Safety Talks 2008

Friday January 25, 2008

Knowing your stopping distance can help prevent accidents.  Perception time is the time it takes to see and recognize that a hazard exists.  It is estimated to be 1.75 seconds.  Reaction time is the amount of time that exists between recognizing a hazard and pressing the brake.  Reaction time is about 3/4 of a second.  Reaction distance is calculated by taking the first digit of your speed and adding in to your speed (eg. 55 mph = 60 ft). Braking distance is 1/2 second for air brake lag, and distance is 2/3 of reaction distance (eg. 20 mph = 15 ft)


Total stopping distance = Perception time + Reaction distance + Air brake lag distance + Actual braking distance.


Car vs. Truck stopping distance chart:









51 ft

22 ft

20 ft

93 ft.





365 ft.





482 ft.






103 ft.





476 ft.





691 ft.



Focusing on the job:


There are a variety of things that can distract you while driving.  It could be other motorists, road construction, pedestrians, billboards, or anything else that is out of the ordinary.  Here are some things you can do to help focus and avoid distractions:


?  Start with a clear head.  This will allow you to be less stressed while you are driving.

?  Create a distraction-free environment.  Keep tools and equipment in their proper place so that you do not have to search for them.

?  Recharge.  Get the proper amount of rest to be able to maintain focus. 

?  Stay disciplined.  With continual focus and concentration, your mind can be trained to avoid distractions.  As your ability to focus improves, your overall concentration will improve as well.


Staying focused while you are driving can help prevent accidents and can help you drive in a less stressful manner.  Remember also to wear a seatbelt—buckling up is the first step in staying focused while driving.





Friday February 15, 2008

Our insurance company, Great West, recommends the use of accident cameras.  It is important to properly document the accident scene, and having a camera on hand will help do that.  The photos you take can make the difference between winning or losing a claim.  Here are some picture-taking tips to help you take the best shots at an accident scene:


?  Take pictures about three to four yards away for a good image.

?  Take pictures of your equipment that was involved in the accident.  Take them from adjacent corners to see each side of the unit.

?  Take pictures of the other vehicle or object that was involved.  Get pictures from each side of the damaged area.

?  Take photos of the other people involved in the accident. 

?  Take photos of any skid marks, or gouges left on the ground.  Also take photos of any nearby traffic signals/signs or anything else nearby that could apply to the accident scene.

?  Be sure to take close up pictures as well as photos of the entire scene.


If you do not have a camera in your truck, we can provide one to you.  Hopefully you will never have to use a camera, but it will certainly help the insurance process if you do have one.  Be safe, buckle the seatbelt, and have a good week driving.


Slips and Falls


Some of the most frequent work-related injuries experienced in the trucking industry are the slip, trip, and fall.  These kind of accidents are more prevalent in the winter months due to icy conditions.  Here are some precautions you can take to prevent that slip or fall.


?  Survey your surroundings.  Before you get out of your truck, take a good look around for things like potholes, icy spots, foreign objects, etc.


?  Use a three-point contact method when entering and exiting your truck.  Keep your hands free when entering and exiting.


?  Keep the area below the driver and passenger door clear.  Do not allow materials near there that could hold moisture--this can lead to a slippery surface during cold weather.


?  Wear slip resistant footwear.  Make sure the traction on your footwear will allow you to easily turn and stop.


?  If you do slip, try to fall with a roll.  Many times you will only hurt your hands or arms worse by trying to break the fall.


Slips and falls are not worth the negative consequences.  It’s best to be aware of your surroundings so that you can prevent them.  And as always, remember to have that seatbelt buckled.




Friday February 22, 2008

The weather is still playing tricks on us.  We will have some days of 50 degree sunny weather, and then it will turn to 10 degree weather with high wind chills.  Today, as this is written, we are experiencing freezing rain on top of the snow that came yesterday.  The point here is that winter is still here and that we can still experience these extreme variations in the weather for a while.  Knowing the forecast before your trip can prepare you for circumstances that you may face.  But, for now being prepared for the worst of weather conditions will benefit you the most.  Keep extra clothing in your cab, and wear boots, hats, and gloves when the weather gets snowy or really cold.


Spring doesn’t officially start until March 20.  It is likely that we will have some more weather variations between now and then.  Be prepared for the possible conditions--extreme cold, snow, freezing rain, sleet, etc.  Winter will be over soon but if we take a safe, prepared approach, we can safely get to spring.  Always buckle the seatbelt no matter what weather conditions you are driving through.