US pauses to mark safety

US pauses to mark safety

A number of manufacturers will be hosting activities to support National Forklift Safety Day in the United States next week.

The annual reminder of the importance of safety for forklift operation is sponsored by the Industrial Truck Association (ITA), which says the day "provides an opportunity for the industry to educate customers, policymakers and the administration on forklift operating safety practices".

Among the activities planned for next week is an ITA-organised briefing at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill Hotel, 400 New Jersey Avenue, Washington, DC. The event will take place on June 8 from 9.0am to 11.0am and will feature speakers from the Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA), forklift industry representatives and a representative with jurisdictional oversight of the Department of Labor.

The Washington events span two days, ending with a reception at Capitol B Room at 6.30pm on June 9.

"National Forklift Safety Day is an opportunity for forklift manufacturers, dealers and operators to come together with a common goal," says National Forklift Safety Day chairman and Toyota Material Handling, USA president Jeff Rufener.

"By reinforcing some basic safety procedures such as operator training and daily equipment checks, we can greatly reduce accidents and overall downtime."

CLARK Material Handling Company will host a safety event at its Lexington campus in support of the second annual National Forklift Safety Day. The program will run from 11.30am to 1.30pm and is open to the public.

The schedule includes plant tours, a forklift rodeo competition and a display of aftermarket safety products.

"At CLARK, we believe it is crucial to emphasise the safe use of forklifts and the importance of operator training," says president and CEO Dennis Lawrence.

"Forklift safety is not just a one-time focus. We are proud to join with the ITA and our fellow forklift manufacturers to raise awareness about the safe use of forklifts and the continual need for operator training."

Yale, another supporter of the Washington gathering, has used National Forklift Safety Day to offer some tips, based on OSHA regulations, on the safe use of forklifts:

  • When left unattended, a forklift’s load should be fully lowered, its controls neutralised, power shut off and brakes set.
  • If a forklift is parked on an incline, the wheels should be blocked
  • Forklifts should not be used for opening or closing freight doors
  • A safe distance should be maintained between forklifts. This distance is approximately three truck lengths from the truck ahead
  • Forklift operators should slow down and sound the horn at cross aisles and other locations where vision is obstructed. If the load carried obstructs forward view, the operator should travel with the load trailing the forklift. Always look in the direction of travel