National Forklift Safety Day 2021 Logo

Forklift Safety Isn't Just About Forklifts Any More

June 7, 2021
Besides operator and pedestrian safety, National Forklift Safety Day 2021 also focuses on training, technology, analytics and robotics.

The eighth annual National Forklift Safety Day will take place virtually on June 8, 2021. This event serves as an opportunity for forklift manufacturers and the industry to highlight the safe use of forklifts, the value of operator training, and the need for daily equipment checks.

Open to the public, National Forklift Safety Day will be available for viewing by visiting the Industrial Truck Association’s website. Speakers include:

• Brian Feehan, president, Industrial Truck Association (ITA)

• Jay Gusler, ITA chairman of the board and executive vice president operations, Mitsubishi Logisnext Americas

• Joseph Hughes, Jr., deputy assistant secretary for pandemic and emergency response, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

• Tony Sciarrotta, executive director and publisher, The Reverse Logistics Association

• Jess Dankert, vice president for supply chain, Retail Industry Leaders Association

• Mike Field, NFSD Task Force chair and president and CEO, The Raymond Corporation

“ITA has been the voice of the industrial truck industry for more than 70 years,” said Brian Feehan, president of ITA. “There is a critical need for effective forklift operator training, and ITA’s National Forklift Safety Day is meant to keep that discussion at the forefront year after year,” explains Brian Feehan, president of ITA.

Toyota to Offer No-Cost Forklift Consultations and Free Site Audits

Toyota Material Handling (TMH) is using National Forklift Safety Day 2021 as an opportunity to reinforce the importance of operator safety in material handling environments. According to industry forecasts, sales of powered industrial trucks in the U.S. and Canada are expected to top 265,000 units this year, which would surpass the industry’s 2018 record high by more than 16,000 units. 

That record growth will require new forklift operators that need to be trained. More than 4.5 million forklift operators are employed in 300 different industries in the US, according to a report from the Industrial Truck Association (ITA) and Oxford Economics. That number will continue to rise, and as current forklift operators learn to work in new and evolving environments, a renewed focus on operator safety is paramount. 

“Logistics are different in 2021, and so are operator’s safety needs,” says Tom Lego, TMH brand ambassador. “Ongoing training is critically important for both novice and veteran forklift operators, especially with all the new technology found in today’s equipment. Even professional athletes go back and practice fundamentals as they prepare for the upcoming season. Forklift operators can benefit from doing the same thing. National Forklift Safety Day is a great opportunity for us in the material handling industry to refocus and reinforce the fundamentals of safety.” 

Across its North American locations, Toyota Material Handling dealers are celebrating National Forklift Safety Day on June 8 by helping to ensure their customers’ material handling fleet operators are current on safety training and regulations.

Toyota’s offerings include no-cost forklift consultations and free site audits. Operator training is also available on request from any one of the more than 230 Toyota dealer locations in the US. TMH also created a resource library of forklift safety information that can be accessed by visiting 

Vecna Acknowledges New ANSI/RIA Standard for AMRs

Mike Bearman, chief operating officer of Vecna Robotics, a provider of autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), points to the recent introduction of ANSI/RIA standard R15.08 as a significant milestone in warehouse safety.

“Warehouses, factories and distribution centers across the country continue to adopt AMRs, such as forklifts and tuggers, to streamline operations and improve safety,” Bearman notes. “However, AMRs represent a segment of industrial automation that have traditionally lacked universally accepted definitions and safety standards—until the introduction of R15.08. This has left some organizations reliant on legacy standards written for path following automated guided vehicles (AGVs).

“While these standards work well for AGVs, the wrong policy for AMRs could ultimately lead to hazards organizations were hoping to avoid by implementing automation in the first place. As adoption of both AGVs and AMRs continue to grow, it’s imperative that organizations understand the definition of each offering and mandate their automation vendor to meet or exceed the appropriate safety standard. National Forklift Safety Day is the perfect day to have this conversation.”

Crown Emphasizes Forklift Safety Is More than Just the Forklift

Crown Equipment Corporation is using the occasion of National Forklift Safety Day to emphasize the importance of a comprehensive safety program that goes beyond the forklift and stresses the role of the individual.

On National Forklift Safety Day and every day, warehouse, supply chain and safety managers should understand the interconnection among the many components of a holistic safety program, which can include:

• Training that is accessible, personalized, and extends across the workforce.

• Compliance management that controls access and automates processes for streamlining safety adherence.

• Equipment design that prioritizes safer operation.

• Connectivity that provides more visibility, awareness, and opportunities.

• Real-time and historical data analytics that inform safety goals.

A comprehensive approach to safety also means integrating elements that may not traditionally be viewed as forklift safety. In the warehouse, for example, this can include clearly marked pedestrian walkways, signage visible to both pedestrians and operators, frequent assessment of rack condition, and adequate lighting to illuminate aisles and workstations.

In recognition of National Forklift Safety Day, Crown encourages individuals to visit its Virtual Trade Show, an interactive 3-D display that offers content on a variety of topics, including safety, connectivity, automation and alternative power sources. Crown’s e-book, “An Integrated Approach to Forklift Safety,” can also be viewed within the platform and downloaded on

“National Forklift Safety Day continues to play a crucial role in keeping forklift safety top of mind for warehouse managers, workers and operators,” said Jim Mozer, senior vice president, Crown Equipment. “We want to remind everyone that forklift safety is more than one day and is more than just the forklift. Organizations that understand the interconnection among the many components of a comprehensive safety program are better positioned to create and maintain a strong safety-first culture with active engagement from employees.”   

Raymond Focuses on Operator Training

Michael Field, chair of National Forklift Safety Day 2021 and president and CEO of The Raymond Corporation, will speak on how operations can use intelligent warehouse solutions to train operators and pedestrians in a warehouse setting.

“Whether you're bringing on new workers, reassigning responsibilities or adjusting processes to keep up with demand, education is vital to an operation,” he says. “Raymond is committed to helping operations foster a culture of safety and continuous improvement through the optimization of data, people and processes that help maximize efficiency and reinforce training.”

Raymond will continue supporting the National Forklift Safety Day initiative with a LinkedIn Live event on June 9 at 12 pm ET. Dave Norton, Raymond’s vice president of customer solutions and support, will discuss how next generation learning technologies, like virtual reality, help educate lift truck operators and pedestrians on best practices in material handling environments. Register for the free event here.