By Jena Williams

What is every safety director’s dream?  Could it be to have an entire workforce of truck drivers that always have safety at the forefront of their minds? Here’s your chance to make that dream a reality. If you are a Washington trucking company, you have the opportunity send a driver to a free training that will teach him/her to encourage other drivers to work safely.

Safety directors have told me that they begin to feel like their workers actually tune out the sound of their voice. It’s true! They speculate that maybe if someone else delivered the training that it might get the workers attention. Well, who are they more likely to listen to? You, or one of their colleagues?

This is where Safer Drivers – Workers Training Workers steps in. And the best part – aside from the time to train, it’s FREE! This training is paid for by a grant from the Safety and Health Investment Projects (SHIP) of the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I), so it is free to any company in the state of Washington that wants to use it. The topics are Driver Safety and Health and understanding the CSA components.

According to L&I’s Caprice Catalano:

As the SHIP grant manager for this project, I attended one of the 2-day trainings scheduled for this project… Most of the attendees were safety professionals and drivers with at least 15 to 20 years’ experience. While at the beginning of the class there was a typical type of resistance to the “need” to be there… as the class progressed I started to see changes. By the second day I was witnessing an actual safety culture change.

The classes are two days long and presented at various locations throughout the state. Most companies send a safety rep and a regular employee or two. I know you are thinking “time is money, when a driver isn’t driving,” but I encourage you to consider the enormous cost savings if this training prevents even one injury at your company. Imagine the savings over time if it prevents many.

The remaining trainings are:

November 12-13, in Spokane
November 20-21, in Tukwila
December 4-5, in Tacoma
December 11-12, in Everett
December 18-19, in Everett

All classes are 7:00am-3:30pm; locations are yet to be determined.  Contact Tom George for more information or to schedule your class at (425) 306-9870 or tomg@teamsterstraining.org. The website is: http://www.teamsterstraining.org/saferdriversgeneralinformation.html.

As an alternative, if you’d like to educate your entire workforce (20-25 participants), the Teamsters Trainers have developed two half-day sessions where they will come out to your company to train on the materials. Some companies have opted for these trainings on Saturdays.

And let me just address a common concern right here – no worries if you are not a union shop! This training is paid for by a grant from L&I and is for all Washington trucking companies. There will be no “plugs” for union membership or anything of the sort. The Teamsters Trainers are just really great at training and won a grant to keep all drivers safe.

This really is a great opportunity to add spice to your safety training. Plus, you’ll get a new spin on very cool safety training materials produced by TIRES! Nah, I’m not completely impartial…