New Flier Offers Steps to Keep Truck Drivers Safe at Destination
Whether at the warehouse, dock, or construction site, truck drivers can be exposed to struck-by, crushed-between, and other safety hazards.
OSHA and the trucking industry developed a new flier that addresses the most common hazards for drivers after they reach their destination; parking, backing up, and coupling (attaching) and uncoupling (detaching) vehicles.
Drivers need to be trained to safely couple and uncouple truck trailers from the rig, park vehicles on level ground, set the emergency brakes, and place wheel chocks between the tandem wheels of the trailer to prevent the vehicle from rolling.
Crashes Remain Leading Cause of Death
Despite the safety hazards present at trucking destinations, crashes continue to be the leading cause of on-the-job death for truck drivers.
According to the most recent data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 65% of on-the-job deaths of truck drivers are the result of a motor vehicle crash, and over one-third of long-haul truck drivers have been involved in one or more serious crashes during their driving careers.
Additionally, the latest figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that in 2016, fatal injuries among transportation and material moving occupations increased by 7% to 1,388, the highest count since 2007 and accounting for more than one-quarter of all work-related fatalities.
Biggest Risks to Truck Driver Safety
According to the CDC, the three biggest risks to truck driver safety are:
- Not using a seat belt. Using a seat belt is the most effective way to prevent injuries or deaths in a crash. Employers can increase seat belt use by requiring that truck drivers and passengers buckle up on every trip.
- Drowsy driving. Sleep-deprived people do not recognize how poorly they are performing; they tend to think they are doing better than they are. Employers can help by scheduling truck drivers with enough time for adequate rest.
- Distracted driving. Distracted driving occurs any time a driver takes his or her eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, or mind off driving. Employers can include elements in safety programs to ban text messaging or use of handheld cell phones while driving.
Register now for the CBIA 2018 Safety & Health Conference, May 23 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Cromwell.
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