Archive for May, 2014

Be nice to truckers on Memorial Day

By Jena Williams

Leave more space for trucks

Memorial Day weekend unofficially marks that start of summer for many people. It seems the extra day off tends to be more associated with barbeques than the patriotism of soldiers who gave it all for our freedom. School is wrapping up and with it, and there’s a certain playfulness in the atmosphere as everyone looks forward to a break from their insane routines.

Traffic will be heavy today as people return from weekend getaways and local get-togethers. There will also be trucks on the road because delivering all we need is a 24/7 job. So be nice to the truck driver in the next lane. When traffic starts to bunch up, don’t cut in front of the truck just because there is a big space there. That space is there to keep them from squishing the vehicle in front of them during an emergency stop.

Also important is to remember the “No Zone.” Don’t linger around trucks in areas where you cannot be seen.

So this Memorial Day, remember our soldiers, remember loved ones that aren’t here this year. And on the roads be safe.

Check out these videos on YouTube for more info:

No Zones rap: http://youtu.be/9m1-FIAhcSA

Smooth operator stopping demo: http://youtu.be/ptpl7HChRlI

How long does it take a commercial vehicle to stop in perfect conditions: http://youtu.be/nsUWBZkx-3U

What if you had to break the law to keep your job?

By Jena Williams

truck

Would you do it? Have you done it?

When questioned, many truck drivers will admit that they have when it comes to hours of service (HOS.) They know they’re at their limit, but dispatch tells them to keep going if they want to keep their job. What else can they do? What would you do?

Trucking company owners are generally operating on a shoe string. Staying in the black financially requires keeping customers and demanding consumers happy. Being late on a delivery is not an option. Or is it?

This article isn’t to debate HOS rules. That’s being done on the main stage by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and trucking industry stakeholders. This is to get us as a society to think about how we contribute to the problem.

Are we cutting off truck drivers and making their job harder and longer? Do we throw a fit if something we expect to be at the store isn’t there when we need it? Are we willing to give the driver that has already driven for 10 hours a day and maybe worked for 14 a break or will we continue to demand more?

In the comments, I’d like to hear your ideas on how we as a society can make the job of truck drivers easier. Truck drivers, dispatchers and owners – what are your thoughts? Tell us in the comments how we can help.

And for anyone out there who has never considered the value of all those trucks out on the road, here is a fantastic infographic to bring you up to speed: Truckpocalypse!

How much damage can sun exposure really do?

By Jena Williams

1 in 5 Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetimes.

*Image from American Academy of Dermatology’s infographic.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Although it can often be eradicated if caught and treated early, these success rates are dependent on just that – catch and treat. But more than simply catching and treating, we hope to prevent, which is why May is Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month. It is time that we begin to take the risk of skin cancer seriously.

We often doubt how harmful the sun’s rays are. Or we acknowledge the danger but are willing to risk it because wearing sunscreen is for kids or we want the healthy glow of tanned skin. But is tanned skin really healthy? Consider that the first definition of tanning in the free dictionary is “the process or art of converting hides or skins into leather,” so I guess if leather is your goal. . .

Need more convincing? Consider the photo that went viral of the truck driver whose face aged drastically on the left side due to 28 years of truck driving? Is tanned skin today worth wrinkles tomorrow? UV radiation from both the sun and tanning beds does damage us.

Do those of you who live in rainy Washington think you are safe? Think again. We actually have the 5th highest rate of melanoma in the U.S.

Protect yourself and your family by recognizing the signs of skin cancer and takes steps to prevent it:

  • Use sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or greater year-round and higher if you know you’ll have increased sun exposure. Don’t forget neck, ears and lips.
  • Wear long sleeves and a wide brimmed hat in the sun.
  • Avoid mid-day exposures when the sun’s rays are strongest.
  • Check your skin often for signs of change.

This link to WebMD has good educational photos to help: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/skincancer-melanoma/detailedguide/melanoma-skin-cancer-key-statistics.

For more info:

American Academy of Dermatology’s How to Spot Skin Cancer infographic: http://www.aad.org/File%20Library/Global%20navigation/For%20the%20public/SPOT/How_to_SPOT-Skin_Cancer_Infographic.pdf

Don’t fry- preventing skin cancer infographic: http://www.cancer.org/research/infographicgallery/skin-cancer-prevention

The truth about tanning infographic: http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/basic_info/infographic.htm

Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month: http://healthfinder.gov/NHO/MayToolkit2.aspx

Recognizing skin cancer: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/skincancer-melanoma/detailedguide/melanoma-skin-cancer-key-statistics

Facts about skin cancer in Washington: http://www2.epa.gov/sites/production/files/documents/wa_facts_web.pdf

American Cancer Society: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/skincancer-melanoma/detailedguide/melanoma-skin-cancer-key-statistics

The New England Journal of Medicine report on truck driver: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMicm1104059

What would you miss?

By Jena Williams

Injured worker

If you took a risk with your safety and lost, what would you miss – a first step, graduation, Friday’s basketball game? There are so many future memories out there that you could lose by gambling with your health and safety.

These safety posters are a reminder of what you could miss. Work safe: the most important reasons aren’t at work.

Links to safety posters:

You wouldn’t want to miss this: http://www.keeptruckingsafe.org/safetymaterials/90672011.pdf

Who needs you home safe? http://www.keeptruckingsafe.org/safetymaterials/90652011.pdf

The most important reason to be safe at work isn’t at work: http://www.keeptruckingsafe.org/safetymaterials/90632011.pdf

Save your back for the good things in life: http://www.keeptruckingsafe.org/safetymaterials/907a2007.pdf

Would your son mind? http://www.keeptruckingsafe.org/safetymaterials/9011a2008.pdf