11 June, 2024

WSI’s Commitment to Safety Spans Decades 

Today is National Forklift Safety Day! Established in 2014 by the Industrial Truck Association , Forklift Safety Day serves as a reminder of the value of proper training and maintenance of forklifts.  

To celebrate, we interviewed Eric Buss, a supervisor from Neenah, Wisconsin, who oversees the safety protocols for a facility serving more than 25 customers. With a remarkable career at WSI spanning over 36 years, Eric has witnessed the evolution of the company’s safety measures and is deeply committed to maintaining a secure work environment.  

Safety: A Personal Priority 

For Eric, safety isn’t just a professional duty – It’s personal. Reflecting on a serious injury he sustained nearly 30 years ago, he underscores the importance of safety to new employees.  

When asked about what keeps him incident-free at the warehouse, Eric highlights the importance of keeping safety at the forefront: “It’s always on my mind, I try to make sure everybody has that on their mind first and foremost.” Eric believes that rushing tasks can lead to incidents, so he advises employees to prioritize safety over speed.  

“You don’t have to go fast to do a good job… The main concern is personal safety and the safety of others,” he continues, illustrating his proactive approach to fostering a safety-first culture. 

Instilling a Safety Mindset

Eric’s dedication to safety is evident in his daily interactions with employees. He recalls the early days of the safety team, initiated by former director Mike Laha over 25 years ago, where monthly meetings were held to discuss safety incidents and improvements. This collaborative approach allowed employees from different warehouses to share insights and ideas, reinforcing a culture of safety across the organization. 

Daily Safety Practices 

On a daily basis, Eric emphasizes critical safety practices such as ensuring trailers are securely locked during loading and unloading. He regularly briefs his team on their tasks, reinforcing the importance of safety in every action. During slower periods, he focuses on maintaining the warehouse environment by ensuring that safety markers like painted poles and clean lines are visible and well-maintained. 

Advice for New Lift Truck Operators 

For new Lift Truck Operators (LTOs), Eric stresses the importance of thorough training and familiarization with the equipment. He believes in spending ample time with new employees to ensure they are comfortable and competent in their roles. Even if they appear confident, he ensures that they fully understand the safety protocols to prevent any incidents. “Many employees come in and have never been on a lift before,” he explains, “It’s important for leaders to spend time with them to make sure they’re comfortable.” 


Eric Buss’s extensive experience and personal commitment to safety make him an exemplary leader at WSI. His approach to instilling a safety-first mindset among employees, combined with practical daily routines and comprehensive training, underscores WSI’s dedication to creating a secure and efficient working environment. As we celebrate Forklift Safety Day, Eric’s insights and practices serve as a testament to the company’s unwavering commitment to safety.