Great West Casualty Company Blog

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The Essential 7 Work Practices

Truck drivers, mechanics, and office workers were asked to identify the skills they felt were most effective in preventing workplace injuries. They agreed on the Essential 7 Work Practices. Read the information below and ask yourself how you can improve your work habits to protect yourself from injury.
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Back to Basics

In the frenzied pace of motor carrier operations, it is easy to get caught up in the daily grind and lose sight of fundamentals. For any business, three key elements are crucial to success: communication, teamwork, and planning. Revisiting each of these elements periodically is healthy for the entire organization and can help the company achieve its objectives. However, one area that motor carriers tend to ignore in varying degrees is safety. In the Spring 2019 issue of Safety Talk, we discussed how practical drift, an employee’s gradual deviation from established policies and procedures, can erode the effectiveness of a company’s safety efforts, and if allowed to continue unchecked, can negatively define the company’s culture. Senior management at a trucking company can contribute to this erosion as well. Here is an example: A motor carrier may become complacent or resistant to change because it hasn’t recently experienced a crash or injury. Management then adopts a mentality of, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” This type of mentality introduces risk into what may otherwise be a healthy organization. If management cannot attribute the company’s success to effective loss-prevention practices, it is essentially saying pure luck is responsible for the company’s performance. Regardless of past loss performance, no company can afford to rest on its laurels if it expects to remain competitive. A periodic review of basic safety practices is essential because new risks may be present that have not been accounted for. Whether a change in customers, equipment, commodities, or personnel, motor carriers should have a process in place to continually assess their risks and determine if current safety practices are sufficient. Below are some assessment methods.
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Preventing Lane Change Crashes

Lane change crashes can often be prevented if the truck driver recognizes the hazards that increase the risk of a crash and applies the right defensive driving techniques. Read the information below then ask yourself how you can improve your driving to prevent lane change crashes.
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How to Avoid the Four Critical Crashes

Critical crashes typically result in severe losses and can be catastrophic for everyone involved. Preventing critical crashes requires drivers to recognize the hazards that increase the odds of a crash, know the defense, and to react properly. Read the information below, and ask yourself how you can improve your vigilance and driving style.
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How to Protect Yourself From Fall-Related Injuries

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.
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Why You Should Make Road Tests Part of the Hiring Process

One of the most important responsibilities a motor carrier has is to hire qualified drivers. This critical task, if conducted haphazardly or not performed at all, could have a negative ripple effect across the company and affect productivity, downtime, morale, expenses, and profitability. Due diligence should be given to screening applicants and conducting required background checks, but, arguably, the most reliable method to gauge a driver’s abilities and safety attitude is with a comprehensive road test.
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What You Need To Know When Uncoupling A Trailer

Working around the truck can be just as dangerous to a driver as getting involved in a crash. One daily task a driver performs is uncoupling the trailer. This activity, if performed improperly, can result in shoulder and back strains, head injuries (e.g., cuts, abrasions, and concussions), as well as slips, trips, and falls. Read the information below, and determine if there are areas of your uncoupling technique that can be improved.
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It's Time to discuss summer driving hazards

Summer is here, and a new set of driving hazards is sure to raise a driver’s stress level as fast as the temperature gets warmer. Operations personnel are likely to be the only friendly voice a driver hears during the day. This makes dispatchers, driver managers, and safety personnel important advocates for drivers as well as champions of the company’s safety message. Below is a short list of summer driving hazards. Share this information with drivers and complete the “Call to Action” tasks.
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Prevent Cargo Theft Over The Holiday

Motor carriers should be mindful of the increased risk of theft as the holiday approaches. Fewer employees around the facility and warehouses and trailers potentially full of valuable cargo, makes for a target-rich environment to would-be thieves. Here are some loss prevention tips that can help motor carriers and drivers decrease the risk of theft. 
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What Can You Do to Prevent Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is any activity (including fatigue and illness) that diverts your attention away from driving. Drivers must devote their full attention to driving. Any non-driving activity is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing. Read the information below on the types of distractions and defense techniques, then ask yourself if there are ways you can improve.
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