National Forklift Safety Day focuses on safety, training and injury prevention

Effective training can reduce forklift accident rates by almost 30 percent, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. That was today’s message at the second annual National Forklift Safety Day, held by the Industrial Truck Association.

The event served as a focal point for forklift manufacturers to highlight the safe use of forklifts, and the importance of operator training and daily equipment checks. Many speakers addressed training of temporary workers as a workplace safety priority, too.

National Forklift Safety Day provides an opportunity to continue our commitment to forklift safety and operator training — and to educate customers, policymakers and the Administration about the industry’s focus on injury prevention,” said ITA President Brian Feehan. “We bring together all stakeholders to emphasize the common goal of safety first.”

Forklift operator performance scores improve by 61 percent following operator training, according to OSHA. And according to the National Safety Council, operator error causes 70 percent of all forklift accidents.

By reinforcing some basic safety procedures such as operator training and daily equipment checks, we can greatly reduce accidents and overall downtime,” said Jeff Rufener, chairman of National Forklift Safety Day and president of Toyota Material Handling USA.

National Forklift Safety Day is one day that highlights the importance of operator training.  Safety must be a priority and practiced everyday, said Feehan. Many ITA members are sponsoring events for their customers that include conducting free operator training, distribution of safety material and hosting open houses across the nation.