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Toyota's contribution to safety

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Toyota Forklifts

Toyota officially took on the role of safety champion back in 1999, when the System of Active StabilityTM (SAS) was first introduced on the newly released 7-Series internal combustion models. Since then, SAS and Active Mast ControlTM (AMC) technologies have been integrated into all of Toyota's internal combustion and electric sit down counterbalanced models. Although a few lift truck manufacturers have attempted to improve lift truck safety by integrating minor mechanical changes into their new products, no manufacturer has yet to develop technology that rivals Toyota's SAS and AMC technologies.

Although Toyota emphasizes the proven benefits of its innovative lift truck safety features, the importance of operator safety training remains the first line of defense in reducing forklift-related incidents. OSHA-mandated operator training is one of the single most important actions to enhance forklift safety in the workplace. OSHA requires employers to "develop and implement a training program based on the general principles of safe truck operation, the types of vehicles being used in the workplace, the hazards of the workplace created by the use of the vehicles, and the general safety requirements of the OSHA standard."

By the end of training, operators must demonstrate the ability to perform their job safely in their workplace environments. Tangible evidence exists that operator training works. Based on statistics from the Bureau of Labor, we have seen a steady and rapid decline in the number of reported forklift incidences since OSHA made operator training a requirement in 1999.

But we must remember that today's business environment is faced with many changes and advancements in technology. Organizations need to be resilient in order to keep up. It's important for companies to continue to design safety and training programs to keep employees updated on a regular basis. Advancements in technology are one of the fundamental drivers to support the need for continued operator training. Training is critical and beneficial. It improves employee performance, enhances profits, reduces labor, and, most importantly – saves lives.

Industry-wide, operator training, pedestrian awareness, object detection, and metrics to measure safety should all be considered as priorities. The ITA's National Forklift Safety Day was designed with this in mind and to help create awareness around safety and the safe use of lift trucks.

For more information about safety and Toyota Forklifts, please visit www.ToyotaForklift.com.

Contributed by Toyota Forklifts, www.ToyotaForklift.com