On June 8, 2021, the Industrial Truck Association (ITA) will host our eighth National Forklift Safety Day (NFSD). Even as the impact of Covid-19 continues to pose some challenges for our nation and globally, safety is always at the forefront and will remain so regardless of the environment we all find ourselves in.
The industrial truck industry has performed well throughout the pandemic, thanks to the essential nature of our products and the dedicated associates in our industry. Whether they involved the supply chain, labor, or transportation, the industrial truck industry successfully managed a host of challenges over the past year. In fact, 2020 was the fifth-best year on record for unit sales, and we have seen a strong start to 2021.
The material handling industry operates in most, if not all, business and consumer product segments across the country. ITA members’ products can be found in every state, working hard to move vaccines, personal protective equipment, and a multitude of other supplies to help manage and mitigate the pandemic. At a time when U.S. businesses and nonprofit organizations are charged with the distribution of so many critical products, it is imperative that we continue to ensure the safety and efficiency of those efforts through forklift operator safety training. ITA’s regular manufacturing members and associate members stand ready to support the continuity of operations and service delivery for essential and non-essential products and services this country needs during Covid-19 and beyond.
After 16 years as an official Alliance partner with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), ITA was invited and then became a participant in OSHA’s new Ambassador program in October of 2020. This status ensures that the relationship between ITA and OSHA will continue, and that we will keep working together to improve safety through operator training. Due to Covid-19, we have had to make some adjustments and have temporarily postponed our OSHA Compliance Officer Training Seminars, but we remain committed to resuming those classes when appropriate.
ITA partners with many standards-making bodies, including 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 their harmonization in the global marketplace. We remain committed to this important objective, and this work has not stopped.
National Forklift Safety Day provides an opportunity for the industry to educate customers, government policymakers, and other stakeholders on forklift safe operating practices. As always, ITA is unwavering in its determination to address critical priorities concerning forklift operator safety through improved education and training.
We look forward to seeing all of you on June 8, 2021. Thank you, and stay safe.
Brian J. Feehan
Industrial Truck Association