If you want to lower workers’ compensation insurance costs in your trucking company, the solution is simple! Provide safety training to lower the number of injuries, cultivate happier and more productive employees, and lower your WC costs.
When it comes to safety training for truck drivers, it’s natural to think about steps to avoid traffic accidents. After all, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) reports that crashes are the leading cause of on-the-job deaths for truck drivers in the US.
But truck drivers also incur injuries getting in and out of their trucks or handling cargo, and these injuries can affect your workers’ comp costs. The good news is that many common workplace injuries in the trucking industry are preventable with the right safety training.
Here are four areas that should be included in any safety training in the trucking industry if you want to lower your workers’ comp costs:
Slips, Trips, and Falls
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), 23,490 transportation and warehousing employees were injured in falls, and 46 died in 2016. The NSC also found that the fall doesn’t have to be from a high level to cause severe and sometimes fatal injuries.
Here are fall safety tips:
- Ensure proper training on the use of all equipment
- Never push or carry a load that will block your vision
- Clean up spills immediately
- Keep areas where employees will be walking free of clutter
- Make sure all mats, rugs, and carpets lie flat
- Wear slip resistant shoes
- Check all equipment for damage before using
According to the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association, more than one-quarter of all injuries to equipment operators and truck drivers occur while getting into or out of equipment and trucks. One way to avoid these injuries is to employ the three-point contact rule.
That means maintaining three points of contact with the truck – two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand - whenever climbing in or out of your vehicle.
Lifting is such an every-day activity that it’s easy to forget how quickly an injury can occur when improperly lifting cargo, but those injuries can significantly affect your workers’ compensation costs. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), lifting heavy objects is one of the leading causes of workplace injuries. Shoulder and back injuries accounted for 36 percent of injuries that resulted in missed work days, and the most significant factors in these injuries were overexertion and cumulative trauma.
Training your employees on how to lift heavy items correctly can avoid back sprains, wrist and elbow injuries, muscle pulls, spinal injuries, and more.
OSHA reports that five factors generally contribute to lifting injuries – the weight of the object being lifted, awkward postures, frequent or long-duration lifting, inadequate handholds, and environmental factors.
Here are some tips from OSHA that address these common factors.
- Use equipment such as forklifts and duct lifts to lift heavy items
- Use your legs when lifting objects from a low location
- Avoid twisting
- Break down loads into smaller units
- Rotate tasks, so workers aren’t doing the same activity too long
- Work in teams
- Take regular breaks
- Move materials with inadequate (or no) handholds into containers with good handholds
- Adjust work schedule to limit exposure to extreme heat or cold temperatures
Loads can shift while in transit, making the simple task of opening a trailer door a potential risk. Improperly secured loads can cause serious injuries and increase your WC costs.
Here are a few tips to avoid injuries caused by falling cargo:
- Make sure the load is firmly immobilized or secured on your truck
- Open one trailer door at a time and stand behind the door as you open it
- Do not attempt to catch falling cargo
Training in these four areas and creating a culture where safety is a priority and a work environment where workers feel comfortable reporting injuries will help reduce injuries and lower your workers’ comp insurance costs.
Save on Workers’ Compensation and Truck Insurance!
To learn additional ways to save on workers compensation and other truck insurance costs, give one of the experienced agents at American Insuring Group a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or connect with us online. As independent agents, we're free to compare the cost of insurance among lots of companies to ensure you get the best price on all your commercial insurance needs!