Safety is serious business at auctions.
So serious that Jerry Hinton, general manager of ADESA Portland in Portland, Ore., will be the third president of the National Auto Auction Association in a row to embrace safety awareness as a part of his platform when he takes the reins of the auction group next month.
The safety program created by ADESA’s parent, KAR Auction Services Inc., is designed to help auctions reduce injuries and deaths at auction sites.
It is an example of one industry player sharing best practices with the rest of the industry, Hinton said.
“A lot of auctions like Manheim created their own safety elements, but this dovetails together to provide a lot of [independently owned auction companies] with something that would have been very costly to develop themselves,” Hinton said.
“It has established a new standard of duty for personal injury within our industry.”
Hinton, 55, is to take over the presidency of NAAA from Mike Browning, general manager of Manheim San Antonio, Nov. 16-18 at the association’s annual meeting in Las Vegas.
The safety training covers everyday mishaps such as trips, slips and falls. It also cautions against distracted walking in auction lanes and advises how to stay safe from a wide range of risks, including active shooters, blood-borne pathogens and rattlesnake bites.
As of early October, close to 4,000 employees, including temporary employees hired mostly to drive vehicles on sales days, had been certified as having completed the program.
“At this time next year, we’ll be at triple that number,” Browning said.
The training may also give auctions whose employees have been trained and certified an advantage over those auctions whose employees have not. The association hopes that insurance companies will take the training into account when setting rates for auctions.
The auction safety initiative was conceived two years ago, under the presidency of Ellie Johnson, general manager of Manheim North Carolina. Browning took up the cause and this year implemented online safety training and certification.
The training is divided into 10- to 15-minute video modules that can be completed in about an hour.
Each module has questions at the end to be answered, and students must earn an 80 percent score or better to continue to the next module, Hinton said.
During his presidency, Hinton plans to add recognition to the program by handing out ADESA-sponsored safety awards to auctions that embrace and excel in safety, probably in November 2017.
The awards will also give NAAA a way to track and gauge auction sites’ progress, he said.