As the special National Forklift Safety Day coverage in DC Velocity's May issue attests, forklift safety is a critical issue that affects every facility where industrial trucks are used. And although that topic will be front and center in Washington, D.C., as well as around the country on June 14, the safe operation of forklifts should be top of mind every day. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Industrial Truck Association (ITA) agree, which is why they agreed earlier this year to extend their 12-year safety-focused alliance for another five years.
The partnership aims to raise awareness about forklift safety and to develop resources and training to help reduce injuries and fatalities among workers who use powered industrial trucks. During the new five-year agreement, the alliance will focus on reducing tipover and pedestrian hazards. The alliance will also support OSHA campaigns to prevent falls and heat illness, implement projects that protect temporary workers, and encourage a culture of safety, particularly for small businesses and workers with limited English skills, OSHA said.
"Many workers suffer serious injuries or die from being crushed, struck by, or falling from forklifts," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels, in announcing the agreement. "Our continued alliance with ITA will help us promote awareness of the dangers of this equipment and provide valuable information and training to protect the safety of workers."
ITA represents manufacturers of lift trucks, tow tractors, rough-terrain vehicles, hand pallet trucks, and automated guided vehicles. Through its Alliance Program, OSHA works with unions, consulates, trade, and professional organizations, faith- and community-based organizations, businesses, and educational institutions to prevent workplace fatalities, injuries, and illnesses. The purpose of each alliance is to develop compliance-assistance tools and resources, and to educate workers and employers about their rights and responsibilities.
More information about the OSHA-ITA alliance can be found on OSHA's website.