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At Ward Lumber, Forklift Olympics promote safety

While forklifts are an everyday tool used in lumberyards across the world, they are also an inherently dangerous piece of machinery. Most forklifts used in lumber yards weigh between 6,000 and 20,000 pounds. Using even the smallest forklift unsafely could result in bodily harm or even death. That’s why Ward Lumber recently held an event for its staff and community focused on forklift safety.

Highlighting safety by sharing both safe practices and forklift skills with the community raises awareness and celebrates safe drivers. The Forklift Olympics, as they are known at Ward Lumber, sometimes called a Forklift Rodeo elsewhere, was the company’s third annual Forklift Safety event. The event saw 10 competitors vie for the title of Safest Forklift Driver. Moving materials onto and off of a truck, driving backwards through tight spaces, and moving culverts were just a few elements from the course.

The Grand Prize was donations to charities of the winner’s choice, which accompanied bragging rights, a medal, and model forklift. Reigning champion Bernie LaDuke brought home his second consecutive first place win and chose North Country SPCA for his $200 first place donation; Keith Denton, earning second place, chose $100 to the Elizabethtown Food Shelf; and Dale Fredenburg in third place chose the Elmbrook SPCA for a $50 donation.

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