Archive for August, 2014

Two Second Place Winners from Washington!

By Jena Williams

Washington drivers Roy Garcia and Gary Nickell both took second place in their respective categories: 4-Axle Class and Tank Truck Class at the 2014 National Truck Driving Championship. Not too shabby, when the completion is the best of the best of each state. Washington thanks you not only for your hard work at the competition, but also for leading the nation in safe driving each and every day out on the nation’s highways. We are very proud of you!

Roy Garcia, Peninsula Truck Lines, Inc. (Otis Orchards, Wash.)

Roy Garcia, Peninsula Truck Lines, Inc. (Otis Orchards, Wash.)

Gary Nickell, The Boeing Company (Fox Island, Wash.)

Gary Nickell, The Boeing Company (Fox Island, Wash.)

Link to Complete Results of the 2014 National Truck Driving Championship: http://www.ttnews.com/articles/basetemplate.aspx?storyid=35791&t=2014-National-Truck-Driving-Championship-Complete-Results

Suicide prevention

By Jena Williams 

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As we have been recently rocked by the loss to suicide of one of America’s best known comedians, it seems a good time to bring up the topic of suicide here in our blog. While truck drivers are not at higher risk for suicide, according to an article in the New York Times, suicide can be contagious, especially in the wake of losing someone famous or well loved. This is why it’s important to recognize the warning signs, both in yourself and in others. Help is waiting. All you need to do is ask for it:

When someone is considering suicide the pain in their life feels unbearable. It’s so important to hold on to the knowledge that things won’t stay this bad. It will get better and there are people that do care enough to help.

I’ve spoken to people that have attempted suicide after something horrible happened that they didn’t think they could get past. Today life is not perfect, but it is better and they are so grateful to be alive.

I’ve spoken to people that have lost family members to suicide. They have never gotten over the loss or the guilt that they carry, even if the suicide had nothing to do with them. Someone loves you and will have a hole in their life forever without you. You mean more to someone than you can possibly imagine.

Signs to watch for from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves.
  • Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online or buying a gun.
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
  • Talking about being a burden to others.
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.
  • Sleeping too little or too much.
  • Withdrawing or isolating themselves.
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
  • Displaying extreme mood swings.

With the rise in social media such as Facebook, more people are posting their intentions to commit suicide online. If you see any of the warning signs in a posting, encourage the person to call the suicide prevention number at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). If you are a real life friend, talk in person to them about calling or call yourself. It’s completely confidential. You don’t have to carry the weight of your pain alone.

More information regarding suicidal postings on social media: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/gethelp/online.aspx

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A Washington truck driver died after crashing into Snake River

By Jena Williams

Washington has lost another truck driver. Our thoughts go out to the family, friends and colleagues of Conor Finnerty of Seattle.

More information about the crash is here: http://www.klewtv.com/news/local/270407811.html

 

Slip prevention, a topic for summer

By Jena Williams

Worn diamond plate has been repaired with a slip-resistant cover.

Worn diamond plate has been repaired with a slip-resistant cover.

Now, before fall rains and winter ice, is the perfect time to evaluate and maintain the non-slip surfaces on courier steps, loading docks, ladders and cab and trailer entry points. Take advantage of the dry conditions to apply anti-slip treads and tape.

Slick concrete in warehouses and loading docks can be re-coated with anti-slip surfaces as well. Worn diamond plate steps can be re-treaded and loose steps re-welded.

Have you considered investing in canopies for your loading docks to prevent rain accumulation on the surface? My guess is that you can negotiate a better deal from suppliers during this, their slow time.

Injury prevention doesn’t get a summer vacation, but you can use the hot summer sun to your advantage and get the jump on slip and fall prevention for the rest of the year.

This fun training simulation tests the co-efficient of friction in relation to slips and falls: http://www.keeptruckingsafe.org/game_2.html

Saved by the handhold

By Jena Williams

Entering cab using 3 points of contact

Have you ever wondered if retro-fitting trucks or trailers with handholds are worth the investment? After talking with many injured workers, we can assure you that they are. A well placed handhold can make the difference between an injury and a non-event.

Some tips

Keep it consistent: People are creatures of habit and muscles have memory. The more consistently placed the handles, the more likely people are to reach for (and depend on) a handhold, rather than grab for a phantom handle.

More is better: This is true in more than one way. 1) Put handles on both sides of trailers, not just one. 2) If a shorter or taller worker needs a different location, add another handle rather than moving the one that is there so that if drivers slip-seat, a new driver won’t be injured.

Ask for feedback: Ask workers if the handle placement is working for them or if there are changes that need to be made. Asking questions like this opens up communication lines and improves the safety culture of the company.

This is also a good opportunity to remind workers to use 3 points-of-contact. Below are links to materials to help.

Often small investments in safety can make a huge difference in injury prevention.

 

Links to trailer/cab entry and exit training

Printable materials: http://www.keeptruckingsafe.org/hazardpreventiontools.html#safetyplanCabentry

Online simulation: http://www.keeptruckingsafe.org/game.html