tarpingBy Jena Williams

You already know this and TIRES data confirms that tarping the load is a dangerous part of a driver’s job. We also know that often injuries from tarping or strapping loads occur at the customer site. But often, it isn’t really the customer site…it’s the side of the road outside their yard.

Yep, you know it’s true. Instead of a well-lit, level yard, with possibly the assistance of a forklift, your drivers are forced to strap and tarp, already dangerous jobs, on the side of the road. Good grief!

But what can you do without alienating your customer? Write it into the contract. I know, easier said than done! But really it isn’t.

Tell new and existing customers that you have a new policy in place to protect a very important asset to your company – your drivers. Tell them that from now on, they will need to allow strapping and tarping loads on site. If your customer has a tarping station, confirm that your driver will be able to use it. Tell them that you have the best drivers, the ones that will safely get their product where it needs to be and on time, but that this is a change that you absolutely must make.

Sure, you may lose a few customers, but I imagine when you let the word get out that you put your drivers first, your reputation will grow and you will gain a few. In all honesty, even those lost customers aren’t worth the fall injury or death of a single driver. I believe you really will come out on top in the long run.

I would love to hear from companies with success stories of working with customers to implement safer policies for your drivers – anything from improved lighting, to addressing trip hazards to getting forklift help for tarping.

How did you do it? What did you learn? What tips can you share?

These handouts were developed with your customers in mind. Hopefully they can help you address difficult safety topics with greater ease. Please copy and print as needed and send out with your invoices. http://www.keeptruckingsafe.org/hazardpreventiontools.html#customerSites

Safe trucking everyone!