Falling from an elevated position, such as the truck, a ladder, or even an open service pit, can lead to serious injuries and fatalities. Read the information below about fall hazards and the recommended defense techniques, and then ask yourself how you can change your work habits to protect yourself from harm.
RECOGNIZE THE HAZARDS
Drivers are at risk when using elevated walkways to load commodities at customer sites. Mechanics and dock workers are at risk around open-door loading docks and uncovered service pits. Slips and trips caused by potholes, spilled liquids, newly polished floors, etc. can be dangerous to all workers.
Entering and exiting the tractor and trailer without using three points of contact or when facing away from the vehicle is a danger. Using damaged ladders or inappropriate equipment (e.g., forklift) that is not designed to lift personnel can cause injuries. Other injuries occur when workers do not wear fall protection harnesses or utilize guard rails while working in elevated positions.
Distracted walking is a common hazard that leads to slips, trips, and falls. Ignoring safety procedures, including ladder safety or jumping off the tractor, can lead to serious injuries. Hurrying is another unsafe behavior that leads to many slips, trips, and falls.
KNOW THE DEFENSE
USE THREE POINTS OF CONTACT
Do not jump off equipment, ladders, or elevated positions. Use three points of contact, meaning both hands and one foot or both feet and one hand are always in contact with the equipment. Always face the equipment when entering/exiting the truck or trailer or climbing on/off a ladder or other elevated positions.
AVOID DISTRACTED WALKING
Avoid distractions like talking or texting on a cell phone, interacting with a tablet, eating and drinking, and talking to others while walking. These distractions could cause you to overlook a hazard and slip, trip, or fall. Focus on the task at hand, visually clear your walking path, and arrive safely at your destination.
UTILIZE FALL PROTECTION EQUIPMENT
Use fall protection harnesses or systems, if available, when working from an elevated position. Ensure this personal protective equipment is properly inspected and maintained, and you are trained on its use.
Do not be in a hurry. This can cause you to lose your footing and slip, trip, or fall. Get to your destination safely by slowing down and making sure you are aware of any hazards in the area.
Note: These lists are not intended to be all-inclusive.
The information in this article is provided as a courtesy of Great West Casualty Company and is part of the Value-Driven® Company program. Value-Driven Company was created to help educate and inform insureds so they can make better decisions, build a culture that values safety, and manage risk more effectively. To see what additional resources Great West Casualty Company can provide for its insureds, please contact your safety representative, or click below to find an agent.
© Great West Casualty Company 2019. The material in this publication is the property of Great West Casualty Company unless otherwise noted and may not be reproduced without its written consent by any person other than a current insured of Great West Casualty Company for business purposes. Insured should attribute use as follows: “© Great West Casualty Company 2019. Used with permission by Great West Casualty Company.”
This material is intended to be a broad overview of the subject matter and is provided for informational purposes only. Great West Casualty Company does not provide legal advice to its insureds, nor does it advise insureds on employment-related issues. Therefore, the subject matter is not intended to serve as legal or employment advice for any issue(s) that may arise in the operations of its insureds. Legal advice should always be sought from the insured’s legal counsel. Great West Casualty Company shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss, action, or inaction alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the information contained herein.