CarriersEdge, which provides training for the trucking industry, recently introduced a course to help drivers reduce injuries caused by often overlooked but potentially dangerous hazards—slips, trips, falls and repetitive-motion stress.
The online training course “Fall Protection for Drivers” teaches drivers to be aware of those hazards and best practices for avoiding them, including safe entry and exit from the vehicle, proper use of ladders and how to properly inspect, don, remove and care for fall-protection equipment.
“Safe drivers know the hazards they face when the truck is traveling out on the road, and how to avoid them,” said Jane Jazrawy, CEO of CarriersEdge. “But risks are present even when the truck and trailer are standing still.
“We want to keep drivers safe and healthy wherever they are. This course will help them identify those risks and protect themselves against them.”
The top three leading causes of work-related injuries—overexertion and bodily reaction; contact with objects and equipment; and slips, trips and falls—accounted for more than 85% of all nonfatal injuries involving days away from work, according to the National Safety Council’s Injury Facts. In each case, the transportation and warehousing industry is most at risk with typical lost time of five to 12 days.
Drivers can be seriously injured even by a fall of a short distance, such as slipping on a metal dock plate or jumping from the back of a trailer, Jazrawy said. But drivers face long-term injury resulting from repetitive stress on joints caused by such actions as jumping down from a cab or trailer.
Safety equipment meant to protect workers, such as a full body harness and lanyard, can actually cause serious injuries and fatalities when used improperly, she added.
“Safety awareness must be a constant for drivers whenever and wherever they are,” she added. “This course doesn’t just tell them what the risks are, it gives them the tools to proactively manage and reduce those risks.”
“Fall Protection for Drivers” is made up of three half-hour modules that use text, images, interactive exercises and real-life examples to cover what drivers need to know about preventing slips, falls and struck-by injuries, as well as how to use a ladder and personal fall arrest system correctly. Quizzes throughout the module, in addition to a final test, measure drivers’ understanding and retention of the material. CarriersEdge’s course-management system also allows carriers to track drivers’ progress and maintain records of this training.
The course covers such topics as:
- Identifying how to prevent slips and trips around the vehicle, including safe entry and exit procedures.
- The responsibilities in preventing fall-related injuries.
- The hazards of working at heights.
- Safely selecting, using and storing ladders.
- Inspecting and safely using fall protection equipment.
In response to requests from drivers and safety directors, the course places special emphasis on the hazards of working at heights and illustrating how fast a fall can occur. Those taking the course will learn fall-prevention measures, how fall arrest systems work, how to complete a thorough inspection of both a body harness and lanyard, how drivers can correctly don a body harness, and how to care for their fall protection equipment. They’ll also learn the dangers of suspension trauma and how to minimize the risk.
As with other courses in CarriersEdge’s library of more than 80 titles, “Fall Protection For Drivers” can be taken any time and any place drivers have access to a computer or mobile device and an internet connection, giving them the flexibility to stay up-to-date with training while traveling or at home.
CarriersEdge courses are available in multiple languages, in introductory, refresher and remedial formats, on subjects including defensive driving, hours-of-service rules, vehicle inspections and handling hazardous materials. CarriersEdge regularly updates and adds to its list of training modules, with recent additions including courses on workplace harassment and violence, and distracted driving.