National Forklift Safety Day

National Forklift Safety Day, sponsored by the Industrial Truck Association (ITA), will be recognized on June 12 in Washington, D.C., and workplaces nationwide.

Throughout the day, forklift manufacturers will highlight the safe use of forklifts, the importance of operator training, and the need for daily equipment checks. ITA works with OSHA through an Alliance to provide training seminars for OSHA inspectors and develop safety materials.

There are many types of powered industrial trucks. Each type presents different operating hazards. For example, a sit-down, counterbalanced high-lift rider truck is more likely than a motorized hand truck to be involved in a falling load accident because the sit-down rider truck can lift a load much higher than a hand truck.

Workplace type and conditions are also factors in hazards commonly associated with powered industrial trucks. For example, retail establishments often face greater challenges than other worksites in maintaining pedestrian safety.

Beyond that, many workers can also be injured when:

  1. Lift trucks are inadvertently driven off loading docks;
  2. Lifts fall between docks and an unsecured trailer;
  3. They are struck by a lift truck; or
  4. They fall while on elevated pallets and tines.

It is a violation of Federal law for anyone UNDER 18 years of age to operate a forklift or for anyone OVER 18 years of age who is not properly trained and certified to do so.

Determining the best way to protect workers from injury largely depends on the type of truck operated and the worksite where it is being used. Employers must ensure that each powered industrial truck operator is competent to operate a powered industrial truck safely, as demonstrated by the successful completion of the training and evaluation specified in 29 CFR 1910.178(l)(1).