After completing forklift operator training, operator performance scores improved by 61%, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The critical need for and proven effectiveness of training was today’s key message at the fourth annual National Forklift Safety Day, held by the Industrial Truck Association (ITA).
Furthering its mission to raise awareness and improve safety, ITA has continued its recent alliance with OSHA to provide Compliance Officer Training Seminars to OSHA inspectors across the country. To date, ITA has presented the seminar approximately 30 times, reaching more than 600 OSHA personnel and covering all of OSHA’s 12 regions.
“Safety is the cornerstone of our industry, and operator training is a major component in reducing worker injuries and fatalities,” says Brett Wood, president and CEO of Toyota Material Handling North America and chairman of ITA. “We are very pleased to have other industries representing end user market segments participate in National Forklift Safety Day and support the continued need for operator training.”
ITA’s combined effort with OSHA to enhance operator training marked the beginning of the relationship the forklift industry maintains with OSHA today. ITA’s alliance with OSHA has led to collaborations in reviewing the Powered Industrial Trucks (Forklifts) E-Tool and OSHA Safety and Health Information Bulletins related to forklifts, along with enhanced distribution of safety materials. ITA also co-
National Forklift Safety Day serves as an opportunity for forklift manufacturers to highlight the safe use of forklifts, the importance of operator training and the need for daily equipment checks. This year’s speakers from the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries and OSHA, along with elected officials and industry representatives, articulated the effectiveness of training to support successful safety programs across a broad spectrum of industries.
“One of the most rewarding moments I have in serving as ITA chairman is seeing our industry come together to support safety. We are strong competitors in the marketplace, but we set aside that competitive drive to rally as one voice in support of safety,” Wood says.
As part of National Forklift Safety Day, many ITA members and their dealers across the country are sponsoring forklift safety events for their customers, which often include free operator training, distributing safety materials and hosting open houses. Following are some of the events taking place today and throughout the month of June.
Yale Celebrates with Safety Resources and Training
OSHA estimates nearly 35,000 serious injuries happen each year as a result of forklift misuse. To emphasize the importance of proper forklift operation and training, Yale Materials Handling Corp. announces its support of the fourth annual National Forklift Safety Day, which takes place today, June 13. Sponsored by the Industrial Truck Association (ITA), the event includes educational sessions and meetings in Washington, D.C.
Coinciding with the event, Yale has released pedestrian and forklift safety tips posters. The posters highlight best practices based on OSHA regulations, like proper distance between lift trucks, right of way, load stability and more. Yale is giving away a limited run of 31-by-22-inch posters for free in honor of National Forklift Safety Day, with free digital download also available for English, Spanish, Portuguese and Canadian French versions. Yale recommends placing the posters in a conspicuous location, clearly visible to facility personnel.
The posters come standard with the Yale Handle with Care Operator Training Program. The program draws on 40 years of experience developing professional lift truck operator training and covers all five lift truck classes, with all necessary tools for customized operator training.
“By working with the industry as a whole, we can continue to advance safe practices that can not only reduce injuries and accidents, but can also help increase productivity and profitability,” says Chris Murtha, brand manager, Yale Materials Handling Corp.
Yale will also host a Compliance Officer Training Seminar in July, a collaborative event sponsored by ITA for OSHA. OSHA compliance officers who attend will receive training on recommended best practices and industry standards for lift trucks.
MCFA Dealers and Employees Focus on Importance of Safety and Operator Training
Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America Inc. (MCFA), a manufacturer of forklifts under the Cat lift trucks, Mitsubishi forklift trucks and Jungheinrich brands, is emphasizing the importance of National Forklift Safety Day through a variety of safety-focused activities:
• For the fourth consecutive year, MCFA executives will attend the ITA’s National Forklift Safety Day events hosted in Washington, D.C.
• Kevin Krakora, MCFA’s vice president of design, quality and product support will speak on forklift safety at the ITA event.
• On June 13, MCFA employees will observe the occasion by attending a company-wide National Forklift Safety Day event on MCFA’s Houston, Texas campus.
“In today’s fast-paced industry, it is essential that companies reinforce forklift safety best practices throughout the year,” says Ken Barina, president of MCFA. “In honor of National Forklift Safety Day, and through our 100% safety initiative, we will represent our dealer network, employees and end-users in Washington D.C. to continue to bring forklift safety awareness to the forefront.”
Trelleborg Supports National Forklift Safety Day
Trelleborg Wheel Systems industrial and construction tire operation has announced its support of National Forklift Safety Day. Jimmy McDonnell, director, OEM sales North America, says, “Forklifts keep American industry moving; almost everything we buy, use, and consume has spent time on a forklift at some point in its lifecycle. It is the responsibility of all of us who are active members of the materials handling industry to make safety our top priority.”
According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), nearly 100,000 American workers are injured annually in forklift-related accidents. About a third of those accidents result in serious injury, with nearly 100 fatalities.
Trelleborg has focused specifically on safety in the development of its forklift truck tires. In particular, the Pit Stop Line, which features a unique indicator for correct tire replacement, helps to ensure that forklifts are not operating on unsafe tires.
Toyota Offers Free Forklift Safety Consultations
Toyota Material Handling, U.S.A., Inc. (TMHU) has announced its North American dealerships will offer no-cost forklift safety consultations for customers in honor of National Forklift Safety Day. The topic of forklift safety covers many aspects of material handling, including proper behavior in warehouses, distribution centers and manufacturing plants. In addition, National Forklift Safety Day promotes the teaching of forklift operating safety procedures for customers, policymakers and administration.
TMHU president Jeff Rufener says, “Toyota is proud to be a leader in the safety world. Early on, we introduced a system of active stability to help our forklifts operate safely. Today, we’re continuing our leadership role with no-cost forklift safety consultations for customers in honor of National Forklift Safety Day. There is nothing more important to us than helping our customers stay safe in their working environment.”
To find a Toyota Forklift dealer in your area and schedule a no-cost forklift safety consultation, visit ToyotaForklift.com to connect with your local Toyota forklift dealer.
Raymond Offers Free E-Learning Offered for Forklift Operator Training
Starting on National Forklift Safety Day (June 13), The Raymond Corp. will be giving away e-learning versions of Safety on the Move to the first 100 operators who register. This program is based on the company’s forklift operator training course, but is now self-paced and can be completed on-demand. It can also help companies comply with part of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) formal instruction requirements for powered industrial trucks.
UniCarriers Provides Free Operator Training and Recertification Courses
UniCarriers Americas Corp. is providing free operator training and recertification courses at its two factory-owned branches, Capital Equipment and Handling, Harland, WI, and New England Industrial Truck, Woburn, MA, on June 13. UniCarriers is also offering special deals on safety equipment, including pedestrian spotlights, back-up alarms, fire extinguishers, and more—special pricing is effective through June 30, 2017.