It’s not what you might expect.
But according to the August 2013 SafetyDriven News – published by the Trucking Safety Council of BC – more truck drivers than roofers were injured in falls between 2002 and 2011.
“If you asked most truck drivers which occupations they thought were most vulnerable to falling and injuring themselves they would likely say roofers, construction workers, and other trades working at heights,” reads the newsletter. “That is because most drivers are not aware of their own risk of being injured in falls.”
Other sources of injury come to mind first – and that’s why the TSCBC and others are spreading the word on how to enter and exit the cab more safely.
“The whole idea that truckers are not truly aware of the risk of falling is really that of over familiarity. They jump in and out of the cab in some cases dozens of times daily, so the thought that they are at height doesn’t register,” says TSCBC safety advisor Earl Galavan. “Even climbing up on the deck behind the cab to deal with connections is done so often that it becomes ‘normal.'”
I wrote about this topic a couple of years ago, in my post Truckers falling from own cabs, and introduced a tool that shows us why it’s important to take precautions against this highly preventable injury.
Determine Your Impact Force is a simulation that shows what type of force you will experience based on your body weight when you fall from certain heights. For example, a 250-pound person is likely to break their skull falling from the second level step.
CCOHS released a report that cited four factors behind falls: housekeeping, flooring, footwear, and pace. Among their Tips and Tools, they recommend
* Securing mats, rugs and carpets that do not lay flat with tape, tacks, etc.
* Changing or modifying walking surfaces
* Choosing appropriate footwear
* Taking your time and paying attention
This last point applies to pretty much all situations, if you think about it, but sometimes we need to be reminded. TSCBC offers this Safety Talk template for discussing this issue. More info is also available in Trucking Safety: Preventing slips, trips and falls.