Stan Palmer Wins Inaugural AFITA H&E Grant Industry Award

The winner of the inaugural AFITA H&E Grant Industry Award was Stan Palmer, Product Safety Standards and Engineering Manager, Toyota Materials Handing Australia (TMHA).

The Australian Forklift and Industrial Truck Association (AFITA) held its Annual Dinner and Awards Presentation in the Plaza Gallery at the Brisbane Convention and Entertainment Centre on Thursday 1 June 2023.

The Dinner and Awards Presentation were timed to coincide with the AFITA exhibition at the Brisbane WHS Show 31 May–1 June 2023.

The winner of the inaugural AFITA H&E Grant Industry Award was Stan Palmer, Product Safety Standards and Engineering Manager, Toyota Materials Handing Australia (TMHA).

The Award was presented by Todd Brennan, CEO Forkpro Australia and  AFITA Executive Committee Member.

The H&E Grant Industry Award is conferred on a person who has made a significant contribution to the value, recognition or reputation of the forklift industry.

The criteria against which nominations were assessed are:

  • Significant contribution to the forklift industry over and above what is normally expected from their paid employment/business.
  • Demonstrated leadership on an industry issue resulting in the enhancement of the industry reputation or effectiveness.
  • A significant initiative, or commitment over time which has brought about positive change and added value to the industry or the reputation of the industry.
  • Inspiring qualities as a role model for the industry.

Areas of contribution included Safety, Training, Engineering, Manufacturing, Productivity, Sustainability.

In making the Award to Stan Palmer the judging panel cited Stan’s significant industry contribution including:

  • AFITA Treasurer and Executive Committee Member from March 2014 –Present
  • Member AFITA Engineering Committee for more than 20 years and its Deputy Chair to 2013.
  • Standards:
    • Chair Standards Australia Committee ME026 for more than 20 years and has represented Australian Industry at international standards meetings for the same period.
    • Provides updates on Australian and International Standards to the AFITA and its members.
    • Monitors upcoming changes and coordinates responses.
  • Safety Bulletins – Stan has been a principal author or significant contributor to more than 20 AFITA Engineering Guidance Notes.
  • Regular presenter/speaker at AFITA Safety Week seminars since their inception in 2011.
  • Principal Editor AFITA Accident Investigation Guidelines.
  • Acts as an expert witness for Forklift incidents.

In accepting the Award Stan Palmer thanked the industry for its support and reflected on the leadership that the Australian Forklift Industry has shown the world.

“Australia leads the world in safety standards for forklifts. Safety features such as sequential interlocking seatbelts which were introduced into the Australian Standard in 2015 are only now becoming part of the International Standard.

“Australian representation at International Standards meetings is critical to the continued development of safety features in forklifts”, Stan said.

The AFITA Industry Award is named for Howard and Elizabeth Grant – who ran the Association for more than 40 years as part of their business, Commerce Management Services, and were instrumental in the development and support of the Association for the majority of its existence. Howard was the AFITA Executive Officer from the early to mid-1980s until his death in 2011, when their daughter Sue Hart took on the role. Elizabeth looked after the Association administration and compliance until her death earlier this year.


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