Tips for Forklift Driving Safety | Ask the Experts

Tips for Forklift Driving Safety | Ask the Experts

Forklift driving takes a lot more than just lifting and moving materials – Forklift operators should have an understanding of safety & balance, to keep materials, themselves, and others safe. One of the biggest risks forklift drivers face is tipping-over. According to OSHA, approximately 25% of forklift fatalities were from tip-over incidents.

Yes, it might seem basic, but it’s important to recognize the forklift’s center of gravity and stability triangle. In this blog, we’ll discuss tips to keep you balanced and everything else you need to know to stay safe in, out, and around the forklift.

In this blog we’ll cover:

  • Some of the biggest safety risks associated with balance and the most common type of forklift
  • Forklift center of gravity & the stability triangle
  • Other factors that contribute to forklift accidents and tip-overs
  • How to conduct visual & operational forklift inspections
  • Safety tips to remain balanced & safe while driving a forklift

There are four main potential safety risks considering balance and forklift driving. These are:

  1. How likely the forklift is to tip-over forward;
  2. How likely the forklift is to tip-over on its side;
  3. Maximum braking-level (or stopping distance) the forklift can perform;
  4. The maximum level of reversed-acceleration the forklift can perform.

In Canada, counter-balanced forklifts are one of the most often-seen types of forklift.

FORKLIFT DRIVING | CENTRE OF GRAVITY & STABILITY TRIANGLE

CENTRE OF GRAVITY & STABILITY TRIANGLE

forklift driving stability triangle diagram

As we mentioned earlier, a counterbalance forklift has three ways it can tip—forward, or sideways, on the left or right.

While driving a forklift, it’s important to maintain its center of gravity. The center of gravity lives within the stability triangle.

The Centre of gravity is defined as the point within the triangle where the bulk of the mass is located. Although we don’t recommend trying it out, the center of gravity is also the point where the forklift could balance. Again—Take don’t try this one out, we recommend taking our word for it.

Calculating the forklifts’ center of gravity is complex (and unnecessary for daily use), but there are a few important things to understand in order to remain balanced as you operate the forklift.

When the forklift is stationary, it won’t tip as the force is on the center, but tilts forward when force is applied to the front tines (also called forks) or its back. It’s also worth noting that a forklift is more likely to tip sideways, than forwards. Therefore, adding a load to the front forks decreases the chance the forklift will tip on its side.

Alternatively, lifting the forks on the truck with a load will cause the forklift’s stability to decrease on all sides.

FORKLIFT DRIVING | WHAT ELSE CONTRIBUTES TO ACCIDENTS? 

The type of load and how it is placed on the forklift contributes significantly to forklift accidents. First and foremost, you should always avoid awkwardly stacking or piling your load in a way that causes instability. Unmaintained pallets, too heavy of a load, or too tall of a load can also cause a hazard by having the load break apart mid-travel, or by obstructing the driver’s view.

Making sure your forklift is in top shape is also key to avoiding accidents. Another common contributor to forklift accidents is faulty or malfunctioning mechanics. This includes faulty steering, brakes, clutch, transmission or mast assembly, inadequate or malfunctioning safety devices, improper forklift emissions, or poorly organized controls and displays on the forklift.

FORKLIFT DRIVING | SAFETY TIPS

To help maintain the center of gravity, there are three main things to keep in mind with driving a forklift:

  1. Don’t distribute the load unevenly on the forks, this will increase the frequency of sideways tip-overs
  2. Don’t load the forklift beyond its WLL, this will make the forklift prone to tipping
  3. Be sure to move the load all the way to the back of the forks

If you’re driving a forklift, you should never:

  • Drive a forklift without any capacity ratings listed
  • Travel in a forklift with a load raised more than 4 inches
  • Leave the forklift alone while running, or with a load
  • Let unauthorized personnel operate a forklift
  • Attempt to adjust the load from the operating cab
  • Raise a load extending over the load backrest, unless no part of the load can slide back toward the operator
  • Use pallets with forks as a make-shift elevated work platform (it’s more common than you think!)
  • Let personnel stand/walk under any elevated part of the forklift

It’s important to communicate potential hazards for everyone working in a space where forklifts are found, and use proper signals to keep yourself and others safe. Here are some tips to help keep others safe while driving a forklift:

  • Restrict access to areas where forklifts are used (and create procedures to keep workers safe when they must enter spaces where forklifts operate)
  • OR, create designated walkways or traveling paths to separate pedestrians from forklifts
  • Pedestrians should always let the forklift driver know when they’re in the area—Eye contact is a simple way to make your presence know
  • Keep the area, particular the traveling path free from obstacles and ensure it’s well-lit
  • Be careful when driving around sharp/blind corners, doorways, and narrow aisles. Honk your forklift horn at intersections.
  •  Wear hi-vis clothing & PPE
  • Load the forks so your line of vision is clear
  • Avoid driving the forklift near people-heavy areas
  • Don’t walk under or near forks

FORKLIFT DRIVING | INSPECTION

A forklift operator should inspect their forklift daily, at the beginning of each shift and before each use.

The operator should do a visual circle-check of the forklift (a walk-around) and an operational pre-use check. What do these involve?

During a visual inspection before use, the operator should: 

  • General condition/cleanliness (this includes the forklift and surrounding floor & overhead work areas)
  • Ensure a charged fire extinguisher is nearby
  • Make sure engine oil, fuel, and radiator fluid levels are correct
  • Establish that the propane tank’s fuel-tank mounting system, fuel-tank position pin, propane relief valves, and hose are in good condition
  • Make sure the battery is fully charged, there are no exposed wires, plug connections are in good condition, vent caps are clear, electrolyte levels in cells are acceptable and are in-place with hold-downs or brackets
  • See that bolts, nuts, guards, chains, or hydraulic hose reels are not damaged, disconnected or missing
  • Check for wear, damage, and air-pressure (pneumatic tires) in wheels & tires
  • Ensure forks/tines are not bent or chipped and are level & properly positioned—Also check that positioning latches and carriage teeth aren’t broken or worn
  • Make sure chain anchor pins aren’t worn, loose or bent
  • Make sure there are no fluid leaks, damp spots, or drips
  • Ensure hoses are secured and not loose, crimped, or worn
  • Check for grease & debris in the operator compartment
  • Make sure the seatbelt fastens & works properly
  • Guards: Ensure guards, overhead guards, and roll-over protection structure (ROPS) are secure & undamaged

During a pre-operational inspection, the forklift operator should check: 

  • FOOT & PARKING BRAKEEnsure pedal holds & unit stops smoothly, and brake holds against slight acceleration
  • DEADMAN SEAT BRAKE: Make sure it holds when the operator rises from the seat
  • CLUTCH & GEARSHIFT: Make sure they shift smoothly and don’t jump or snag
  • DASH CONTROL PANELCheck that all lights & gauges are operational
  • HORN: Make sure the horn sounds loudly enough to be heard overwork
  • BACK-UP: Make sure the reverse alarm and other warning devices work properly
  • LIGHTS: Ensure headlights and warning lights function properly
  • STEERING: Make sure the steering-wheel works smoothly
  • LIFT MECHANISMMake sure they operate smoothly—You can check by lifting forks to their maximum height, then lowering them completely
  • TILT MECHANISM: Make sure the tilt mechanism works properly & holds the load—You can check by tilting the mast forward and backward completely.
  • CYLINDERS & HOSESCheck these last and make sure they’re not leaking after doing these checks.

BE SURE TO LISTEN FOR UNUSUAL SOUNDS/NOISES! 

There are many work-related issues that contribute to forklift driving, safety & general operation.

Ensure you conduct the three types of inspections we cover in this blog, be mindful of the forklift’s stability triangle & forks, keep travel slow, steady & free from obstacles to ensure your safety and others around you—And never let someone drive the forklift without proper training, or who hasn’t been designated.


Forklift Driving training course outline

Through our Hercules Training Academy, we offer an extensive suite of high-quality safety training and certification courses, including Forklift Safety (Narrow or Counterbalance) Brand new classrooms and specialized training equipment enable us to provide an even higher quality of service than ever before when it comes to safety training.

Whether you’re looking for initial or refresher training, we provide practical, hands-on courses designed to exceed the minimum safety requirements.

Our courses can be customized to fit your workplace’s specific needs. We are always willing to design a course (or multiple courses) specifically for you!

If you’re interested in building a customized training program, please get in touch. One of our training representatives would be happy to help you get started. training@herculesslr.com.

NEED A QUOTE? HAVE A QUESTION? CALL US—WE KNOW THE (WIRE) ROPES & EVERYTHING RIGGING-RELATED.

Langley, BC: Warehouse Manager

Warehouse Manager

Langley, BC

Full-time, Permanent

The Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of four distinct companies—Hercules SLR, Spartan Industrial Marine, Stellar Industrial Sales, and Wire Rope Industries Atlantic—with Hercules Machining & Millwright Services as a division of Hercules SLR. While Hercules has grown into a multitude of industrial sectors, we specialize in equipment, products and services for securing, lifting and rigging applications.

The Role and Team

We are headquartered in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and have almost 30 branches across Canada. As an employer, we focus on continually enhancing the skills and capabilities of our employees and pride ourselves for building and improving upon our cultures of safety and dedicated customer service.

We are looking for a skilled Warehouse Manager to join our branch in our Langley, BC. Reporting to the branch manager, this role is to assist with various functions in the warehouse to ensure customers’ needs are met.

Key Responsibilities

  • Oversees all shipping and receiving activities preparing packaging and scheduling outgoing shipments, unloading and sorting incoming shipments and inter-branch transfers
  • Allocates incoming product to designated areas
  • Ensures all required paperwork for all orders is complete
  • Conducts Quality Assurance (QA) checks on outgoing orders
  • Motivates employees and maintain a positive environment
  • Works with employees to support the branch goals

Qualifications:

  • High school degree or equivalent
  • Previous warehouse experience is required
  • Previous management experience is an asset
  • Training and experience as a Forklift Operator
  • Computer skills and ability to use systems for inventory control, shipping and receiving

We offer a comprehensive compensation and benefits package that includes:

  • Health & Wellness Incentive
  • Full health and dental benefits (shared costs)
  • RRSP matching program (after one year)
  • Personal & Professional Development Opportunities
  • Fun & engaging working environment
  • Free parking

To apply, please send your resume and cover letter to hr@herculesslr.com. Please indicate which position you are applying to.

Please note: Successful candidates will be required to pass a criminal background check as a condition of employment.

We thank all applicants for their interest, only candidates chosen for an interview will be contacted.

Langley, BC: Warehouse Associate

Warehouse Associate

Langley, BC

Full-time, Permanent

The Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of four distinct companies—Hercules SLR, Spartan Industrial Marine, Stellar Industrial Sales, and Wire Rope Industries Atlantic—with Hercules Machining & Millwright Services as a division of Hercules SLR. While Hercules has grown into a multitude of industrial sectors, we specialize in equipment, products and services for securing, lifting and rigging applications.

The Role and Team

We are headquartered in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and have almost 30 branches across Canada. As an employer, we focus on continually enhancing the skills and capabilities of our employees and pride ourselves for building and improving upon our cultures of safety and dedicated customer service.

We are looking for a strong self starter to join us as a Warehouse Associate in our Langley BC branch. Reporting to the manager, this role is to assist with various functions in the warehouse including the production area to ensure customers’ needs are met.

Key Responsibilities

  • Prepare, package and schedule out-going shipments with transport companies
  • Ship customer orders and branch transfers ensuring all required paperwork is complete and accurate
  • Obtain rate and spot quotes for shipments
  • Track shipments as required
  • Receive, unload, sort orders and inter-company transfers accurately and in a timely manner
  • Maintains accurate bin locations for all goods in the warehouse

Qualifications

  • High school degree or equivalent
  • Minimum 1 year of experience in a warehouse environment
  • Computer experience and attention to detail
  • Previous training in forklift operation
  • Legally entitled to work in Canada

We offer a comprehensive compensation and benefits package that includes:

  • Health & Wellness Incentive
  • Full health and dental benefits (shared costs)
  • RRSP matching program (after one year)
  • Personal & Professional Development Opportunities
  • Fun & engaging working environment
  • Free parking

To apply, please send your resume and cover letter to hr@herculesslr.com. Please indicate which position you are applying to.

Please note: Successful candidates will be required to pass a criminal background check as a condition of employment.

We thank all applicants for their interest, only candidates chosen for an interview will be contacted.

 

Langley, BC: Customer Service Representative

Customer Service Representative

Langley, BC

Full-time, Permanent

The Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of four distinct companies—Hercules SLR, Spartan Industrial Marine, Stellar Industrial Sales, and Wire Rope Industries Atlantic—with Hercules Machining & Millwright Services as a division of Hercules SLR. While Hercules has grown into a multitude of industrial sectors, we specialize in equipment, products and services for securing, lifting and rigging applications.

The Role and Team

We are headquartered in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and have almost 30 branches across Canada. As an employer, we focus on continually enhancing the skills and capabilities of our employees and pride ourselves for building and improving upon our cultures of safety and dedicated customer service.

We are looking for a full-time Customer Service/Inside Sales Representative to join our team in our Langley BC. Our ideal candidate will represent Hercules with a strong positive attitude and a solutions-based approach to their work; all in an effort to ensure optimal client satisfaction.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Responsible for the day-to-day interactions and sales functions between clients, Territory Managers and the product supply functions within Hercules
  • Client service via telephone, in-person and electronic communications
  • Support Territory Managers with a focus on fulfilling quotations, orders and correspondence
  • Development of industry and product knowledge to enhance client service

Qualifications:

  • High school diploma or equivalent required
  • Minimum 1 of year experience in industrial sales or related customer service field (counter sales experience preferred)
  • Experience in industrial settings preferred.
  • Customer Service training preferred
  • Ability to build client relationships through a solutions-based approach
  • Strong organizational and time management skills
  • Must be legally entitled to work in Canada

We offer a comprehensive compensation and benefits package that includes:

  • Health & Wellness Incentive
  • Full health and dental benefits (shared costs)
  • RRSP matching program (after one year)
  • Personal & Professional Development Opportunities
  • Fun & engaging working environment
  • Free parking

To apply, please send your resume and cover letter to hr@herculesslr.com. Please indicate which position you are applying to.

Please note: Successful candidates will be required to pass a criminal background check as a condition of employment.

We thank all applicants for their interest, only candidates chosen for an interview will be contacted.

VSL, QC: Warehouse Production Manager

Warehouse Production Manager

VSL, QC

Full-time, Permanent

The Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of four distinct companies—Hercules SLR, Spartan Industrial Marine, Stellar Industrial Sales, and Wire Rope Industries Atlantic—with Hercules Machining & Millwright Services as a division of Hercules SLR. While Hercules has grown into a multitude of industrial sectors, we specialize in equipment, products and services for securing, lifting and rigging applications.

The Role and Team

We are headquartered in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and have almost 30 branches across Canada. As an employer, we focus on continually enhancing the skills and capabilities of our employees and pride ourselves for building and improving upon our cultures of safety and dedicated customer service.

We are looking for a skilled Warehouse Production Manager to join our branch in our VSL, QC. Reporting to the branch manager, this role is to assist with various functions in the warehouse including the production area to ensure customers’ needs are met.

Key Responsibilities

  • Oversees all shipping and receiving activities preparing packaging and scheduling outgoing shipments, unloading and sorting incoming shipments and inter-branch transfers
  • Oversee Rigging, Sewing and Production
  • Allocates incoming product to designated areas
  • Ensures all required paperwork for all orders is complete
  • Conducts Quality Assurance (QA) checks on outgoing orders
  • Motivates employees and maintain a positive environment
  • Works with employees to support the branch goals

Qualifications:

  • High school degree or equivalent
  • Previous warehouse experience is required
  • Previous management experience is an asset
  • Training and experience as a Forklift Operator
  • Computer skills and ability to use systems for inventory control, shipping and receiving

We offer a comprehensive compensation and benefits package that includes:

  • Health & Wellness Incentive
  • Full health and dental benefits (shared costs)
  • RRSP matching program (after one year)
  • Personal & Professional Development Opportunities
  • Fun & engaging working environment
  • Free parking

To apply, please send your resume and cover letter to hr@herculesslr.com. Please indicate which position you are applying to.

Please note: Successful candidates will be required to pass a criminal background check as a condition of employment.

We thank all applicants for their interest, only candidates chosen for an interview will be contacted.

VSL, QC: Service Supervisor

Service Supervisor

VSL, QC

Full-time, Permanent

The Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of four distinct companies—Hercules SLR, Spartan Industrial Marine, Stellar Industrial Sales, and Wire Rope Industries Atlantic—with Hercules Machining & Millwright Services as a division of Hercules SLR. While Hercules has grown into a multitude of industrial sectors, we specialize in equipment, products and services for securing, lifting and rigging applications.

The Role and Team

We are headquartered in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and have almost 30 branches across Canada. As an employer, we focus on continually enhancing the skills and capabilities of our employees and pride ourselves for building and improving upon our cultures of safety and dedicated customer service.

We are looking for a leader to join us in the role Service Supervisor, to join our branch in our VSL, QC. Reporting to the branch manager, this role is to assist with managing Technician and Inspectors as well as client contracts.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Schedules production activities and leads projects to successful completion
  • Coordinates and reviews financial statements, expenses, and other performance data to measure productivity, cost reduction, profitability, and goal achievement
  • Tracks and reports the status of open work orders, repairs, product in for quoting and jobs to ensure all deadline and requirements are met as expected
  • Keeps the vehicle fleet running properly and ensure regular maintenance
  • Ensures adequate staffing and scheduling is in place to meet customer and company expectations
  • Ensures the safety and quality policies of the company are communicated, understood and adhered to including all ISO 9001 requirements
  • Holds employees accountable for the quality and quantity of work they produce

Qualifications:

  • A university/college diploma, preferably in business administration or a related discipline, or a combination of a high school diploma and relevant work experience
  • Previous management experience
  • Previous experience in the SLRsector, or in a related sector, preferred
  • Ability to lead, delegate and motivate a team
  • General mechanical skills
  • Strong decision-making and problem-solving skills
  • Bilingual – French and English preferred
  • Must be legally entitled to work in Canada

We offer a comprehensive compensation and benefits package that includes:

  • Health & Wellness Incentive
  • Full health and dental benefits (shared costs)
  • RRSP matching program (after one year)
  • Personal & Professional Development Opportunities
  • Fun & engaging working environment
  • Free parking

To apply, please send your resume and cover letter to hr@herculesslr.com. Please indicate which position you are applying to.

Please note: Successful candidates will be required to pass a criminal background check as a condition of employment.

Please note: Successful candidates must provide a driver’s abstract with driving records from the Department of Motor Vehicles showing less than 6 demerit points loss in the last 3 years and no criminal infraction on traffic laws and no responsible accidents other than the ones on file

We thank all applicants for their interest, only candidates chosen for an interview will be contacted.

HRM, NS: National Sales Manager

National Sales Manager

HRM, NS

Full-time, Permanent

The Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of four distinct companies—Hercules SLR, Spartan Industrial Marine, Stellar Industrial Sales, and Wire Rope Industries Atlantic—with Hercules Machining & Millwright Services as a division of Hercules SLR. While Hercules has grown into a multitude of industrial sectors, we specialize in equipment, products and services for securing, lifting and rigging applications.

The Role and Team

We are headquartered in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and have almost 30 branches across Canada. As an employer, we focus on continually enhancing the skills and capabilities of our employees and pride ourselves for building and improving upon our cultures of safety and dedicated customer service.

We are looking for someone to lead our sales division on a national level by identifying and implementing sales processes of the future. Reporting directly to the president, you will not have any direct reports, your focus will be to drive sales at a national level.

Key Accountabilities

  • Define, implement and manage documented sales processes (SOP development)
  • Define and create a national sales training program
  • Provide detailed and researched sales forecasting and targets
  • Monitor market, customer and competitor trends
  • Draft and present detailed sales reports
  • Meet personally with large account holders

You Enjoy

  • Rapidly evolving work environment, unlimited growth
  • Using new technology and social media
  • Working under pressure in a fast-paced work environment
  • Being challenged professionally and exceeding expectations
  • Leading and influencing others

Requirements

  • A university/college degree preferably in Business Management or a related discipline, or a combination of a high school diploma and relevant work experience
  • 7-10 years experience in a senior sales role
  • Results oriented with an emphasis on both individual and team accountability
  • Strong computer skills with an aptitude to learning new technology
  • Able to provide references who will attest to your proven track record

This position generally works Monday to Friday but the ability to travel and work on occasional evenings & weekends is essential.

We offer a comprehensive compensation and benefits package that includes:

  • Health & Wellness Incentive
  • Full health and dental benefits (shared costs)
  • RRSP matching program (after one year)
  • Personal & Professional Development Opportunities
  • Fun & engaging working environment
  • Free parking

To apply, please send your resume and cover letter to hr@herculesslr.com. Please indicate which position you are applying to.

Please note: Successful candidates will be required to pass a criminal background check; drivers abstract and reference checks as a condition of employment.

 

VSL, QC: Branch Manager

Branch Manager/ Directeur de succursale

VSL, QC

Full-time, Permanent

The Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of four distinct companies—Hercules SLR, Spartan Industrial Marine, Stellar Industrial Sales, and Wire Rope Industries Atlantic—with Hercules Machining & Millwright Services as a division of Hercules SLR. While Hercules has grown into a multitude of industrial sectors, we specialize in equipment, products and services for securing, lifting and rigging applications.

The Role and Team

We are headquartered in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and have almost 30 branches across Canada. As an employer, we focus on continually enhancing the skills and capabilities of our employees and pride ourselves for building and improving upon our cultures of safety and dedicated customer service.

We are looking for a strong leader to join us in the role of Branch Manager, overseeing our branch in VSL, QC. Reporting to the Area Manager, the Branch Manager is responsible for managing all critical functions within the branch to ensure efficiency, safety and profitability. The Branch Manager takes responsibility for growth and development of their team as well as champions continuous improvement initiatives that help Hercules transform customer satisfaction into customer loyalty.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Manages and coordinates branch activities with direct reports, sales and administration staff
  • Develops the operating budget and sales forecasts for the branch
  • Directs and coordinates branch financial and planning activities to fund operations, maximize investment and increase profitability
  • Reviews branch performance data (financial statements, sales activity reports) to monitor productivity and achievement of results; and make cost and program adjustments
  • Establishes and implements branch policies, goals and objectives that are in line with the company strategy and communicate changes to all employees
  • Prepares job quotes, bids, contact current and potential customers to drive sales
  • Establishes a working environment that fosters employee engagement and productivity
  • Implements company Performance Management program for employees
  • Mentors employees in career and professional development
  • Ensures a quality product is produced based on company and customer standards/expectations and specified requirements
  • Makes timely, informed decisions based on facts, goals, constraints, and risks while consulting key stakeholders before implementing decisions

Qualifications:

  • A university/college degree preferably in Business Management or a related discipline, or a combination of a high school diploma and relevant work experience
  • Management experience in operations is required
  • Exposure to sales, accounting, management, and marketing
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to communicate effectively with customers, vendors, supervisors, peers, and subordinates
  • Proficient with computers using email and Microsoft Office
  • General mechanical proficiency
  • Strong decision making and problem-solving abilities
  • Bilingual-French and English preferred
  • Must be legally entitled to work in Canada

We offer a comprehensive compensation and benefits package that includes:

  • Health & Wellness Incentive
  • Full health and dental benefits (shared costs)
  • RRSP matching program (after one year)
  • Personal & Professional Development Opportunities
  • Fun & engaging working environment
  • Free parking

To apply, please send your resume and cover letter to hr@herculesslr.com. Please indicate which position you are applying to.

Please note: Successful candidates will be required to pass a criminal background check as a condition of employment.

Please note: Successful candidates must provide a driver’s abstract with driving records from the Department of Motor Vehicles showing less than 6 demerit points loss in the last 3 years and no criminal infraction on traffic laws and no responsible accidents other than the ones on file

We thank all applicants for their interest, only candidates chosen for an interview will be contacted.

Women In Fishing | Cindy Clements

Women In Fishing | Cindy Clements

Cindy Clements is the ultimate PEI fisher-mom, mother to the last woman in the Spartan Marine spotlight, Vanessa Clements. She’s been fishing alongside her husband since she was 17 years old, and the two of them have taken on lobster, herring, and mackerel fishing as a team. Cindy loves a good hard day’s work, and counts every blessing in being able to watch the sunrise every morning.

With 34 years under her belt and the strength that comes with fishing lobster right up until 8 months pregnant, Cindy is a fantastic representation of the amazing women working in the fishing industry. Spartan Marine was lucky enough to speak with Cindy and ask her some questions about her experience in the fishing industry – this is what she shared with us…

How long have you been in the fishing industry?

I have been fishing for 34 years now.

How did you get started in the fishing industry?

I grew up on a farm and whenever I started to date my now-husband when I was 17 years old I fished with him and his father. We fished cod nets, mackerel, herring, and lobsters. Now I mainly just fish lobster.

What’s your favourite part about working in the fishing industry?

My favourite part is honestly everything. I love putting in a hard days work even on the rough days, they do not bother me at all! I watch the sunrise every morning. I have enjoyed perfecting my skills on the boat and being my own boss!

Have you experienced any roadblocks in the industry because you’re a woman? If so, how did you overcome those struggles?

Well especially in my early years it was hard for me to prove myself with fishing and other men not thinking women should be in the industry. Some people would think I’m joking when I would tell them I fish lobsters. It was also very hard for me to be away from my children when they were so young and finding someone I could trust to watch them. I never was able to watch my kids go to their first day of school. There are always sacrifices but it is all worth it.

Can you share your greatest achievement or fondest memory since working in the fishing industry?

I will never forget the very first time I went drifting mackerel. We went to sleep in the boat out at sea and the next morning our engine wouldn’t start. We had to leave our nets and wait for someone to come tow us into the harbour. After getting fixed up we headed back out and it was storming badly. Our nets were loaded and lightning was striking right next to us. We finally made it in safely after being out for 2 days. Safe to say we did not go the next night.

My greatest accomplishment would have to be sticking with it for so many years. My husband and I would fish lobster, herring, and mackerel just the 2 of us when most boats have at least 3 people. I also fished until I was 8 months pregnant with my daughter Vanessa who now also fishes lobster!

What would you tell a young woman wanting to get into the fishing industry? Do you have any advice?

You definitely have to be committed if you want to get into fishing. It is no fun and games but if you have a passion for it you will learn to love it all. Also, you better not get seasick!


A big thank you goes out to Cindy for taking some time to share her story with Spartan Marine. It was a pleasure getting to learn about and share a bit of your story as a woman in the fishing industry!

info@spartanmarine.ca | www.spartanmarine.ca

Nova Scotia Workplace Health and Safety Protocols

The Lions Library | Nova Scotia Workplace Health and Safety Protocols

For this month’s Lions Library, let’s talk about workplace health and safety protocols in Nova Scotia! The goal of Lions Library is to provide people with short-form, easy to understand, explanations of workplace health and safety topics as well as act as a database for where to learn more. In today’s blog, we’ll be sharing information on Nova Scotia’s provincial workplace health and safety programs and where to find the best information to keep yourself and your employee’s safe working within the province of NS.

Since The Hercules Group of Companies head office is in Nova Scotia, we thought this would be a good place to start, but don’t worry – we will be posting a new Lions Library each month this year focusing on all of the Canadian provinces! Tune in to our blog, or social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Linkedin) so you’ll be sure to catch when we publish your province’s! 

What are workplace health and safety guidelines?

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety (CCOHS) states, “A health and safety program is a definite plan of action designed to prevent accidents and occupational diseases.”

In most Canadian jurisdictions, some sort of a health and safety program is required under the occupational health and safety legislation. Because every organization is different, a specific health and safety program must be developed for each organization and cannot necessarily be expected to meet the needs of another.

Workplace Health and Safety in Nova Scotia 

Nova Scotia workplace health and safety is regulated by the Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations. The Department of Labour and Advanced Education are also a key part of Nova Scotia’s workplace health and safety efforts. Their staff promote, coordinate, administer, and enforce occupational health and safety across the province.

For Employees

As a worker in Nova Scotia, you have three basic rights related to health and safety.

  • The right to know and to be trained in safe work practices in all aspects of your job.
  • The right to participate in health and safety matters either directly or through a worksite health and safety committee or representative.
  • The right to refuse work if you have reasonable cause to believe that the work process, equipment or environment poses an undue risk of injury to you or another person

Here are some resources that will help you educate yourself around NS OH&S:

Free E-Learn Courses

Novia Scotian residents can take advantage of 3 free E-Learning courses from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) per year. The courses are sponsored by the Department of Labour and Advanced Education, Safety Branch, Occupational Health and Safety Division making them an amazing FREE safety resource. You can register for these courses by visiting: CCOHS Nova Scotia OHS e-training site.

For Employers 

Every workplace and employer must provide access to the following things in order to be compliment under the OH&S Act :

  • Posted Nova Scotia OH&S Act
  • Posted Nova Scotia OH&S contact information sheet
  • A posted Emergency Communication procedure
  • Copy of the WHMIS/GHS regulations
  • A Trained first aid provider
  • A first aid kit appropriate to the size and type of business you have
  • A posted copy of your workplace violence prevention statement

In addition to the above list, you may have further requirements based on the number of employees you have.

In order to successfully manage the workplace health and safety guidelines in your workplace, as an employer, you are obligated to the following:

  • Ensure the health and safety of the people at or near your workplace
  • Provide and maintain equipment, machines, and materials that are properly equipped with safety devices
  • Provide information, instruction, training, supervision, and facilities to keep your workers safe
  • Ensure that all workers are told about any health or safety hazards at your workplace
  • Ensure that all workers know when and how to properly use all devices, equipment, and clothing required for their protection
  • Conduct your business so that workers are not exposed to health or safety hazards
  • Work with your health and safety representative, if you have 5 or more workers
  • Cooperate with anyone performing a duty or exercising a power under occupational health and safety legislation
  • Comply with the Occupational Health and safety legislation that applies to your workplace, and make sure that your workers also comply
  • Establish an occupational health and safety policy, if you have 5 or more workers

As an employer, it is also your responsibility that all employees know and understand their three most basic rights working in NS: The right to refuse unsafe work, the right to know of any hazards in the workplace, and the right to participate in identifying and resolving safety issues.

In Nova Scotia, failure to comply with the OH&S Act can be charged as an offence. Business owners found liable could be subjected to a fine up to $250,000, two years in prison or both.

The Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Act

 If you are an employer, it is your responsibility to know your obligations under the NS OH&S Act that affect your workplace. It is recommended that all employers and employees familiarize themselves with the OH&S Act in order to know your responsibilities and rights within the workplace.

You can contact the OHS Division at 1-800-952-2687 if you have questions about which regulations apply to your workplace, but the following regulations apply to most workplaces in Nova Scotia and are a great place to start when educating yourself:

  • First Aid Regulations
  • Occupational Safety General Regulations
  • Violence in the Workplace Regulations
  • WHMIS Regulations
  • Administrative Penalties Regulations
  • Workplace Health and Safety Regulations including Part 21: Fall Protection and Part 23: Scaffolding

You can find the act here, or you may request a paper copy of the OH&S Act from the OHS Division by contacting them at:

Tel: 902-424-5400 or toll-free within Nova Scotia at 1-800-952-2687
Email: ohsdivision@gov.ns.ca
For federally-regulated workplaces contact Labour Canada at: 1-800-641-4049.

The best way to do something safely is to do it correctly, and that comes with proper training and education! Hercules SLR recognizes that and through the Hercules Training Academy, offers an extensive suite of high-quality safety training and certification courses.

Brand new classrooms and specialized training equipment enable us to provide an even higher quality of service than ever before when it comes to safety training. Whether you’re looking for initial or refresher training, we provide practical, hands-on courses designed to exceed the minimum safety requirements.

Our courses can be customized to fit your workplace’s specific needs. We are always willing to design a course (or multiple courses) specifically for you!

If you’re interested in building a customized training program, please get in touch. One of our training representatives would be happy to help you get started.

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