As an essential and adaptable piece of heavy equipment, the forklift has contributed to industrial and storage operations since 1917. Technically–for regulatory and licensing purposes–this apparatus is categorized as an industrial truck and its basic function is rooted in baggage conveying wagons seen at the dawn of the 20th century. The Second World War contributed to many advances in technology and forklifts were no exception. The design employed today dates back to the 1950s with only a few tweaks since then.
Forklifts hoist and convey materials in all sorts of business venues, from warehouse operations to construction sites to retail floors. As merchandise and raw materials are often ordered and delivered in bulk, forklifts are there to carry these items to their proper destinations within a given facility or workplace. They serve a similar function on farms where large bales of hay and sacks of seed need to be stored. Because of the central role this machine plays in American commerce, National Forklift Safety Day was established.
Forklifts Help to Keep Warehouses Organized
Since materials come in all shapes and sizes, forklifts are manufactured in varying dimensions and with multiple functions. Contemporary forklifts are equipped with information programs that can actually follow and pinpoint the location of inventory dispersed throughout commercial networks. There is also software to help avoid collisions thereby enhancing safety.
The increasing precision of this technology is only effective when operators receive the requisite training and information with regard to safety standards. National Forklift Safety Day highlights the necessity of such education in the field of material handling. As storage facilities adopt a higher level of computerization, material handling becomes more dependent on technological literacy. As a consequence, forklift operators need thorough instruction in order to guide their machines efficiently and safely.
Regulations. OSHA and the Forklift Operator
The International Truck Standards Development Foundation (ITSDF)–an organization founded in 2005 to develop safety guidelines for the design, operation and maintenance of industrial trucks–lobbies intensively to bring government and industry together in order to implement comprehensive training and strong codes for safety in the workplace. It shares much of its research with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Since OSHA conducts inquiries regarding workplace deaths and injuries, the ITSDF findings are particularly relevant.
Creating far-reaching forklift operation training standards and more rigorous manufacturing specifications within the federal regulatory code will minimize harm done to personnel and materials because of operational mishaps or faulty equipment. In hopes of heightening public knowledge of this reality, the Industrial Trucking Association (ITA) urges the observance of National Forklift Safety Day.
Make Forklift Safety a Priority Right Now!
The ITA sponsors National Forklift Safety Day on June 11, 2019. This association of industrial professionals has long advocated for stronger safety regulations and more scrupulous manufacturing criteria with regard to forklifts. The events scheduled for this day have a two-fold purpose:
1) to inform and strengthen public opinion in favor of stronger forklift safety standards and
2) educate people about the economic, humane and commercial gains that come from their adoption.