National Forklift Safety Day – June 13, 2023

National Forklift Safety Day is observed on the second Tuesday in June each year — June 13 this year. The day is an initiative by the Industrial Truck Association. Did you know that between 35,000 and 62,000 injuries every year involve forklifts? Several cases involved bystanders or pedestrians. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that over 70% of these accidents were preventable. National Forklift Safety Day is committed to the safety of those who manufacture, operate, and work around forklifts. An opportunity to highlight the importance of operator training and pedestrian awareness. Stakeholders and industry experts come together on this day to share resources on the best safety practices while using this indispensable equipment.

History of National Forklift Safety Day

Forklifts are indispensable to modern industry and commerce. They’ve changed how business moves — quite literally — since their invention in the early 1900s. Forklifts are one of the most compact, drivable pieces of machinery. The trucks get their name from their signature fork-like prongs that slide underneath heavy loads and scoop them up.

Moving heavy items from place to place has never been easier. Depending on the model, forklifts can carry loads up to 35,000 pounds. You also have smaller ones with a 3000 – 5000 pound capacity. Whether at construction sites, warehouses, or dockyards, forklifts carry the weight for us. Using forklifts eliminates the need for backbreaking labor. For businesses, it also means improved efficiency and time saved. Whenever heavy machinery is involved, the safety of people who operate forklifts or work around them is of the utmost importance.

The Industrial Truck Association founded National Forklift Safety Day in 2014 to highlight the importance of safety while using forklifts. The day emphasizes the crucial need for operator training and daily equipment checks. The conversations include not only forklift manufacturers but any industry that uses forklifts.

The day usually features events where safety experts, government representatives, and industry leaders discuss the myriad aspects of forklift safety. Also on the agenda are demonstrations on forklift safety activities in localized areas. The activities hope to make warehouses, manufacturing plants, and other forklift-associated spaces safer. Many dealers and manufacturers sponsor these events to generate public awareness and create safe workplaces.

National Forklift Safety Day timeline

1923
The First Forklifts

Engineers at Yale University produce the first electric truck with raising forks.

1939
War, Wooden Pallets, and Forklifts

Transportation of wooden pallets during World War II creates new forklift models with longer lifespans.

1960
The Forklift as We Know It

Modern forklifts are invented, changing the course of manufacturing and every other business.

2014
Forklifts in Crime

Creative burglars take off with a forklift and then use the forklift to steal an A.T.M. in Lafayette, Georgia.

National Forklift Safety Day FAQs

What is forklift safety?

Forklift safety minimizes the hazards of accidents related directly or indirectly to forklift operations. Operators must be aware of their environment or pedestrian traffic in the vicinity.

What is the most important safety device on a forklift?

Ensure you check the brakes, seatbelts, lights, horns, and overhead guards. These are the five critical safety devices on any forklift.

What must be done daily before using a forklift?

Carry out a general visual check of the vehicle and around it. Ensure everything looks good. After completing the visual check, start the forklift and check various components for smooth functioning.

How to Observe National Forklift Safety Day

  1. Organize workshops and demonstrations

    Does your business use forklifts in its operations? Host a safety workshop for your forklift operators or provide other avenues for training.

  2. Review safety protocols

    Use today for a thorough review of training protocols. Ensure the guidelines are up-to-date and remove anything obsolete.

  3. Attend webinars

    The I.T.A. puts together an impressive panel where industry speakers discuss several aspects of forklift safety. Sign up for these events.

5 Facts About Industrial Cranes That Will Blow Your Mind

  1. Named after the bird

    Early manufacturers thought lifting cranes looked like the bird — tall, slender, and bendy.

  2. Invented in ancient Greece

    The Ancient Greeks built the first-known crane, which was a wooden form operated by humans and animals.

  3. A revolution in crane manufacturing

    Manufacturers in the Middle Ages added what we know today as the jib, allowing cranes to move both vertically and horizontally.

  4. The steam engine changes everything

    The steam engine created motors, which meant cranes needed virtually no human effort to operate.

  5. The power of Big Carl

    Big Carl is the world's largest crane and can lift an equivalent of 1,600 family cars.

Why National Forklift Safety Day is Important

  1. It makes workplaces safer

    It’s easy to lose sight of safety in the rush of the everyday. National Forklift Safety Day highlights the importance of daily vigilance and safety around heavy machinery.

  2. Events that inform

    Besides safety, today offers a way to stay updated on what’s happening in different industries. It's an excellent opportunity to discover the latest tech innovations across sectors.

  3. The beauty of machinery

    How often do we stop and marvel at how machines work? Art and science, function and poetry — machines make our lives better.

National Forklift Safety Day dates

YearDateDay
2022June 14Tuesday
2023June 13Tuesday
2024June 11Tuesday
2025June 10Tuesday
2026June 9Tuesday

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