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July 20, 2001

Forklift rodeo to round up skilled 'hands' for conference

TUMWATER - Professional forklift operators from across the state will demonstrate their skills and compete this summer during qualifying competition for the 50th Governor's Industrial Safety and Health Conference.

Applications for the 4th annual Forklift Rodeo Championship competition are being accepted. Those interested should contact Char Alexander at 1-360-902-5446, or 1-888-451-2004. TDD users please call 1-360-902-5797. The application can be printed off the website at www.Lni.wa.gov/wisha/gov-conf/govconf2001.htm.

The rodeo will be held Sept. 26 in Seattle at the annual conference. The goal of the rodeo is to promote safe forklift operation and display the talent of forklift operators.

Each region will send its top 10 qualifiers to the championship. Regional competitions take place in Wenatchee on Aug. 4 and in Seattle on Aug. 25. First, second and third place regional winners will take home prizes from $300 to $100. Top championship prizes of $500, $400 and $300 will be awarded in the final at the conference. The entry fee is $40. 

Competitors will test their abilities in the following: a written exam, inspection and an obstacle course. The forklifts to be provided are rated at 5,000 pounds and equipped with automatic transmission.

This year marks the 50th year of the safety and health conference.  The "history of safety and health" exhibits will highlight past efforts in worker protection. The annual forklift competition is one of the featured events highlighted at this year's conference at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center located in Seattle.

The conference offers opportunities for learning the latest tools, technologies and strategies for improving workplace safety and health. The program includes panel discussions, blockbuster presentations, trade show exhibits, demonstrations, workshops and more.

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