Celebrate National Forklift Safety Day All Month Long

Officially, 2019’s National Forklift Safety Day is Tuesday, June 11th. Unofficially, forklift manufacturers, dealers, and even drivers will focus on forklift safety throughout the entire month. National Forklift Safety Day is relatively new. It started only six years ago when the Industrial Truck Association (ITA) designated one day of the year for educating lawmakers, policymakers, customers, and other forklift industry insiders on the importance of the safe operation of forklifts and other materials handling vehicles. This year, the official celebration will take place in Washington, D.C., where ITA officials will meet with Congress to talk about new regulations designed to promote forklift safety. But everybody involved with these ubiquitous industrial vehicles are encouraged to plan their own events throughout the month of June to enhance awareness of safe forklift practices in the workplace.

A forklift that is worn, broken, or in poor repair is unsafe. Most forklift owners push their vehicles to their limits. But failing to take the time to repair and maintain your lift truck regularly and properly will only increase the risk of an accident or injury.

Regular inspections should be conducted to continually assess the condition of the vehicle. Drivers need to inspect the key parts of their forklifts — including the mast, tires, battery or power supply, and forks — at least daily if not before and after every shift. This is especially important for vehicles that are being used for multiple work shifts day or even around the clock.

Properly maintaining forklifts means more than simply changing out fuel canisters or recharging batteries. Tires need to be properly filled, engines need to be inspected and maintained, and the hydraulic system needs to be greased and maintained according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Creating a maintenance schedule is easy. Most forklift makers will include recommended maintenance instructions as part of their purchase or lease package. If not, a simple search of the forklift’s online Owner’s Manual should provide everything that is needed to create a safe and effective maintenance plan for every vehicle in your fleet.