Did you know OSHA estimates forklift accidents cause approximately 61,800 injuries each year? Or that in their useful life, it’s estimated 90% of all forklifts will be involved in some kind of accident? Moreover, OSHA believes that about 70% of forklift accidents in the U.S. could be prevented with more stringent training policies.
Each year, the Industrial Truck Association (ITA) holds National Forklift Safety Day (NFSD) to emphasize the importance of operator training and safe practices of the most common material-handling equipment.
Tuning in for NFSD 2020
This year’s seventh annual event, kicking off tomorrow June 9th, at 9 a.m. EDT, is going virtual! Industry experts, safety professionals, regulators, and other stakeholders typically gather in Washington D.C. to attend, but due to the impact of COVID-19, this year’s events will be streamed on both the ITA’s website (ww.indtrk.org/) and the DC Velocity’s website (www.dcvelocity.com/).
“ITA has been the voice of the industrial truck industry for more than half a century,” said Brian Feehan, president of ITA. “We understand 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.”
National Forklift Safety Day is open to the public at no charge, featuring webinar-style presentations from government representatives, safety experts, and industry leaders. The speakers lined up for NFSD 2020 include:
- Brian Feehan, President, Industrial Truck Association – Moderator
- Jay Gusler, ITA Chairman of the Board & Executive Vice President of Operations, Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America Inc. (MCFA) – Welcome & Overview
- Loren Sweatt, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) – OSHA Updates/Resources
- Chuck Leon, Technical Specialist, Workplace Safety and Prevention Services (WSPS) – Pedestrian Safety
- Scott Bicksler, Lead Safety Manager, Aerotek – Temporary Employee Safety
- Chuck Moratz, NFSD Task Force Chair & Senior Vice President, Global Engineering, CLARK Material Handling Company – Forklift Industry Safety
To join the ITA for National Forklift Safety Day, learn about pre-registering for the virtual event here.
Promoting Forklift Safety in the Facility
In the workplace, National Forklift Safety Day presents an opportunity for employers to evaluate their safety policies and procedures—a topic that may have been put on the back burner since COVID-19. However, one million forklifts are still in operating on job sites all around the country and industrial truck hazards consistently rank among OSHA’s top 10 violations. In the midst of this public health crisis, the ITA urges the industry to unite behind safety and reinforce the need for operator training.
Keeping COVID-19 in mind, here a few simple ways facilities can practice safety on National Forklift Safety Day 2020:
- Review certifications: Ensure all of your operators are trained and certified to operate a forklift, and that the operator’s performance has been evaluated according to OSHA standard 1910.187(l)(3)
- Mark your facility: Protect forklift operators and pedestrians by marking aisles, walkways, ledges, traffic flow, and hazard areas. If your facility layout has changed due to social distancing, it’s especially important to review your traffic plan and floor markings.
- Create a checklist: Reduce the spread of germs by tweaking the daily forklift inspection checklist to ensure shared equipment is sanitized and disinfected after each shift.
- Post safety signs: Help pedestrians find walkways, establish a safe speed zone for operators, and warn workers of forklift related hazards with safety signs! Signs keep everyone on the same page for safety.
Refresh yourself and your workers on forklift safety and learn how to create a safe environment for forklift operations! Download our free guide, check out our infographic on preventing accidents, and get your questions answered in our forklift safety Q&A hub.
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