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Council Chairmen Offer Safety Meeting Tips

SAFETY improvement suggestions shared at NTTC regional Safety Council meetings can be helpful for all carriers, five members of the Safety Council agreed. They discussed ideas for conducting safety meetings at fleet terminals.

Richard Carr of Quality Distribution Inc, Roy Acton of Mission Petroleum Carriers Inc, Adam Leos of Bulkmatic Transport Company, Paul LaPoint of Fort Edward Express Co Inc, and Al LaCombe of Dupre Transport Inc discussed the meetings.

Carr pointed out that one of the most important aspects of the carrier safety meeting at terminals is to encourage as many people to attend as possible. He expressed fears that employees who should be reviewing the information, but are absent, are the ones who areless likely to attend.

Acton said some companies pay drivers to attend safety meetings; others hold bonuses if the drivers do not attend a certain number of meetings. Providing other incentives can be effective such as inviting spouses to attend and providing food. He suggested a "tailgate caucus," a short meeting with snacks for anyone who happens to be in the terminal and requires some brief training. The meeting can be used as often as needed.

Leos noted that several meetings may be conducted in order to meet the schedule of drivers. He recommended various topics for discussion, including financial discussions.

Participation is good when employees conduct the meeting, he said.

LaPoint suggested shippers should be invited to participate in the program. If scheduling is a problem, he said companies that haul seasonal products can plan meetings when schedules are lighter.

He also recommended managers seek more information from drivers and mechanics when making the agenda.

LaCombe pointed out that the program should be concise and limited to less than 10 items. Using a video recorder to film the meeting can prove helpful, he said. The tape can then be shown to those who were unable to attend the meeting. He endorsed additional brief sessions with people who are in the terminal at any given time.

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