CRA President's Message: Stay safe this summer

We’re getting busy, but hopefully not too busy to be careful.
Mike Maltby
May 15, 2018
By Mike Maltby
As we head into summer and activity at our rental operations shifts into high gear the staff and volunteer leaders of the Canadian Rental Association begin to regroup and plan for the upcoming year. With trade show season behind us for another year, we can all begin to look ahead.
Our local chapters are planning for upcoming summer socials and golf tournaments, the national office has already begun work for next year’s regional trade shows and the hospitality event to be held at The Rental Show in Anaheim, Calif.

With equipment rental revenue expected to grow four to five per cent each year until at least 2021, we expect that you are also in the midst of your busiest season yet. We know that when things get busy, sometimes safety and maintenance procedures get sidestepped or ignored. The busier our operations get the more important it is to review our company procedures with our staff and remind them that the consequences of cutting corners can significantly outweigh the shortsighted benefit of false productivity. As a wise man once said, if you think safety is expensive, try an accident.

Did you know we work in what is arguably the most dangerous sector of employment in Canada? According to 2016 figures from the Association of Worker’s Compensation Boards of Canada, there were more lost-time injuries among occupations involved in transport, equipment operation, equipment installation and equipment maintenance than any other. Construction itself records the third most lost-time claims after manufacturing and health care, but those are straight numbers that don’t account for the relative number of people in the professions. My guess is our per capita rate of injury is the highest. Creating an equipment maintenance log, determining what to include in a policy or writing a procedure from scratch can seem like a daunting, time-consuming task when you’re busy running your business. But we owe it to our workers to do what we can to make sure they get home safe each evening.

This would be a good time to take a look at the resources available in the safety section at crarental.org, as well as the forms and resources pages on ararental.org. Between these two sites, there are over 70 forms and templates available to help you streamline all aspects of your operation. Topics covered include inventory control, employee management and recruitment, accounting, facilities, tenting, theft and many others. You will find checklists, inspection sheets and policy samples. These forms are easy to download and most can be customized with your company’s information. Use these templates to get started and to gain an understanding of how other rental businesses have approached similar issues. As CRA members, we are very fortunate to be able to take advantage of these resources for nothing more than the cost of membership. Having a safety consultant prepare these policies for your business from scratch would cost thousands.  

Hopefully, with some reinforcement of your company policies with managers and staff, mistakes and accidents can be kept to a minimum and we can all have a safe and successful peak rental season.


Mike Maltby is vice-president of Ingersoll Rent-All in Ingersoll, Ont. Mike has been a fixture at CRA Ontario events since beginning his time with the association in 2006, and looks forward to connecting with CRA members nationally in the coming years.

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