Friday, October 10, 2014

National Grid Forklift Rodeo

Event Promotes Safety and Raises Awareness of Forklift Operations

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – National Grid hosted an inaugural Forklift Rodeo Championship on Wednesday, Oct. 8, at the company’s facility on Henry Clay Boulevard, where Cathie Davis, the competitor representing the Syracuse, New York warehouse, was crowned champion for safely completing a friendly competition designed to promote proper forklift operation and safety in the workplace.
“At National Grid the safety of our customers and employees is our number one priority,” said Melanie Littlejohn, regional executive of National Grid, Central New York division. “The Forklift Rodeo is a fun and engaging way to help raise awareness on proper forklift operation and safety. Today’s event is another interactive tool through which National Grid continues to provide critical training on safety in the workplace.”
As part of National Grid’s ongoing commitment to safety and the safe use of heavy machinery, the Forklift Rodeo pitted six regional finalists against one another as they completed a series of four agility and obstacle courses. National Grid warehouse employees were timed and judged on proper forklift operation practices while completing the Circle, Four Square, Pallet Ballet and Hot Shot courses. The events were not races, but rather demonstrations of safe forklift-handing maneuvers with penalties incurred if participants exhibited unsafe driving methods.

Finalists that participated in the event won individual competitions held over the last several months at the company’s regional service areas across the Northeast. Those represented included Long Island, Buffalo, Clifton Park and Syracuse, New York, as well as Sutton, Massachusetts, and Providence, Rhode Island.
National Grid relies on forklifts every day in its warehouses. With the company’s dependence on heavy machinery, it is vital to instruct and train employees to properly operate a forklift. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, an estimated 34,900 forklift accidents occur each year on worksites and cause significant injuries that prevent individuals from working, in addition to product and property damage. Most forklift accidents are the result of operator error or unfamiliarity with correct forklift operations and misuse of the machinery.

Forklift Rodeo Winner: (L-R) Bill Hilbrunner, vice president of operations support at National Grid awards Cathie Davis, of National Grid’s Syracuse, New York warehouse, the trophy for 2014 Forklift Rodeo Champion.

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