Winter is closing in, and with it comes all those nasty conditions that we all hate to deal with like bitterly cold temperatures, snow, and ice. For truck drivers, slippery and icy surfaces can prove dangerous if you’re not prepared.
Three-point contact rule: When climbing and descending from a vehicle, ensure that you have at least three points of contact with the handholds or steps at all times, such as one hand and two feet, or two hands and one foot. If a hand or foot slips, your remaining limbs will be able to help you stabilize and prevent a fall. This technique is required by U.S. Federal Motor Carrier regulations, and proper training in its use is essential for safe climbing and descending.
Avoid Risky Maneuvers: Regardless of icy conditions, never jump from the cab, deck plate, or steps, and always face the truck when exiting.
Keep hands free: Wear gloves to keep your hands warm (invest in hand warmers) and try not to carry anything when it’s slippery outside. This way if you do fall you can catch yourself using your hands or arms.
Check your grip and footing: The hookup area behind your cab can get extremely slippery with winter weather. Make sure you have solid footing and handhold while working back there. When walking outside, take smaller, shorter steps for stability.
Deck Plates and Catwalks: Keeping surfaces clean and dry can prevent them from becoming slippery. Make sure to install and utilize footholds and handrails wherever needed. If possible, connections, unhooking, and brake and electrical checks should be done from the ground.
Check Equipment Conditions: Inspect your steps, deck plates, and grab rails for any damage and schedule immediate repairs if necessary.
Install Non-Slip Surfaces: Some trucks are equipped with non-slip steps and ladders to make it safer for truckers to work.
Emergency Safety Equipment: Drivers should always carry emergency items such as chains, icemelt, a shovel, etc.
Stay Safe In The Future
Injuries resulting from slips, trips, and falls can be reduced by taking a few simple precautions. In the event that an accident does happen, make sure to get seen by a doctor right away.
At Liquid Trucking, our number one priority is safety. Our drivers undergo rigorous training and are constantly updated on best practices for safe driving. We regularly inspect and maintain all of our vehicles to ensure they are in top working condition. In the event of an accident, our team is prepared with emergency response plans and communication protocols.