In a signing ceremony April 24, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and International Truck Association (ITA) renewed their two-year-old alliance to focus on the safe operation of powered industrial trucks.

OSHA administrator Ed Foulke signed a two-year renewal for the OSHA and ITA alliance to provide even more opportunities for continued achievement in advancing workplace safety and health.

Said Foulke: "It is a pleasure that early in my tenure as OSHA's assistant secretary I am able to continue this important link with ITA. This is an organization whose leadership recognizes that our cooperative relationship has already made a difference in the safety and health of thousands of workers who use powered industrial trucks. It is important that we continue our efforts to reduce the amount of preventable forklift-related injuries that occur each year."

"The industrial truck industry appreciates OSHA for the cooperation that has been exhibited in the development and implementation of this alliance," added ITA president James J. Malvaso. "We are especially pleased with the results of the joint web links, the availability of speakers and exchange of information dealing with lift trucks, and the success of our best practices seminar which was organized for OSHA compliance officers in Florida dealing with lift trucks."

Throughout the first two years of the alliance, OSHA and ITA have developed several programs and projects focusing on the industrial truck industry. As mentioned by Malvaso, the best practices seminar held in February in Tampa included a general overview of powered industrial trucks, and presentations that addressed specific safety applications including capacity/load handling and stability, and operator safety rules. The alliance has also been instrumental in the development of Sample Daily Checklists for Powered Industrial Trucks which assist in providing training on OSHA's powered industrial truck operator standards.

Both OSHA and ITA will continue the development of new electronic assistance tools on the safe use and operation of the trucks, including the issues concerning youth workers. OSHA and ITA will also work together to develop information on the safe operation of powered industrial trucks for possible inclusion in operators' manuals, and distribution through both print and electronic media and from the organization's respective Web sites.

Founded in 1917, ITA represents manufactures of lift trucks and their supplies and works with federal and state regulatory agencies and standards setting organizations on safety and health, environmental, and operator issues. ITA members also manufacture tow tractors, rough terrain vehicles, hand-pallet trucks and automated guided vehicles.