Where would we be without the transportation and trucking industry? These oversized vehicles are responsible for carrying food, building materials, chemicals, and all sorts of supplies, all around the world. Without transport workers, we wouldn’t have access to goods produced in other states, countries, or continents. Unfortunately, this is also an extremely dangerous line of work. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a total of 885 large truck occupants perished in crashes in 2018. This is the highest fatality count in 30 years.
If you run a transportation and trucking company, then you may be asked by your hiring client to become certified — most likely with ISNetworld® or Avetta®. We can help you with the certification process no matter where you’re from in the world. Keep reading to learn about the dangers of telecommunications work, and the safety programs you may need for your certification process.
Risks of Transportation and Long-haul Trucking Work
Obviously, the biggest hazard to people within the transportation industry is motor vehicle crashes. Truckers operate oversized vehicles, and these are rife with blind spots. Navigating a highway at intensely high speeds — crowded with hundreds of other vehicles — is tough work. Plus, truckers have to drive through dark nights on poorly lit roads, and through inclement weather.
Vehicle crashes may be the most apparent hazard to transport workers, but there are countless other dangers of the job. Here are some lesser-known risks faced by transport workers:
- Falls: The door to the driver’s seat of an oversized vehicle is usually in an awkward, high position. Drivers can injure themselves by falling while entering or exiting their vehicles.
- Ergonomic injuries: Drivers can sustain injuries from sitting in awkward, uncomfortable positions for long periods of time while driving.
- Fires, explosions, and burns: Drivers who transport contaminants or hazardous chemicals are at risk of fires, explosions, and burns if their cargo is improperly stored, or in the event of a collision.
- Poisoning from exhaust gases: Truckers can be injured or killed from a carbon monoxide leak
- Struck by/Caught between injuries: Truckers can be injured when performing maintenance on their vehicles, or they can be caught between trailers when trying to disengage one from the other.
Safety Programs for Transport Workers
There are many safety programs that you can adapt to your company to protect your drivers. At Industrial Compliance & Safety, we will look at the specifications of your hiring client and the regulations of OSHA to write a series of custom safety programs for your transport company. Here are some of the most common safety programs required for transport/trucking work:
- Inclement weather
- Fall protection and prevention
- Chemical handling and storage
- Carbon monoxide detection
- Road Safety
- Defensive Driving Techniques
- Drugs and Alcohol
Do I Need New Transportation and Trucking Safety Programs?
Having written safety programs is a great way to prevent transport incidents and injuries. By having a standardized series of safety programs, you can ensure that all employees have undergone the same training and are working with the same base of knowledge regarding driving and roadside safety. This is especially critical in the transport/trucking industry, as most of your employees will be working alone. In the event of an emergency, an employee will have no one to rely on but himself to remember the safety training and respond correctly.
If you have already been certified, then you should have a catalog of all required safety programs for your company. You will be notified if you are required to update or add safety programs to your account. Additionally, you may consider updating your safety programs after an incident or near-miss, to prevent future incidents.