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Competitors wanted for annual forklift rodeo competition

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May 24, 2012

TUMWATER — Driving a forklift may look easy, but driving one safely requires the right training and experience.

Beginning next week, professional forklift drivers across the state will have a chance to show their skills while competing in a series of contests leading to a final competition at the 61st Governor’s Industrial Safety and Health Conference to determine the best forklift driver in the state.

The first regional qualifying forklift rodeo this year will be on June 2 in Central Washington at the Volpentest HAMMER Training and Education Center in Richland.

Other forklift competitions will be held in Spokane on July 14 and in Auburn on Aug. 11. The driver who wins first place will take home $500 and a claim to fame for being the best, and safest, forklift operator in the state.

The top five individual qualifiers from the regional events compete in the 15th Annual Forklift Rodeo, held at the start of the annual Governor’s Industrial Safety and Health Conference in Spokane in Sept. 26 and 27. The conference itself is co-sponsored by the Governor’s Industrial Safety and Health Advisory Board and the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I).

The forklift rodeos typically draw the best forklift drivers from around the state. Competitors must pass a written exam and a pre-use inspection of a forklift before competing in the obstacle course. The top seven drivers in the regional competitions earn cash prizes ranging from $50 to $300. In the finals, prizes range from $100 to $500 for the top five drivers. Participation is limited to the first 30 drivers who register.

To register, visit www.wagovconf.org or call 206-281-3842 or 1-888‑451-2004 (TDD users: 360-902-5797). The entry fee is $40 for competitors. Spectators are welcome free of charge.

While the competitions are friendly and fun, they are meant to encourage improved safety among forklift operators.

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Media contact: Elaine Fischer, 360-902-5413.

Broadcast version:
The Department of Labor & Industries and the Governor’s Industrial Safety and Health Advisory Board invite professional forklift drivers in Central Washington to compete June 2 in a regional qualifying forklift rodeo at the Volpentest HAMMER Training and Education Center in Richland. Other forklift competitions will be in Spokane on July 14 and Auburn on Aug. 11. The winners from these regional competitions will compete in the 15th Annual Forklift Rodeo at the 61st Governor’s Industrial Safety and Health Conference in Spokane on Sept. 26 and 27. For information or to register, visit www dot wa gov conf dot org or call 1-888-451-2004.

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