One of the leading causes of worker deaths in the country is vehicle accidents. It is true that any person who operates a service van or any other cargo van is at risk of getting into an accident, but that does not mean that workers are completely helpless when it comes to enhancing their own safety inside the work van.
The employers are the ones who foot the medical bills when these accidents occur and most of the time; they do not have the resources needed to cover all the costs incurred.
As an employer or owner of any service industry that involves the use of vans and other cargo vehicles, you should make sure that the safety of your employees is upheld at all times.
Here are some service vehicle safety tips which will help you keep the safety of your employees and minimize unexpected bills and expenses.
Your work truck safety checklist
When it comes to worker safety, prevention is better than mitigating damages after they have happened. You have to make sure that your work truck has all the necessary safety equipment at all times and that in case of a roadside emergency, you have the tools to properly address it. Here are a few of the tools which are a must have.
These come in handy when accidents happen during the night because they will give you the lighting needed to organize for First Aid and other assistance.
A fire extinguisher
Any minor accident can lead to the car bursting into flames, especially when there is a fuel spillage involved. It is therefore important to make sure that you always have a fire extinguisher on board your vehicle so that if anything catches fire, it is quelled down before damages happen.
Read Also: Tips On Fire Safety; Causes/Prevention
Anyone whose van has broken down in the middle of nowhere knows too well that these accidents happen in the most inconvenient of all times. This means that you and your passengers could be stuck in the middle of the road on a highway, and you will need to ensure that everyone sees that your vehicle has broken down to avert other accidents.
First Aid Kit
Most of the deaths that happen in car accidents are because First Aid was not given on time. Having a kit in your van can be the difference between a fatality and a life saved in time.
Inspecting the vehicle for road worthiness
Another thing that most company owners fail to realize is the value of having their service vehicles inspected to make sure that they are following the necessary safety standards. This is a checklist of the things that you should always have checked on your work van:
The tire pressure
Uneven tire pressure makes the vehicle difficult to maneuver and control, especially around sharp turns and when trying to brake when speeding.
Your vehicles headlights are the eyes in the dark. If they are too dim, oncoming traffic could miss you leading to collision. If they are too blind, oncoming motorists may lose control of their vehicles.
Read Also: Federal Road Safety Corps Ranks And Symbols
In case of an accident, a robust and well-adjusted seatbelt will protect you and your passengers from being hauled out of the car, whiplash and other injuries.
The only way to indicate your intentions on the road is having functional turn signals on your cargo van.
Cargo vehicles haul a lot of weight around on a daily basis. They need to have functional brakes and brake pads. In case you need to stop suddenly in traffic, the brakes will come in handy.
a functional horn is how you alert pedestrians and other motorists of imminent danger on the road.
Have all these parts of your van checked and cleared for functionality at regular intervals. It is the only way to make sure that your van is safe on the road.
Safe driving practices
Another important step that you need to make is to ensure all drivers take a refresher course about safety on the road. Always make sure you and your drivers follow these safety tips:
- Only allow properly trained and licensed drivers to handle the different types of vehicles that are part of your fleet. Different sizes of vehicles will need different training to handle, make sure your drivers comply.
- The back of the work truck needs to be secured all the time. All tools that are small and movable need to be tied down or secured in another way. It is the easiest way to prevent them from becoming deadly projectiles in case of an accident. You can use cargo straps to ensure everything is immobile inside the vehicle.
- Teach the crew to avoid distractions while driving: distractions include talking on the cellphone, and especially if you have facility to allow drivers to respond to service calls in the vehicle. It is best to always pair the driver with someone to respond to these calls. Alternatively, train them to pull up on the side of the road and talk before proceeding with the journey.
- Teach the drivers to obey speed limits: There are several measures which you can put in place to make sure they do not over speed. These include, speed governors and other monitors. Your drivers should always obey the posted limits to protect you from the heavy fines that come from refusing to follow the orders.
- Use of partitioning: An important safety tip that will keep you safe in case of an accident is installing bulkheads between the front of the work van and the cargo area. When there is a bulkhead present, any lose items thrown about during an accident will not hit the passengers. Similarly, seatbelts reduce the impact on passengers during an accident.
Finally, it is important to make sure that all your drivers are always sober before they start out on any journey. Alcohol is a contributing factor to 40 percent of all accidents which occurs. They are being protected from the scary statistics by ensuring, they are non-intoxicated while driving.
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