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May 3, 2000

Safety conference seeking forklift cowboys for rodeo

TUMWATER - Professional forklift operators from Washington are invited to show off their skills this summer during qualifying competition for the Governor's Industrial Safety and Health Conference forklift rodeo.

Applications are being accepted for competition in the Third annual Forklift Rodeo Championship, to be held Oct. 4 in Spokane at the annual conference. The rodeo is intended to promote safe forklift operation and highlight the skill and talent of the men and women who operate forklifts for a living.

Regional competitions will be held in Wenatchee on Aug. 5, 2000, and in Seattle on Sept. 9, 2000. The top 10 qualifiers at each regional contest will advance to the championship. Regional prizes of $300, $200 and $100 are awarded to the first-, second- and third-place finishers, respectively. The top championship prizes are $500, $400 and $300. The entry fee is $40.

The competition includes a written exam, pre-flight inspection and an obstacle course that will test skills required to maneuver and stack loads safely. The forklifts, rated at 5,000 pounds and equipped with automatic transmissions, will be provided at the competitions.

This year is the 49th annual staging of the conference. It attracts more than 3,000 safety and health professionals from across the state. Alternately held in Seattle and Spokane, the two-day conference offers opportunities to learn about the latest tools, technologies and strategies for workplace safety and health. It includes panel discussions, blockbuster presentations, trade show exhibits, demonstrations, workshops and more.

To receive an application for the rodeo competition, contact Char Alexander 360-902-5446, or the conference hotline 1-888-451-2004, or print the application off the Department of Labor & Industries' website.

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