On June 11, the Industrial Truck Association (ITA) will host our sixth annual National Forklift Safety Day in Washington, D.C. It is gratifying that after six years, the event continues to evolve, and I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to making National Forklift Safety Day such a success.
For more than 65 years, ITA has been the leading organization of powered industrial truck (forklift) manufacturers and suppliers of component parts and accessories conducting business in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Our membership represents over 90 percent of the powered industrial trucks sold in North America.
National Forklift Safety Day serves as a focal point for manufacturers to highlight the safe use of forklifts and the importance of operator training. It has also become an important annual opportunity for members to come to Washington, D.C., and meet with their representatives and senators to highlight the strong safety record of the industrial truck industry and discuss the major public policy concerns facing the industry.
For many years, ITA has partnered with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the American National Standards Institute, the Industrial Truck Standards Development Foundation, the Alliance of Industrial Truck Organizations, and the International Organization for Standardization to develop critical safety standards, harmonize those standards for the global marketplace, and compile data on global forklift markets.
Creating awareness regarding safety and the need for operator training has been one of the fundamental pillars of National Forklift Safety Day. In fact, the number of forklift accidents each year is about one-half of what it was 20 years ago, even though the number of forklifts in use has increased. Most of that decline followed OSHA's adoption of a vastly improved operator training regulation in 1998. We're working to continue that progress.
Through our media partners, including trade and general media outlets, we have been able over the years to generate approximately 80 million media impressions carrying our message about safety throughout the country. We expect this trend to continue with the support of our media sponsor this year, DC Velocity.
This year's National Forklift Safety Day program will be held on June 11, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., at the historic National Press Club, a professional organization and business center for journalists and communications professionals. Speakers will include Scott Johnson, ITA's chairman and vice president of sales and marketing, Clark Material Handling; and Don Buckman, ITA's National Forklift Safety Day chairman and environmental health and safety manager and corporate responsibility leader for Hyster-Yale Group, as well as OSHA and other safety experts.
I hope that you can join us on June 11. Thank you.
Brian J. Feehan
Industrial Truck Association