ALI’s Associate Member Newsletter

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As of this newsletter, there are 902 inspectors involved in ALI’s Lift Certification Program. There are 491 certified.

A note from your Director!

Buck Gasner, Operations Manager DEKRA Automotive North America Mobile: 678-710-1646 Office: 678-269-6081 buck.gasner@dekra.com

As we move into the summer of 2018, it is safe to say that we are all getting much busier. Although this newsletter will cover only a few topics, I believe what we’ve addressed will help each of us become better resources for our customers and advocates for lift safety. I have gotten some great feedback on past editions and I hope you find just as much value in this edition too!

New Landing Page: ALI has developed a landing page for us, the Associate Class, to use on our websites to inform our customers and the industry of the necessity of a qualified lift inspection! Please add the link below to your websites, Facebook pages, LinkedIn accounts, and other social media platforms:
ALI Lift Inspectors Have You Covered

Purchasing Inspection Labels: As you all are probably aware, ALI is really good about dropping what they are doing and handling our last minute inspection label orders when we realize there are not enough labels in our trucks for next week’s job! Although we appreciate this, let’s try to keep in mind that there are delivery times that are outside of ALI’s control. Examples include recent storms that disrupted UPS shipments and most deliveries to Canada. When you place your order, try to allow for at least a week of delivery (unless you’re willing to pay for expedited shipping). For our inspectors in Canada, it is wise to be prepared for a longer delay since everything goes through customs!

Counterfeit Lift Inspection Labels

This notification comes not long after last year’s announcement (during the annual meeting) that an unrelated company’s contract had been terminated by ALI for violation of the program guidelines.
As inspectors and company owners involved in the ALI program, it is extremely encouraging to learn of the strong position that ALI took in presenting this particular Public Safety Notice. If you haven’t taken the time to read ALI’s official notice, please do so as we should be knowledgeable resources.

REMINDER – Updated Pricing!

With the rising cost of materials and shipping, ALI recently undertook a project to review and adjust pricing in the online store. The project also reviewed other areas where sales occur. ALI management strongly believes unit pricing for Associate Members should not change. With this in mind, a modest increase has been made to the flat rate shipping fees and a few, select items now require larger minimum quantities.

ALI’s LiftLab Availability

Do your inspectors need to complete their 12 Practical Field Inspections? Thanks to our manufacturing Members, ALI’s LiftLab is operational! Below are the dates available:

  • July 12-13
  • September 6-7
  • November 15-16
  • December 6-7

For more information, email Janelle Storey

I Spy ALI!

Have you taken advantage of the vehicle decals that are available to all ALI certified lift inspectors? Has your company custom wrapped or added the ALI certified inspector logo to your trucks or vans? Finally, do your technicians wear the ALI inspector patch on customer visits?
Please send pictures of your vehicles or inspectors, with ALI’s certified inspector mark, to Janelle Storey. We have had requests to again show photos through the “I Spy ALI” campaign supporting our Associate Members on our Facebook and Twitter accounts. Names of companies and city of operation will be included with each photo.

 

Tips From An Industry Expert

F. G. “Rick” Heath
Heath & Associates
Automotive Lift Industry Expert
www.Heathandassociates.com

Have you been asked to inspect a lift that has been involved in an accident?
If asked to inspect a lift involved in an accident be aware that your participation likely will not end with the delivery of your inspection report.

If you suspect the inspection is not the normal course of business, such as: the shop never asked you to inspect a lift before; or, only one lift is being inspected where there are multiple lifts; ask why or other relevant questions. It is important to determine if the lift has been in an accident or is moving toward litigation. If you are asked to inspect a lift by an attorney, or some other third party, then you can be pretty sure this is the case.

Should you believe that the lift was in an accident or is moving toward litigation, you may still be told that there is no lawsuit pending at this time and all that is needed is a simple report. You may even be told, the customer just wants to find out what happened, so they can prevent a second occurrence. Should you opt to move forward with the inspection, proceed with caution and be very careful in offering any opinion as to causation, lawsuit or not. In these situations, it is likely that there will be a lawsuit sooner or later and you will be required to defend those opinions at deposition or possibly during a trial.

With this in mind, it would be good practice to limit your opinion to the suitability of the lift for continued safe operation just as you do in a normal inspection. When you enter the realm of causation, you would be foolish to offer any opinion because you do not yet have all the evidence or, you might have been given inaccurate information, on purpose or not. It would also be wise to stay clear of any discussion regarding specific or comparative design features or discussions relating to the standards covering lifts and their parts and components. These documents will speak for themselves and so will the witnesses when the appropriate time comes. Stick to the facts and do not speculate.

Recognizing that you may later be questioned, consider if you are willing to offer your future time for no compensation. If your time is valuable to you, you might wish to establish an hourly fee for further inspection work on the artifact lift and the testimony you will have to provide. This fee should be well understood and documented before performing the inspection.

When performing the inspection, be sure to keep thorough notes and take quality pictures, because the evidence has a way of being dismantled, removed, getting stale, or even lost, during a lengthy lawsuit, AND, all lawsuits are lengthy. Nothing happens quickly in the Judicial system and rules vary from State to State and in Federal court. Some lawsuits are not even filed until the injured party has recuperated to a certain degree. This is because no one knows the future limitations that the injured party may suffer.

When questioned informally or in deposition, consider limiting responses to the inspection process, your training, experience, skill and ability. Be careful not to opine on causation even if you are having a casual discussion. Whoever you are having the discussion with may later testify as to what you said, accurately or not. Stay away from discussing the reasoning behind the content of the American National Standards, OSHA regulations or, other referenced Standards and documents that you deal with in your inspections.

Finally, be aware that if you agree to perform an inspection of a lift related to an accident or a situation moving toward litigation, it is very likely that you will have to perform the inspection at a time convenient to all the parties in the lawsuit or with an interest in the situation requiring the inspection. This means that the lawyers and experts for all the parties may be watching you performing the inspection and making notes or taking photos to document the process. Often, in such situations, this leads to the development of questions presented later inquiring as to why you took specific action and what you found as a result. If anyone tries to influence your inspection process or outcome, you can always refuse to continue.

Automotive Lift Institute | 607-756-7775 | 607-756-0888 | info@autolift.org | www.autolift.org