Great West Casualty Company Blog

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Maintain Business Continuity with Proactive Facility Inspections

Waiting to close the barn door until after the cows had gotten out is an old expression that motor carriers might be able to relate to if they are taking a reactive approach to preventing workplace incidents. Fixing hazards after an incident is the responsible thing to do and may prevent future occurrences, but the fact remains that if the incident resulted in an employee injury, an employee was injured and that cannot be undone. One way to get ahead of workplace injuries is to be proactive and perform facility inspections.
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Avoiding Right Turn Squeeze Crashes

A right-turn squeeze crash can occur when a truck driver makes a wide right turn and leaves too much space between the truck and the curb. A vehicle behind may mistake this maneuver as the truck simply changing lanes or as soon as the right lane opens up the driver ignores the truck’s turn signal and accelerates alongside the truck. Either way, as soon as the truck makes its right-hand turn, the other vehicle gets caught under the trailer or impacts the side of the truck. This type of run under crash can be prevented if truck drivers are able to recognize the hazards that increase the likelihood of a crash and take defensive measures to prevent a loss. Read the information below and ask yourself if there are actions you can take to improve your driving skills and reduce the risk of a crash.
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Preventing Run Under Crashes

Side-impact crashes involving vehicles running under the trailer are one of the four critical crashes because they typically result in severe losses. These types of crashes can be prevented if drivers recognize the hazards that increase the likelihood of a run under crash and take defensive measures to avoid it. Read the information below and ask yourself if there are actions you can take to improve your driving skills and reduce the risk of a run under crash.
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Ask the Workers' Compensation Underwriter

Are Written Job Descriptions Really Necessary? Yes, written job descriptions are essential to managing your workers’ compensation costs. Workers’ compensation is a “no-fault” system designed to compensate employees for job-related injuries without regard to fault. That makes hiring employees who are physically capable of performing the essential functions of a job so important, hence the need for written job descriptions. The job description details the essential functions and physical requirements of each job. Successful motor carriers often contract with a local occupational therapist to conduct a job analysis and define the physical requirements. The physical requirements should be attached to the application for employment. The application should ask if the applicant can meet these requirements and state that a conditional offer of employment, if extended, will be subject to the applicant's passing an expanded physical performed by a company-specified doctor.
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Seven Elements of Successful Risk Management

Senior leadership has many responsibilities, and one is to make sure the company operates at a profit. Certain performance metrics contribute to profitability such as annual sales growth, return on investment, and profit margin. Profit margin, in particular, can directly correlate to the effectiveness of the organization’s risk management strategy. Senior leadership’s role in championing this strategy begins with identifying the motor carrier’s loss exposures and devising a plan to mitigate or avoid potential losses. What does this look like? Here are seven elements of a successful risk management program that senior leaders can adopt.
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Shop/Warehouse Safety: Proper Lifting

Improper lifting is a common cause of serious back injuries and could potentially lead to a lifetime of discomfort. Also, injuries caused by improper lifting could cost you in terms of lost wages, out-of-pocket medical expenses, and your ability to enjoy the people and activities you love. The key to protecting yourself is to be able to recognize the hazards associated with improper lifting and know how to reduce your risk of injury.
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Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food

This article has been updated with new information. It was originally posted on October 25th, 2016. The final rule for the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food (STHAF or Sanitary Transportation Rule) was published in the Federal Register on April 6, 2016.  On June 6, 2016, the STHAF rule became effective and part of the Code of Federal Regulations at 21 C.F.R. Sections 1.900-1.934. Motor carriers and brokers engaged in the transportation of food should read the STHAF regulations and carefully review their shipping contracts with respect to provisions addressing food shipments and the STHAF.  
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Driver Safety: Proper Lifting

Improper lifting is a common cause of serious back injuries and could potentially lead to a lifetime of discomfort. Also, injuries caused by improper lifting could cost you in terms of lost wages, out-of-pocket medical expenses, and your ability to enjoy the people and activities you love. The key to protecting yourself is to be able to recognize the hazards associated with improper lifting and know how to reduce your risk of injury.
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Ask the Safety Rep: Does the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) allow a motor carrier to purge certain documents from the driver's qualification file?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety regulations (FMCSR) require a motor carrier to maintain a driver qualification file for each driver it employs. Part 391.51 specifies which documents must be contained in this file. However, paragraph (d) of the regulation allows a motor carrier to purge specific documents from the file. The following regulations specify the duration each document must be maintained by employers as of September 1, 2017. We recommend that motor carriers review these requirements periodically to keep current.
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Avoiding Crashes at Railroad Crossings

Side-impact collisions that occur between a tractor/trailer and train can result in devastating losses. The key to preventing crashes while crossing railroad tracks is to be able to recognize the hazards that increase the likelihood of a crash and take appropriate defensive measures. Read the information below and ask yourself if there are actions you can take to improve your driving skills and reduce the risk of a crash.
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