More on Safety

Jul 6th, 2012 | By | Category: Jack Schrock's Blog

Referring to an earlier blog on the subject, it’s clear that the trucking industry is promoting safety from several levels. And, given the accident and death rates in T & R, perhaps we should do likewise.

First, safety must start with equipment. Is it safe to drive and operate? Are the tires slick? Are the brakes fully effective? Is our vision distorted by the view through a cracked windshield? As drivers, perhaps we don’t have much say in vehicle maintenance, but it’s worth a try, especially since our lives can depend on it. Next, as drivers, do we practice safety on an every day basis? And, this starts even before we light the fire. Are the fluid levels good? Belts tight and tires properly inflated? How about brakes, lights, windshield wipers, horn and more?

If our rig is not safe, how can we be safe? Take a lesson from aviation and do a “pre-flight inspection.”

Assuming your equipment is in order, now is the time for safe practices. In T & R there are more opportunities for errors than in most trucking operations as we regularly put our rigs to the test in both recovery and towing operations. I’ve seen cases where a small wrecker attempts to do a big job and that’s unsafe. Frankly, are you willing to risk your life by doing something stupid? Are you a trial-and-error person? Or have you been taught by professionals? In other words, do you employ proven safe practices, or are you just winging it and hoping for the best?

Working alongside a busy highway at night is unsafe, period. Even with cones and lighting and an officer waving his flashlight, it’s still risky. So how do you reduce that risk? Dual controls are provided by most manufacturers to take you out of harm’s way. Wear protective and reflective clothing and keep an eye out for traffic heading your way. How about reducing exposure time, since the longer you stay in the high-risk situation, the more you are at risk.

I’m out of space, but the key is to become safety-minded, and that has a direct influence on your equipment, your procedures and your life.