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The third annual National Forklift Safety Day will be held Tuesday, June 14th. Sponsored by the Industrial Truck Association, it’s a day for forklift owners, operators and others who work with industrial vehicles to highlight the importance of safety and operator training.
“This special day provides an opportunity for the industry to educate customers, the public and government officials about safe forklift operation,” stated an ITA news release announcing details about the event.
Forklift Industry Growing Larger
The first National Forklift Safety Day was held in 2014, but forklifts themselves have been an important part of the industrial and commercial landscape since 1917. Since then, annual sales of forklifts in the US tops 19,000 vehicles.
“Forklifts are used to lift, move and place materials throughout our economy, offering load capacities from a few thousand pounds up to 90 tons,” the ITA stated. “They are extremely versatile machines and operate in a wide range of indoor and outdoor environments. A well-maintained forklift operated by a well-trained worker is critical to our country’s $165 billion material handling industry.”
Every organization that uses forklifts is encouraged to set aside time on National Forklift Safety Day to discuss forklift safety and review proper procedures for safely using the vehicles. The idea is that if as many businesses participate as possible on the specific day set aside to discuss forklift safety, then there could be fewer accidents involving forklifts the rest of the year.
Events in Our Nation’s Capitol
In recognition of National Forklift Safety Day, the ITA will sponsor an event June 14 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Capitol Hill, in Washington, D.C. The event will feature speakers from the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration — the federal agency responsible for implementing forklift safety rules in workplaces nationwide — as well as from the National Safety Council.
The chairman of the Congressional subcommittee that oversees OSHA and key industry representatives also are expected to participate.
Forklift safety is mandated by laws, regulations and guidelines, but there’s more to it than that, according to the ITA.
“It comes from knowing and following them,” the ITA stated. “In other words, it comes from awareness and commitment. National Forklift Safety Day is about enhancing our awareness and renewing our commitment to forklift safety.”
Looking Out for the Forklift Industry
The ITA is a lobbying organization that is supported by members of industry manufacturers of lift trucks, tow tractors, rough terrain vehicles, hand-pallet trucks and Automated Guided Vehicles. The group represents more than 90% of the forklift manufacturers in the US and Canada. Suppliers of component parts and accessories may also join as associate members.
The ITA has established the Industrial Truck Standards Development Foundation and has built relationships with global associations throughout the Alliance of Industrial Truck Organizations. It also works closely with OSHA to save lives and avoid countless injuries by adopting new and updated safety regulations and operator training.