ATTENTION | UPDATE | 12.19.19
- Rand has updated several units to be in compliance with DOT rules. The units are very sensitive and will kick you onto the drive live if it senses movement. You need to declare a status if moving your truck.
Slips and Falls
This is the time of year to focus on the hazards of winter driving. Although winter-driving safety must be addressed with drivers for the next couple of months, winter weather ushers in hazards that extend beyond the roadway. Many companies experience a spike in workers' compensation claims during the winter months as a direct result of winter hazards that are completely unrelated to driving a truck. Slips and falls happen to represent the most prevalent cause of truck-driver injuries.
Below is a brief overview of several tips to preventing slips and falls:
- Use the three-point-contact climbing method. Keep three limbs (one hand and two feet, or two hands and one foot) in contact with the handholds or the steps. If a hand or foot slips, two other limbs will be in contact with the vehicle to catch the driver.
- Always face the equipment. You may be tempted to exit the cab facing forward, which makes the three-point climbing method awkward. Facing the truck increases the driver's control.
- Avoid jumping. Some of the most frequent and serious injuries are the result of jumping from the cab, deck plate, or steps.
- Keep your hands free. You should avoid carrying items while entering or exiting the cab so your hands are free to use the grab rails.
- Get a grip. The hookup area behind the cab is the scene of many slips and falls. Drivers should place their feet solidly on the surface of the catwalk and use a secure handhold, leaving one hand free to do the work.
- Keep equipment in good condition. Pre- and post-trip inspections should include steps, deck plates, and grab rails. Repairs should be done immediately. Preventive maintenance for scheduled services should also include safety equipment inspection.
- Select proper footwear. You should wear sturdy footwear with slip resistant soles.
- Clean the deck plate/catwalk area. When you need to connect, unhook, or check brake and electrical connections, the work should be done from the ground, if possible. If not, the area should be equipped with as many footholds and grab rails as possible. Deck plates commonly become slippery from fuel and moisture, so it's critical that proper material be used.
- Adverse conditions: snow, ice, rain, mud, grease, and even morning dew can increase slip-and-fall potential. Clean handholds, steps, and truck platforms before entering the cab. When exiting, use extra caution. Also, do not install carpet on the steps to keep the inside of the tractor clean. Carpet can freeze in cold, icy conditions and be very slippery during wet weather.