One million forklifts are in operation at U.S. job sites, and stats point to one in 10 of these forklifts being involved in an accident before the year ends. Forklift accidents cause 20,000 injuries every year, some of them fatal, costing companies more than $135 million every year. About 22% of fatal accidents happen when forklifts overturn. Industrial truck hazards are routinely among OSHA’s top 10 violations, netting the fifth spot for 2019. This year, forklift safety attention is turning toward the need for continuous training for operators.
The above statistics underscore the need for National Forklift Safety Day. The event serves as a focal point for manufacturers to highlight the safe use of forklifts and the importance of operator training as it encourages safer behavior in warehouses, distribution centers, and manufacturing plants. According to the Industrial Truck Association (ITA), the organization that founded Forklift Safety Day, the day provides an opportunity for the industry to educate customers, the public, and government officials about safe forklift operation. It is also an opportunity for workplaces to re-evaluate their safety and training plans.
This year, the ITA is hosting a virtual event on its website and working with DC Velocity. The event will include presentations from government representatives, safety experts and industry representatives.
"National Forklift Safety Day remains an opportunity for the industry to unite behind safety and, perhaps this year more than ever, the need to reinforce the need for operator training," the ITA said in a statement.
Lift Up Safety Programs
The message the ITA wants to reinforce the most is that forklift operator training is a critical component to ensuring safety in the workplace. Here are a few tips and resources to share at any workplace meeting on Forklift Safety Day, or any day:
- Engaging visuals: Enhance workplace safety using the 10 Rules for Forklift Safety infographic. This colorful resource examines forklift operation rules and regulations, lays out important statistics, and provides tips for eliminating forklift hazards and enhancing safety.
- Pedestrian safety: Floor marking can keep forklift operators and pedestrians safe. Keeping traffic patterns consistent with floor marking plays a large role in forklift safety. Get the job done right the first time using PathFinder Floor Marking products as well as a Floor Marking Guide.
- Help workers see the signs: Signage can keep forklift operators and pedestrians safe too. While PathFinder tapes keep traffic patterns moving independently, preprinted forklift caution signs let employees know that forklifts and powered industrial trucks may be present in a particular area, and advise caution.
Learn about common forklift and other safety hazards and efficiency in warehouses, and get practical tips to resolve them in our free Warehouse Efficiency guide.