Forklift operators compete in rodeos

News Story
- 20 Jul 2006 ( #269 ) - ALBUQUERQUE, NM, United States
1 min read
Forklift rodeo team photo.
Forklift rodeo team photo.
Forklift operators at Sandia National Laboratories and Kirtland Air Force base, USA, compete as teams and individuals in a variety of ways during annual rodeo-style safety contests.

Sandia spokeswoman Elizabeth Carson said during each forklift safety competition, operators demonstrated skills, learnt new techniques, teamed with other operators and could win prizes.

"The perceived value is that every participant walks away each year with a more comprehensive respect for the importance of their jobs and safety."

In the July 2006 competition, volunteers participated in events creatively named "Grand Canyon, bottleneck, trailer/low boy, serpentine, basketball shooting, bowling ball rolling, da bomb and high stacking".

In the overall forklift rodeo results, Paul Apodaca, a special material handler, won first place. Utility truck driver Eric Williamson was second, and heavy truck driver Dominic Kittredge took third.

The event began in 2000 after a Sandia team supervisor saw a small forklift rodeo at a heavy equipment conference and prompted an initiative at the Sandia laboratory. "Our event is definitely about behaviour-based safety, knowing and using good habits," Carson said.

Sandia's main secured campus is on the Kirtland base in Albuquerque. Sandia is a facility of the US Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.

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