Toyota announces support for inaugural National Forklift Safety Day

In an effort to increase awareness of the importance of forklift safety, Toyota Material Handling, U.S.A., Inc. (TMHU) announced its proud support of the inaugural National Forklift Safety Day. Sponsored by the Industrial Truck Association (ITA), National Forklift Safety Day serves as a focal point for manufacturers to highlight the safe use of forklifts and the importance of operator training. It also provides an opportunity for the industry to educate customers, policymakers and the administration on forklift operating safety practices. Toyota executives will participate in discussions taking place June 10, 2014 at the Hyatt Capitol Hill located at 400 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C.

“At Toyota, we are committed to improving forklift safety by developing innovative lift truck safety features like Toyota’s System of Active StabilityTM, which reduces the likelihood of forklift turnovers,” said Jeff Rufener, president of TMHU. “We are proud to participate in National Forklift Safety Day and applaud the work of the ITA to raise awareness of the importance of forklift safety, maintenance and operator training.”

Powered industrial trucks, or forklifts, originated in the United States in 1917. Since then, annual sales have grown to nearly 190,000 in the U.S. alone. Forklifts are used to move and lift materials and offer load capacities from a few thousand pounds up to 180,000 lbs.

Operator safety training is a key element in forklift safety as:

· 70 percent of all industrial accidents are operator induced (National Safety Council)

· Effective training may reduce accident rate by 25 to 30 percent (OSHA)

· After training lift truck operators, OSHA found a 61 percent improvement in operator performance scores.

National Forklift Safety Day will continue on the second Tuesday of June each year. This timing coincides with the National Safety Council’s designation of June as National Safety Month.