • Upper and lower case characters are permissible on overhead and projected mounted signs.

Finish + Contrast

  • Characters and their background must have a non-glare finish.
  • Characters must contrast with their background with either light characters on a dark background or dark characters on a light background.

Pictograms + Placement

  • Pictograms must be placed in a 6-inch high “field” area, which should be free of raised characters or Braille dots.
  • When text and braille dots are used with a pictogram, they should be placed directly below the pictogram field.
  • Like the characters on a sign, pictograms should have a non-glare finish and contrast with their background with either light characters on a dark background or dark characters on a light background.

Mounting Heights + Positioning

  • Signs with raised characters should be mounted on the latch side of the door.
  • The distance between the finished floor and the baseline of the raised characters must be between 60 inches (from the highest tactile character) and 48 inches (from the lowest tactile character).
  • The sign should be located so that a clear floor space (18 x 18-inch minimum, centered on the tactile characters) is provided beyond the arc of the door. See diagram below.
  • Overhead signs must have a minimum clearance of 80 inches from the bottom of the sign to the finished floor.
  • If a projection mounted sign extends more than 4 inches from the wall, it must also have an 80-inch clearance from the bottom of the sign to the finished floor.



Jef Spencer

HFA Operations

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5 Steps to Build an Effective LOTO Plan

Since OSHA introduced Standard 1910.147, great strides have been made to increase safety and reduce incidents of injury in workplaces everywhere.  Having a Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) plan plays a vital role in protecting workers and employees from life-threatening accidents on a regular basis. This is not just to industrial locations, many furniture warehouses have areas that could benefit from a LOTO plan.

Here are five steps to building an effective LOTO plan for your company:


   1. Identify All Equipment

The first step to a putting together a LOTO plan is to decide which of your machines and devices need to locked out or tagged out. In order to do that, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does it require a power source?
  • Are there pinch points in the machinery or is it possible to get a limb caught in it?
  • When completing maintenance, does someone have to physically enter the machine?
  • Does the machine have any exposed gears, chains or mechanisms that move when the machine is activated?

    2. Create Procedures

    Most OSHA citations occur as the result of a lack of proper lockout procedures, program documentation or periodic inspections. Make sure you create – and implement – specific procedures that disable machines and isolate them from their energy sources. Effective lockout programs save lives. In fact, according to OSHA, lockout/tagout programs prevent an estimated 250,000 incidents, 50,000 injuries and 120 deaths each year. In addition to helping companies avoid expensive OSHA fines, LOTO plans help organizations reduce their insurance costs and minimize employee and equipment downtime.

    3. Equip Employees With Devices

    Provide all your employees with the lockout/tagout devices they need to work safely. When locking out pieces of equipment around your facilities, employees should follow these steps:

  • Notify other employees about your intent to lock out the equipment.
  • Review the written lockout procedure.
  • Perform the normal machine stop.
  • Shut off and lock out all energy isolation controls.
  • Dissipate any stored or residual energy.
  • Verify the zero-energy state before servicing the machine.

    4. Train Employees

    Employees should receive proper training on lockout/tagout policies and procedures. When OSHA evaluates your company’s lockout/tagout compliance, there are three categories of employees that require various levels of training:

  • AUTHORIZED: Employees who perform the lockout on machinery and equipment for maintenance
  • AFFECTED: Employees who do not perform lockout, but use the machinery being serviced
  • OTHER: Employees who do not use the machinery, but who work in the vicinity of a piece of equipment receiving maintenance

    5. Audit Annually

    OSHA requires employers to conduct audits of their lockout/tagout program at least one time every year. That said, the inspection must be performed by an authorized employee not involved in the energy control procedure being audited. During an inspection:

  • The employer must identify any deficiencies or deviations and correct them.
  • The inspector must review each authorized employee’s responsibilities where lockout is used.
  • The inspector must review responsibilities for both authorized and affected employees where tagout is used.
  • The employer must certify that periodic inspections have been performed.
  • The lockout/tagout certification should identify the machine on which the procedure is utilized, the date of the inspection, the employees included in the inspection and the individuals who performed it.


Source: Emedco, Workplace Safety Blog


For more information, call (800) 422-3778, Option 2.


Jef Spencer

HFA Operations

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Do You Recycle Fluorescent Lighting and E-Waste?

Are you considering or recently completed a retrofitting to LEDs and left with some old lamps? Are they piled up in your dumpster or behind your building? Let’s hope not.

Let’s face it, the world of lighting is like any other technology these days, constantly changing and upgrading.

Staying educated and sensitive to the environmental impact of energy consumption and use of lighting has been more important than ever before. When you purchase lighting, you may not just be thinking about replacing the lamp that is in the socket, but also thinking about how the new product will impact energy, as well as the environment. But what impact is your old discarded lighting fixtures having on the environment? Is it even legal to throw those bulbs and tubes into the dumpster?

Each customer has a responsibility to recycle other products beyond the lamps that contain mercury.

In most areas of the country, you are able to recycle ballasts, batteries and even the traditional incandescent lighting so that those components can be used for other productive purposes. In many areas, recycling of these items is required so check with your local waste management to find out how to dispose of the following from your store.

  • Lamps
  • Batteries
  • CFL
  • Ballasts
  • e-scrap
  • Thermostats
  • Tritium exit signs

A large part of the proper disposal of lighting and E-Waste is not just about reducing your energy consumption, but it was also about responsibly disposing of the older product. If you are properly recycling, talk about it. Tell it to your customers, brag about being a responsible retailer. That’s a huge statement to make to your customer –– Showing your companies community value through environmental responsibility.

Looking for options to recycle, try contacting your local waste management provider to inquire if they offer any of these solutions:We can provide this service through the following methods:

We can provide this service through the following methods:

Recycle Pak:

Ready-to-use packaging for recycling storage and shipment is perfect for small quantities of fluorescent lamps, batteries, ballasts, and thermostats containing mercury.

This allows those customers who aren’t undergoing a large program to be able to efficiently recycle in a turnkey fashion. Each “box” comes with a liner to seal the product being recycled and a shipping label to ship the package to the recycling company when they have filled it up.  Once the product has been recycled, a certificate will be sent to the customer for them to keep on file as proof that their product was recycled.

Bulk Recycling:

Bulk recycling is handled through a regional or national recycling partner. Most clients pair this service with routine maintenance or larger re-lamp, retrofit, or renovation projects. This is geared more toward those larger projects where a customer has more than they can fit in the Recycle Pak program. The cost of the recycling (if any) is based on linear foot for linear fluorescent lamps or weight when it comes to the HIDs, CFLs or ballasts. If you have several hundred lamps that you would like to recycle, the bulk recycling program is the way to go. In many larger incorporated areas there are recyclers that will provide this service for free as they resell the waste to larger recyclers.

Lighting Supplier Truck Pick-Up:

Some lighting suppliers like Regency (NAHFA Products Program Lighting Supplier) will deliver appropriate recycling containers and pick up recycling for local properties within a set radius of a Regency warehouse location. Ultimately, recycling lamps, ballasts, batteries, tritium exit signs, and traditional lighting allows our customer base to be a solid and responsible community partner, protecting precious environmental resources.

What is the most common lighting recycling program option?

The method of recycling you’ll choose really depends on the needs of your business. The simplest and most common program is a Recycle Pak program. It’s easy to use, cost-effective, and available for the smaller businesses that have standard everyday needs. Need something larger? Contact your local waste management service for advice.


Jef Spencer

HFA Operations

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