By Rich Gaul, Safety Technical Advisor
June 14, 2022 marks the ninth annual observance of National Forklift Safety Day. Forklift Safety Day was initiated by the Industrial Truck Association (ITA) in June 2014 to gather experts and stakeholders to focus on enhancing the safety of forklift operators and those who work around forklifts. This day reinforces the importance of forklift safety measures, provides greater awareness of safe practices, and encourages overall safer behaviors. It provides a great opportunity to review safe forklift operations with your drivers and anyone that will be near a forklift at your facility.
Operating forklifts is a potentially dangerous job that results in thousands of injuries each year. National Forklift Safety Day reminds operators and pedestrians that the odds of an accident happening may be greater than you think. There are over 1 million forklifts in operation in the United States1 and OSHA has forklift-related citations in the top 10 annually.
Ways to celebrate National Forklift Safety Day
- Consider holding a Forklift Safety Day event to heighten employee awareness.
- Review your forklift training program.
- Schedule operator evaluations – OSHA requires these at least once every three years.
- Schedule refresher training – OSHA requires refresher training when: operating in an unsafe manner; involved in an accident or near miss; evaluation reveals knowledge or operation deficiencies; and/or when operators are assigned to a different type of forklift, or conditions change.
- Ensure vehicle inspections are conducted – OSHA requires pre-shift inspections.
- Protect pedestrians from accidents by evaluating traffic patterns, marking floors, using pedestrian protective barriers or systems, and heightening pedestrian awareness.
BWC’s Division of Safety & Hygiene offers resources to help you improve forklift safety practices. View our Powered Industrial Truck written safety program template (scroll down for the topic). You can also take our online e-Course on Powered Industrial Trucks by accessing the BWC Learning Center and searching for the course name: “PIT and Other Mobile Equipment (Online).” New users can learn how to register and use the BWC Learning Center by viewing instructions on our website.
If you have more questions about forklift safety, reach out to one of our BWC safety consultants online for assistance, or call 1-800-644-6292.
- BWC’s video library – click link and then search for forklift to see available videos.
- Powered Industrial Trucks – Forklifts – Overview | Occupational Safety and Health Administration
- Workers Who Operate or Work Near Forklifts | NIOSH | CDC