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Trade show visitors in safe hands

Thursday, 5 Apr 2007 ( #304 ) - MELBOURNE, Victoria, Australia
Local News Story
Linde Material Handling at SIA Melbourne 2007
Forklift safety expert Dr George Rechnitzer guided the curious and the concerned through forklift exhibits at the Melbourne Safety in Action trade show last month.

The visitors were in good hands. Rechnitzer, principal forensic engineer with safety consultant DVExperts International, is a former senior research fellow at the Monash University Accident Research Centre. He has been involved with forklift safety since the early 1990s.

"I was impressed with the level of energy and design effort put in by the various manufacturers and exhibitors," Rechnitzer said. "One highlight for me [was] the rotating forklift cabin - a brilliant idea that shows the great advances that can be made through good design.

"I think all [tour] participants would have been inspired to go back to their workplaces and start implementing such advances."

More than 10,000 visitors from 17 countries poured through the doors of the Melbourne Exhibition Centre for the 10th Safety In Action (SIA) and Materials Handling trade shows.

Regular exhibitor Red Australia, which hosted a talk on dock safety by US Rite Hite representative Mike Gallenberger, said the forklift industry was well represented.

Another regular exhibitor, Mike Featherstone, from Task Australia, estimates visitors have increased tenfold in the 10 years the company has taken part in the SIA trade shows.

"The quantity of people actually visiting the stand and contributing to through traffic has increased substantially,’’ Featherstone said. "They ranged from interested onlookers to company directors and decision makers. We estimate a very good return on investment."

Donna Blackwood, from EV Alerts, agreed decision makers were out in force.
"We have already received one order which will cover all costs associated with the show," she said. "Anything after that is gravy."

A spokesperson for Toyota Material Handling said his company took a broad view of the visitor market.
"We believe we reached our target audience, which included all users of materials handling equipment, rather than being restricted to forklift users only," he said.

Other forklift industry exhibitors included Linde Materials Handling, Materials Handling Pty Ltd, Maverick Equipment, Speedshield and Multi Shifter.

Show organiser Marie Kinsella said: "SIA is such a strong show because it's evolving all the time and there's always something new to make it worthwhile for visitors to come back every year. There aren't too many shows of this maturity that can say 22 per cent of exhibitors are new."

Hosted by the Victorian division of the Safety Institute of Australia and sponsored by WorkSafe Victoria, next year’s shows will be on April 29 to May 1 at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre.

The second Queensland Safety Show runs from June 19 to June 21 this year at the Brisbane Exhibition Centre and the Safety Show Sydney is on October 24-26 at the Sydney Showground.
Toyota Material Handling makes its presence felt
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