Slips, trips and falls are a common workplace injury in the trucking industry. There are many ways to prevent such instances and create a safe work environment for yourself. Here are some tips that all drivers should follow to avoid accidents.
Use the "three points of contact” rule when entering or exiting your cab. Depending on the type of driving, a driver might exit the truck five to 50 times per day. Did you know that jumping from elevations such as the floor of a conventional tractor to the ground would, over time, cause joint stiffness, pain, and impair your ability to perform everyday tasks while out on the road?
Entering and exiting your equipment properly will increase your margin of safety and protect your health. Before you exit, look for debris, ice or water that might make the steps or ground treacherous. Wear footwear with good traction, especially in the winter months. Keep the cab steps in good repair.
Using a three-point contact method when entering and exiting your cab means two hands are gripping secure handles and one foot is safely supporting the body’s weight during entry or exit.
Sometimes, injuries from a fall on the same level is a result of avoiding a falling object. If loads or boxes are stacked too high, avoid walking around them. Don’t assume a stack of load is stable enough to grab or lean on.
Be careful when walking on surfaces as uneven surfaces can cause trips and falls.
Wear proper footwear. Wear durable safety shoes that have good traction. This will keep you on your feet in rainy and icy weather. Inspect your boots for wear on a weekly basis. Wear ice cleats in the winter months. Ice cleats improve a truck driver’s traction and balance on ice and snow and will ultimately increase safety on the road.
Look before you step. The ground conditions can change rapidly. A path that was once clear can become cluttered, obstructed or slippery. When you are on an elevated work surface do not back up. Always face the direction you want to go to avoid dangerous situations.
Finally, remember that whatever the situation, you can take a second to look around and identify the hazards that might cause injury and if possible, eliminate them. Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance.