Archive for September, 2014

Takeaways from the Governor’s Conference

By Jena Williams

Omar Ornelas, of The Boeing Company winner of the Forklift Rodeo Statewide Competition

Omar Ornelas, of The Boeing Company, winner of the Forklift Rodeo Statewide Competition

We had a great time at the 63rd annual Governor’s Industrial Safety and Health Conference last week. More than 630 safety professionals from all over the state met to spend 2 days expanding their knowledge base and sharing ideas on injury prevention. Vendors brought the most recent technologies and colleagues reconnected.

We met many of the competitors for the 17th annual Forklift Rodeo Statewide Championship and were able to congratulate the winner, Omar Ornelas from The Boeing Company.

Many who stopped by our booth shared stories of close calls or tragedies that they want to prevent from ever happening again.

One story involved a driver making a delivery to a new location. The driver was sitting in his cab while the forklift unloaded. At one point someone walked by and waved at the truck driver who assumed that was his all clear signal, started the truck and pulled away from the loading dock. As it turned out, that wave was just a greeting and the forklift was still in the trailer. He barely made it to the dock when the truck pulled away. That company now requires all drivers to turn in their keys before they can be unloaded.

Close calls are learning opportunities. At your next safety meeting, ask about close calls and problem solve for solutions.

A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them. –John C. Maxwell

Our appreciation lasts more than a week

By Jena Williams


As you all know, last week was National Truck Driver Appreciation Week. Many of your companies celebrated their drivers with barbeques and maybe even awards to recognize safe and dedicated drivers. I hope they did and that you had a great time.

I spent the week thinking of everything I need and use each day that was brought to me by a truck driver. I’m especially grateful to the driver that brought the cold medicine to my pharmacy so that my dizzying headache would go away. And to the one that brought the tea to my grocery store. And the one who delivered the construction materials that built my warm house. Thank you.

Your dependability in making your deliveries on time and your patience in dealing with 4-wheelers on the roads continues to impress me. Your constant vigilance keeps us safe on the highways and most drivers don’t even realize the stress you are under as they are cutting you off.

This infographic, called Truckpocalypse reminds us how you keep things rolling the remaining 51 weeks of the year as well!

Since we’re on the topic of all that we need being brought by truck, I’d like to know what our readers haul. Will you type what you normally haul in the comments?

More info on National Truck Driver Appreciation Week:

Truckpocalypse infographic:

Here’s a good link to forward to others that may not recognize the space trucks need to be safe on the roads – No Zone:

Will you be joining us at the Governor’s Conference?

 By Jena Williams


Washington’s 63rd Annual Governor’s Industrial Safety and Health Conference is September 24-25 at the Spokane Convention Center. There is still time to register at:

This is your opportunity to gather ideas to spruce up your safety program and make connections with others that share your passion for keeping your workers safe. Some of the highlights include:

Keynote speaker Bruce Wilkinson, CSP will address, “Making Safety a Value – Not a Priority: The Key to Long-Term Safety Success.”

17th Annual Forklift Rodeo Statewide Competition.

41st Annual Pole Top Rescue Competition.

There are speakers on topics specific to the transportation industry including:

Winter Driver Training by Scott Manthey, CDS, VP – Safety, Interstate Distributor.

Designing for an Age Friendly Workforce by Rick Goggins and Bruce Coulter, both Ergonomists from L&I.

Using In-Cab Video Technology to Improve Driving Behavior by Max Kabrich, Lytx Inc.

If you’d like to branch out, consider:

Active Shooter, by Deputy Travis Pendell, Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

An Introduction to the Safety and Health Investment Projects (SHIP) Grants by L&I staff.

Crisis Management: What I Wish I Knew by Doug Buman, Field Coordinator, LIUNA Tri-Funds and Kerry Soileau, Safety Manager, Ferguson Construction, Inc.

And much more!

Keep Trucking Safe will be there as part of the research group from the Safety and Health Assessment and Research for Prevention (SHARP) Program. Stop by our booth at the exhibitors’ hall to say hi and see our simulations. We look forward to seeing you there!

Link to 63rd Annual Governor’s Industrial Safety and Health Conference:

Being prepared is not just for Boy Scouts

By Jena Williams


Whether you are beginning to dread the impending cooler weather or eagerly awaiting the fall colors, we all have to admit that summer is wrapping up and the days are getting shorter. This is a good time to prepare for darker days by checking your high-visibility clothing. If your vest or jacket has disappeared somewhere behind the seat, now is the perfect time to find it, and make sure it is still in good condition.

Now is also a good time to check or change the batteries in your flashlight, replenish your emergency food and water supplies and stock an extra set of warm clothes. This truck driver’s winter survival kit lists the essentials to have in your truck. Being prepared will help keep you safe.

Here are more ideas for preparing for severe weather:

Celebrating the safest companies and drivers in Washington

By Jena Williams

Country Green Turf Farms receives The Grand Champion Safest Fleet of the Year award. Pictured left to right: Kyle Kloppel, Will Jones (Fleet Manager), Jeff Wells, J Beste, Jeff VanLierop, (Owner).

Country Green Turf Farms receives The Grand Champion Safest Fleet of the Year award. Pictured left to right: Kyle Kloppel, Will Jones (Fleet Manager), Jeff Wells, J Beste, Jeff VanLierop, (Owner).

Each year the Washington State Patrol selects the safest drivers and fleets to be recognized at the Washington Trucking Associations’ annual “Day with the Winners.” It’s a fun family event held at Cheney Stadium while enjoying a Tacoma Rainiers baseball game. Fun, barbeque, baseball and winners abound!

This year’s award recipients included:

All of the 2014 Truck Driving Championship first place winners:

  • Rick Colton, The Boeing Co., Twin Trailers
  • Gary Nickell, The Boeing Co., Tank Truck
  • Lisa Bry, The Boeing Co., Straight Truck
  • Michael Mygatt, The Boeing Co., 3-Axle Van
  • Roy Garcia, Peninsula Truck Lines, Inc., 4-Axle Van
  • Gary Bolen, The Boeing Co., 5-Axle Van
  • Jeffrey Maas, The Boeing Co., Flatbed
  • Russell Miller, Safeway, Sleeper Berth
  • Robert Hinds, FedEx, Step Van

Lisa Bry was also presented her Grand Champion jacket as this year’s TDC Grand Champion. Click here for our previous blog article on the TDC.

Special recognition for those who placed at the National Truck Driving championships :

  • Roy Garcia with Peninsula Truck Lines for his second place finish in 4-Axle Class.
  • Gary Nickells with The Boeing Co. for his second place finish in Tank Truck Class.
  • Gary Bolen with The Boeing Co. for his fifth place finish in 5-Axle Class.

Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Officer William Balcom was presented a Plaque of Appreciation for his long tenured support to the Washington Trucking Associations and the industry as a whole. He is retiring the end of this month with 28 years of service to the WSP.

Diann Ross, a driver with Gordon Trucking, received a jacket and plaque for the Common Carrier Conference Driver of the Year.

Mike Mygatt, a driver with The Boeing Co., also received a jacket and plaque for the Private Carrier Conference Driver of the Year.

G.C. Faircloth with Safeway NW Region was presented the Safety Professional of the Year Award.

Jack Morris, with Great West Casualty was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Safe Fleets of the Year were:

  • Oak Harbor Freight Lines, Common Carrier Conference over 5 million miles per year.
  • Ludtke Pacific Trucking Inc. Common Carrier Conference under 5 million miles per year.
  • Safeway NW Region, Private Carrier Conference over 5 million miles per year.
  • Lile International, Movers Conference under 5 million miles per year.
  • Mitchell Bros Truck Lines, Intermodal Conference under 5 million miles per year.
  • The Grand Champion Safest Fleet of the Year was presented to Country Green Turf Farms, (Private Carrier Conference.) They have operated predominately in the greater Puget Sound area for the last 17 years without a recordable motor vehicle incident.

We appreciate all the drivers and companies that make safety a priority while still delivering all we need. Congratulations!

Link to photos of the event on the WTA website: