Toyota Material Handling USA Inc. (TMHU) on January 5 announced that the Quality Assurance department at Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing Inc. (TIEM) in Columbus, Ind., the manufacturer of the No. 1-selling lift truck in the U.S., has achieved 200,000 consecutive hours worked without a recordable accident according to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The 200,000 hours represents 1,000 work days.
“At Toyota, safety is the top priority,” said Kazue Sasaki, president of TIEM and chairman of Toyota Material Handling North America. “This remarkable safety achievement was accomplished through the hard work of all Quality Assurance associates and their leadership.”
Safety and Quality Top Priority at TIEM
Toyota’s high standard of manufacturing excellence, which emphasizes safety and quality is reinforced daily with all associates and management teams. As part of the program, TIEM works to incorporate safety awareness and risk reduction into all plant activities associated with the manufacture of Toyota lift trucks and replacement parts for industrial lift trucks and tow tractors, along with the assembly of motor vehicle parts and accessories.
Forklift manufacturing is unique from other industrial equipment due to the weight of components. An average size forklift weighs three times more than an automobile. As such, TIEM put into place a number of safety programs to address ergonomic and hazardous challenges. For example, TIEM created a safety “dojo,” or training area, on the shop floor. Associates learn safety awareness and practices with a hands-on approach in these areas. There are more than a dozen “dojo” workstations that address a wide range of risk assessments from fire evacuation to hoist and crane safety to tool inspection and ergonomics and more.
Throughout the year, TIEM management and associates are required to attend annual “dojo” training, risk assessment training, and monthly training sessions. These programs have attributed to TIEM being honored for its safety systems and performance record.