Slips, trips, and falls are one of the leading causes of workplace injuries. For drivers, these types of injuries commonly occur when improperly entering or exiting the cab and trailer.
The result can be quite painful and, in some cases, prove fatal. The key to avoiding a preventable injury is to recognize the hazards that contribute to slip, trip, and fall injuries associated with entering and exiting equipment, and knowing how to protect yourself from harm.
Read this information and put the recommendations into practice to help protect yourself and others.
RECOGNIZE THE HAZARDS
Slippery surfaces, such as ice, snow, mud, and puddles, on and around the tractor and trailer, create hazards when entering or exiting equipment. Uneven surfaces including potholes and rocks can cause an injury.
The tractor and trailer are elevated positions, so falling from equipment while entering or exiting can cause serious injuries. Likewise, if the cab steps are damaged or worn (including carpet), or the grab handles are broken or missing, a driver may slip and fall.
Bad judgment and improper technique when entering and exiting equipment are two of the most common causes of broken bones, torn muscles and tendons, concussions, and even fatalities.
Hurrying, jumping from the cab or trailer, not paying attention, and carrying objects while trying to enter or exit equipment are examples of unsafe behaviors.
KNOW THE DEFENSE
USE THREE POINTS OF CONTACT
Use three points of contact when entering or exiting equipment, meaning both hands and one foot or both feet and one hand are always in contact with the truck at all times. Always face the equipment when climbing on or off equipment, and keep your body as close to the equipment as possible. Do not hurry and NEVER jump from an elevated position.
UTILIZE PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE)
Always wear footwear with slip-resistant soles and gloves for added grip. Never wear cowboy boots, sandals, or shoes with flat soles when working around the truck.
BE ATTENTIVE TO YOUR SURROUNDINGS
Check the ground around the truck for slip, trip, and fall hazards before entering or exiting equipment.
CONDUCT A PRE-TRIP VEHICLE INSPECTION
Ensure truck steps and hand holds are not damaged or missing. Report deficiencies to a maintenance manager immediately.