National Forklift Safety Day is June 13. National Forklift Safety Day, sponsored by the Industrial Truck Association, highlights the safe use of forklifts and the importance of operator training. This special day provides an opportunity for the industry to educate customers, the public and government officials about safe forklift operation.

Forklifts, which are the most common type of powered industrial truck, originated in the United States in 1917. Since then, annual US sales have grown to more than 190,000 units. Forklifts are used to lift, move and place materials throughout our economy, offering load capacities from a few thousand pounds up to 90 tons. They are extremely versatile machines and operate in a wide range of indoor and outdoor environments. A well-maintained forklift operated by a well-trained worker is critical to our country’s $165 billion material handling industry.

OSHA enforces regulations governing the manufacture and operation of powered industrial trucks. The Industrial Truck Standards Development Foundation, which is accredited by the American National Standards Institute, administers the development of consensus safety standards for manufacturing and using industrial trucks. These standards reflect the considered judgment of industry, government safety officials, users and private safety experts on issues of forklift safety. OSHA has incorporated these consensus standards by reference into the federal regulations. Updating the consensus standards and working to have them recognized in the federal regulations is an ongoing process.

But safety doesn’t come from writing good standards and regulations, it comes from knowing and following them. In other words, it comes from awareness and commitment. National Forklift Safety Day is about enhancing our awareness and renewing our commitment to forklift safety.

In recognition of National Forklift Safety Day, our sister publication, Material Handling and Logistics, is again presenting its ranking of the 10 largest global manufacturers of forklifts as ranked by revenue. These suppliers play an outsized role in providing some of the leading material handling technologies and vehicles used worldwide by companies to manage their warehouses and distribution centers. Check it out and learn about the companies that supply your forklifts and industrial trucks.