On June 9, the Industrial Truck Association (ITA) will host our seventh National Forklift Safety Day. The impact of Covid-19 continues to pose challenges for our nation. Due to these challenges, ITA’s National Forklift Safety Day (NFSD) 2020 will be held as a virtual event on June 9, starting at 9 a.m. Eastern time. The program can be viewed by visiting the ITA’s website or the special NFSD section of DC Velocity’s website.
Covid-19 continues to have a major impact on our country and on the safety and health of the nation’s workforce. ITA members, as manufacturers, employers, and members of their communities, are doing their part to help the country through these unprecedented times. The use of forklifts and other powered industrial trucks (PITs) is integral to virtually every supply chain in every industry. ITA members’ products operate in all 50 states in over 300 industries. The top industries include warehousing, grocery wholesaling, and trucking. Every critically needed supply category—medicine, medical devices, personal protective equipment (PPE), food and beverage, and more—is moved by a forklift at one or more points in the supply chain. It has never been more important to highlight and reinforce the message of forklift safety.
Safety remains one of ITA’s top priorities. Through a longstanding alliance, ITA works closely with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in conducting compliance-officer training seminars on forklift safety. The OSHA-ITA Alliance is now in its 16th year, and our training program is in its 14th year. We have trained hundreds of OSHA compliance officers and consultation personnel on the safe use of our products, supplying them with workplace safety materials and communicating specialized forklift safety information. In addition, ITA partners with the American National Standards Institute, the Industrial Truck Standards Development Foundation, and the International Organization for Standardization to develop forklift safety standards and work toward harmonizing them for the global marketplace.
Creating awareness regarding safety and the need for operator training has always been one of the fundamental aims 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.
ITA’s 26 Regular Members manufacture PITs (most of which are forklifts), and its 38 Associate Members manufacture PIT components, attachments, and accessories. ITA’s membership accounts for over 90% of the PITs sold in the United States. We stand ready to support the continuity of operations and service delivery for essential products and services this country needs during the Covid-19 outbreak.
I hope that you can join us virtually on June 9. Thank you and stay safe.
Brian J. Feehan
Industrial Truck Association