National Forklift Safety Day 2019: What It Is and Why It Matters

June 11, 2019 is the sixth annual National Forklift Safety Day. The Industrial Truck Association, the top trade organization for lift truck manufacturers, organizes this yearly industry event. The stated goal is to bring together forklift manufacturers, dealers, end users, and government regulators to raise awareness of crucial safety issues surrounding the use of forklifts.

After all, everyone involved in the forklift industry has a vested interest in safe use of this dominant material handling machine. National Forklift Safety Day is the industry’s chance to recognize the year’s advances in forklift safety, raise awareness about crucial safety issues in forklift operation, and swap notes on what’s working — and the issues that could use attention in the coming year.

Among other safety issues, this year’s event will emphasize the importance of sufficient operator training, the ITA explains. As the trade organization points out, early studies cited by OSHA show a 61-percent improvement among forklift operators following a comprehensive training program.

What’s Going On This National Forklift Safety Day?

As in previous years, this year’s event takes place at the National Press Club in Washington DC, over two days beginning Monday June 10. Only ITA members may attend the meeting with congress at the core of the event, but ITA members can bring guests to a Monday afternoon education session and a reception later that night.

The big day itself — Tuesday June 11 — begins with a 7:30 a.m. breakfast at the nearby Willard InterContinental Hotel, followed by presentations at the National Press Club. Speakers at this two-hour event include Loren Sweatt, OSHA’s acting assistant secretary, and Scott Johnson, who chairs the ITA Board of Directors.

The five-hour congressional meeting, taking place on Capitol Hill, gives industry leaders a chance to work directly with lawmakers on improving safety for employees across the nation’s supply chains.

Planning for National Forklift Safety Day

If this is the first you’re hearing of National Forklift Safety Day, it’s probably too late to head to D.C. (and if you’re already an ITA member, chances are you’ve been aware of the date for a while now). But that doesn’t mean you can’t participate.

Many forklift manufacturers, dealers, and others in the industry will hold local events to help spread the message about safe forklift use. In 2018, for instance, stakeholders participated by offering discounts on operator safety training classes, free educational events, and company-wide safety pledges.

For more information about National Forklift Safety Day and other ITA initiatives, or to learn more about joining the ITA, contact the organization on their website, here.


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Powered Industrial Truck Operator Training; Final Rule.OSHA. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 1 Dec. 1998. Web. 30 Apr. 2019.