Great West Casualty Company Blog

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Entries related to: safety

Buying Into Safety: Six Reasons It Makes $ense

Remember in Oliver Twist when the hungry boy quietly approached his unforgiving master and asked him to fill the boy’s bowl with more gruel? Safety directors might relate to this feeling when requesting funds for new safety initiatives. Regardless of the company’s culture, selling safety to the keepers of the company coffers can be met with frustration and resistance, especially if the financial return on investment (ROI) has not been calculated beforehand to justify the expenditure.
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Defending Against Winter Driving Hazards

Winter driving can be dangerous. The possibility of losing control of one’s vehicle and the need to drive defensively to protect against other drivers requires alertness and readiness to react to hazards. Read the information below, and ask yourself how you can improve your driving style in any of the hazard categories.
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Tractor–Trailer Fires: What Do You Do?

Tractor-trailer fires can result in devastating losses destroying trucks, trailers, and cargo. Fires can be the result of tires/brakes heating up, loss of axle lubricant, electrical problems, cigarette smoking, and other causes. Whatever the cause, fast action is required should a fire ever occur.
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Providing a Workplace Free of Known Hazards

Motor carriers are in a hazardous industry and face four types of loss exposures: financial, property, liability, and personnel. Financial exposures include decreases in revenue resulting from a loss, such as a vehicle crash, as well as increases in expenses. Damage to equipment or your facility are examples of property exposures, while liability exposures involve third-party claims. The final loss exposure category is the most important: personnel. The loss of any worker, especially key personnel, can cause significant business interruption. That is why a motor carrier should be mindful of its responsibility to provide a workplace that is free of known hazards.
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Speed Management

Properly managing the truck’s speed requires skill and good judgment. Failure to do so could have tragic consequences. To avoid this, drivers must recognize the hazards that can lead to a crash, know the defense, and react properly. Read the information below and ask yourself how you can improve your driving style in any of the hazard categories.
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Heat-related Illness

A heat-related illness, such as heat exhaustion, heat cramps, or sun stroke, occurs when the body cannot cool itself sufficiently and blood rushes to the skin's surface. When less blood reaches your muscles, organs, and brain, it can lead to physical and mental health problems, or even death. Read the information below, and ask yourself if there are actions you can take to protect yourself.
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Personal Security

Truck stops, rest areas, and parking lots are used by criminals to prey on drivers and other employees. Protecting yourself from physical harm is your primary concern over the security of your vehicle and cargo. The key to your safety is to be able to recognize the hazards that can put you in harm’s way and know how to defend against these dangers.
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Pattern Driving

Every driver has a pattern of driving. These patterns, or habits, can be good or bad, or more precisely, safe or unsafe. A driver who integrates safety into all of his/her driving decisions, regardless of the environment, has established a pattern of behavior that reduces the risk of a crash. However, pattern driving can refer to practicing unsafe behaviors as well, like speeding and tailgating. Pattern driving can also occur when a driver gets too comfortable with his/her route or routines and lets his/her guard down. This is common when drivers run dedicated lanes to the same customers day after day and become complacent. In this case, complacency becomes a distraction, and drivers lose focus on their surroundings and the potential hazards that could lead to a crash.
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Ask the Truck Underwriter: Can I Get An Exception for a Driver Who Doesn't Have an Acceptable MVR?

Good drivers are hard to find; can I get an exception for a driver who doesn't have an acceptable MVR? With concerns about the driver shortage, to get a truck moving again, it can be tempting to consider younger, less-experienced drivers or those with a history of crashes or violations. However, hiring at-risk drivers puts a motor carrier in a bad position. Not only can hiring at-risk drivers negatively affect a motor carrier’s insurance premiums and overall insurability, but also, if such a driver were to be involved in a crash, the motor carrier could face claims of negligent hiring or negligent retention. Exceptions are not the norm, and they depend heavily on the motor carrier’s ability to demonstrate it has the management controls in place to effectively supervise the driver and the added risk.
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Post-Traumatic Growth: Improving Operations After a Catastrophic Loss

Every motor carrier operates in a challenging environment that exposes it to the risk of a catastrophic loss. Serious injuries, loss of life, and high-dollar claims are just one crash away. Yet, even with this awareness, many motor carriers are ill-prepared for what follows that dreaded phone call informing them that one of their drivers has been involved in a critical crash.
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