penske associate driving forklift in warehouse

National Forklift Safety Day Drives Industrial Truck Safety Message

Powered industrial trucks – such as clamp trucks, electric power jacks and forklifts, play a central role in helping to move millions of pounds of freight each year across the global supply chain.

The industrial truck industry and Penske Logistics, a leader in the supply chain space, have made safety a top priority for freight operators and associates on warehouse floors.

The Industrial Truck Association (ITA), made up of truck manufacturers and suppliers, created National Forklift Safety Day to bring attention to forklift safety. Today marks the eighth annual observance.

"ITA has been the voice of the industrial truck industry for more than 70 years," said Brian Feehan, president of ITA. "We understand there is a critical need for effective forklift operator training, and ITA's National Forklift Safety Day is meant to keep that discussion at the forefront year after year."

The unique contribution of warehouse workers, including forklift operators, has been in the spotlight during the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. Warehouse workers joined professional truck drivers in helping to provide much-needed medical supplies and food to those who need them most.

"Our warehouse associates are feeding those supply chains and making sure our customers continue to deliver their products in a timely and efficient way," said Rob Helstrom, director of safety. "Safety is an important part of our operations."

On A Safety Mission

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) says forklift operators and associates working around forklifts can be at risk for certain hazards, such as collisions, falls, tip-overs and strikes.

Safety of warehouse associates has been an important focus for Penske Logistics, which manages nearly 30 million sq. ft. of warehouse space and operates more than 1,000 facilities.

Helstrom said the company's safety strategy for warehouse associates and management focuses on three key areas:

  • Commitment to Training (providing and delivering relevant safety training in a timely manner)
  • Commitment to Communication (frequent and consistent communication regarding safety expectations and performance)
  • Commitment to Continuous Improvement (using observations, inspections and general performance monitoring to identify areas for safety improvement)

Helstrom thanked all of Penske's warehouse associates for their dedication to safety.

"There have been a lot of challenges over the last year, and our warehouse associates continue to meet the need of higher demand in a tough environment," Helstrom said.

"They continued to meet that need and do it in a professional and safe manner. I appreciate the hard work that each and every one of them have done, do today and will continue to do tomorrow," he said.

Penske offers a range of career opportunities, including truck fleet maintenance technicians, truck drivers, fleet maintenance supervisors, operations management roles, logistics and supply chain operations roles, and many others. Visit for more information.

By Bernie Mixon