A safety program can lead to fewer insurance claims, fewer DoT inspections, lower insurance premiums, higher worker morale (meaning a lower turnover rate), and less paperwork. But building a program from scratch is overwhelming, especially if you’ve never done it before.
When designing a workplace safety program for the transportation industry, you have to keep in mind what, exactly, you will be providing safety knowledge for. A well-conceived and properly implemented program can have benefits far beyond a simple reduction in workplace injuries, or accidents in the case of the transportation industry.
It does however require a significant time commitment to create, and even more time to get workers on board so that they can receive the education they need for their positions. Fortunately, there are tools to assist with this; several companies have created education software and platforms specifically for the transportation industry.
TIPS FOR DESIGNING AND IMPLEMENTING A WORKPLACE SAFETY PROGRAM FOR THE TRANSPORTATION INDUSTRY
If separate companies are developing these platforms themselves, you should keep in mind the industry they’re building it for. For example, a trucking safety program will be very different than a manufacturing safety program, for instance. Or often times, trucking companies will bring in senior drivers or driving instructors to help train their employees. These drivers could be employed by the company, or they may be individuals that have retired from driving but offer their knowledge for teaching purposes.
To better assist companies in designing a workplace safety program for their drivers, here are several of the more common safety tips from the industry:
Never Drive Distracted
One of the biggest issues for commercial driving is distracted drivers. While texting has been made illegal in the transportation industry, thus removing one of the worst offenders from the equation, things like eating, drinking, or interacting with a navigational device can also be a deadly distraction.
If a driver must attend to an activity other than driving, they should get off at the next exit or pull to the side. It’s not worth the risks involved to multitask on the road.
Maintain Your Rig
Before every trip, divers should inspect their vehicles themselves. Even if there is an inspector on site that gives the OK, double checking everything can give both peace of mind and the potential to spot anything that might have been missed. And definitely check your tires and brakes.
Also, make sure that the load being transported is secure and well balanced. A shifting cargo can lead to a rollover or a loss of control in the wrong circumstances.
Adjust For Bad Weather
Nearly 25% of all speeding-related truck driving accidents is due to weather. Reduce speed by one-third on wet roads, and one-half on snowy or icy ones. Also, give more time to maneuver in poor weather. Let the blinker run longer before changing lanes, and signal long before you begin slowing down for a turn.
And if there are other drivers pulling over in bad weather? Doing the same might be best.
These are just some of the tips that could be taught in a transportation safety program. To better create a program for a company, it would be a good idea to get familiar with the rules and regulations concerning the DoT and to bring on board a driving instructor to better assist.
Knowing the rules and regulations, as well as common-sense driving, are two key components to safety in the transportation industry.
About the Author: Trey Trimble is the CTO of Transportation Safety Apparel. TSA is a family business that I have been involved with since the beginning in 2001. I am well versed about both the transportation safety industry and the technology industry. I've done all kinds of different jobs with TSA, from customer service and marketing to Magento Software Development. My professional education is Computer Engineering from Clemson University, go Tigers!