Truck yards and warehouses are hazardous places to work, especially for truck drivers who frequently venture into those facilities routinely on each workday. It’s part of their job and it’s dangerous no matter the weather. But winter weather brings increased risk of injury. One of the most common injuries in winter is slip and fall accidents. These may not sound so dangerous but consider slipping on snow covered ice and cracking your head on a hard surface which often results in concussion.
Working inside a warehouse is not much different. You are dodging forklifts going in and out of your trailer while melting snow and ice wets the warehouse floor and can be even more hazardous. Forklift drivers work fast at loading and unloading and while they are trained to watch out for those on foot, accidents still happen and can be even more serious.
Of course, not all injuries are so bad, but can still be painful to the extent of needing medical attention. Falling cargo is another hazard. If a lift truck driver makes a sharp or fast turn and wet cargo slips off a pallet, you may be exposed to injury. Always wear good quality work boots with steel toes to keep your feet safe and soles that grip the floor to avoid slips and falls.
Wearing a hardhat is a good idea when you must work within your trailer loading or unloading items that are stacked high and subject to tipping. Safety glasses can save you the grief of an eye injury.
Once you are assigned a door, before you back up and anytime you think you’re ready to back in and before you reverse, sound the air horn, and get out of the truck and look behind the trailer for anyone who may have slipped in there. Also, clear any debris from the path of the trailer. Carry kitty litter for traction when on ice.
When climbing into or out of your truck, be very careful and take your time. Ice can form and build on the outside parts of the truck, like the steps that you must use so that you can work outside. Always wear gloves and warm clothing when outside to ward off dangerous hypothermia. Bruises, sprains, and even broken bones can occur if you lose your balance. And broken bones can keep you out of work for some time.
Before you venture out onto the highway, study the health benefits provided by your company. Benefits are becoming commonplace as companies strive to retain their drivers. If you incur an injury your benefits should help you with your recovery. Things like physical therapy may be provided. Get to know what you are entitled to and go carefully in winter.
Winter driving is no picnic for anyone, especially professional truck drivers. Our advice is to slow down, watch out for weather changes that can make highways dangerous, keep an eye out for ice and black ice and don’t drive beyond your comfort zone. Late deliveries happen in winter. Stay safe friends.