We’ve talked a lot about staying safe while out on the road. We know that America’s highways can be a dangerous place to work. But when it comes to trucking, the dangers out on the road are only part of the picture. Being alert, driving carefully and good trip planning can go a long way to getting you to your destination safely. But what about when you actually arrive?
Safety doesn’t stop because the dock lock is engaged and the wheel chocks are in place. Instead, it is time to think about your personal safety. Like hopping out of the cab.
Have you ever noticed how each time you hop down that ground seems just a little bit further away? How the ol’ knees seem to buckle just a little more each time? It’s important to think about how those little impacts will affect your body over time. Think about your favorite sports team. Most sports are high impact and fast paced. And most players retire at young ages. Fortunately, professional athletes often earn a salary that allows them to retire at such young ages. For everyone else, we need to keep at it a lot longer.
Taking small steps to care for your body now can save you big time the long run. Here are a few simple things you can do to take charge of your personal safety:
Stop and look.
Slips, trips, and falls can lead to injuries and even fatality. You don’t know exactly how you might land after even a short fall. Catching yourself with your arms can lead to sprains and fractures. But if you land on your back or hit your head it could very well be one of the last things you do.
Take a minute to look where you are about to step down to. Check for any objects that may be in the way or for wet spots that could be slippery. Be sure you have a solid footing before letting go of your handholds.
Use a three-point stance.
Speaking of handholds, always use three points of contact when climbing in and out of your cab or trailer. This will ensure your stability while climbing and give you a solid handhold in the event that you do slip.
Maintain your steps and handles.
Make sure to check the condition of your steps and handles or other handholds regularly. If you find that a step is wearing out or a handle is loose or wiggly, get it scheduled in for maintenance.
That truck can only run if you can drive it so don’t hesitate to take a little extra time to ensure your safety. Taking a little time now for preventative maintenance and personal safety can save you a lot of time and expense from injury later.