Keep Focused On Winter Weather Hazards

Keep Focused On Winter Weather Hazards

There are four types of loss exposures that every motor carrier must address, especially in winter when the risk of vehicle crashes and workplace injuries increases. Loss exposures involving personnel (employees), equipment (tractors, trailers, facilities, etc.), net income (revenue), and liability (third party) can all be affected by a single incident, such as a truck crash. That is why management should lead the effort to communicate the dangers winter weather can present. Here are some simple yet effective tips to help workers avoid injuries and crashes when severe weather is present.

Injury Prevention

• Require the use of non-skid footwear in the shop, warehouse, and if working on or around the trucks.

• Train drivers to use three points of contact when entering and exiting equipment.

• Ensure pre-trip inspections include review of handle bars and stair platforms.

• Keep walking surfaces inside and around the facility clear of snow and ice.

• Remind workers to take shorter steps and pay attention to where they are walking.

• Instruct employees to keep their hands free and out of their pockets in case of a fall.

Crash Prevention

• Remind drivers to use good decision-making skills and avoid driving if road conditions are impassable.

• Encourage drivers to get plenty of rest so fatigue does not become a distraction.

• Instruct drivers to keep mirrors, windshield, and all lights clear from snow and ice.

• Encourage drivers to pack water, healthy non-perishable snacks, and extra warm clothing for unexpected delays.

• Help drivers plan routes to avoid inclement weather and communicate weather updates.

• Instruct maintenance to keep extra wiper fluid and antifreeze on hand for drivers.

• Remind drivers to decrease speed and increase following distance to avoid rear-end crashes.

• Train drivers on how to regain control if the tractor and/or trailer begin to jackknife. To regain rolling traction, disengage the clutch or shift to Neutral (if not done automatically) and steer in the direction of the skid. If necessary, drivers should counter steer until the vehicle straightens out and rolling traction resumes.

Remember, everyone plays a part in loss prevention, and management’s role is to provide employees with the knowledge and resources to do their job safely. Daily reminders to emphasize the points above are one way management can demonstrate their support and build a culture that values safety. For more information, refer to Great West’s Value-Driven® Driving and Value-Driven Life programs or contact your Safety Representative for more information. 

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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.