First things first – Safety first! Let’s take a moment and step back from the daily hustle and bustle of meeting deadlines, customer expectations and the demands of the boss. Let’s figure out how to work smarter and not harder. Trust me it’s easier to find a few new safe habits than it is to go through physical therapy for 6 months because of an accident that could have been avoided.
Some friends at the San Diego Towing Network run a very good towing outfit in the San Diego, California area, please check out their foursquare profile. The guys down at the tow yard know all about workplace safety from personal experience and training plus the exposure to all the wreckage that they are called out to clean up. A tow truck driver sees a lot of roadside damage so they’ve got a good look at things from a first persons perspective. Find more from the national safety council.
The biggest lesson that we have learned is a very simple one: slow down. We are all rushed and the demands of the transportation industry are very real. We’ve got guaranteed delivery times to meet, customers waiting on the side of the road for help and the old baby locked in the car trick! The truth is that speeding is a very common factor in most highway accidents. The thing about speeding is that it doesn’t really help in terms of arrival times, not by anything significant anyways. It’s the hustle and organization and planning of the individual driver that make a difference. Being prepared for the unexpected also helps with the tempo and on time status. There are scenarios that happen on an almost regular basis that seem to catch us off guard but in the end we really should know that they are going to happen. Fuel, for instance, we all know that our vehicles need some form of fuel whether it’s diesel, gasoline, propane, natural gas or electric. Why wait until you are in a major time crunch to fill up? An in demand vehicle should be filled to capacity and ready to run a full shift at the beginning of a shift. If you are a manager and there are rules or protocol that impede your drivers from implementing this habit then maybe the rules need to change.
Planning and organization should be a key factor in safely increasing your drivers delivery times and ETA’s. Be prepared for the regular troubles that may occur have a plan for flat tires and dead batteries when the time comes it won’t be a cluster. Have a sit down with the guys and brainstorm for ideas.
Tow trucks make people’s jobs easier. They automate a lot of work and save time. However, they can also be dangerous if not handled properly. They can result in the loss of limb or life if the injury is serious enough. That is why it is important for every employee to understand how to prevent accidents caused from working with the equipment.
Make Sure Tow Trucks are Working Properly
When a machine malfunctions, it can cause serious injury. Supervisors and managers should have policies in place that include regular inspection of all heavy equipment and machinery. This may be conducted in-house by a qualified person or it may be done by a servicing or repair company. Old parts should be replaced before they break. This helps prevent injury and reduces down time. Following proper safety while operating tow trucks couldn’t be better done that the folks that operate the San Diego Towing Network, by the way they also run the finest towing San Diego California has to offer. Get more safety info at the Department of Transportation website.
Provide Proper Safety Equipment
All employees should wear the proper safety equipment and management should ensure they have what they need. It should also be kept in good working condition. Supervisors are responsible for making sure everyone wears the safety equipment whenever they are working with the equipment. Any negligence would result in some type of disciplinary action.
Proper Driver Training
Employees should always receive the proper supervised training before being allowed to work on new machines. This not only includes knowing how to use the equipment, but understanding the proper safety procedures and dangers involved. For example, employees should avoid wearing loose clothing or having their hair down where it can get caught in the machine. They should know to stay away from certain moving parts and how to shut down a machine that isn’t working correctly. The correct shoes should be worn to prevent injury from low or moving equipment.
While machines have many benefits to companies, they are also a danger. Many accidents in the workplace happen as a result of working around machines. Supervisors and employees should know what to do and what not to do and be provided with the proper safety attire to protect themselves.
Increasing efficiency within your fleet, personnel, company and your bottom line requires increasing your workplace safety awareness as whole. Injuries to workers and damage to equipment equal losses. Damages to a customers vehicle equal losses. Theses types of losses aren’t always going to be totally avoidable but overall can be reduced by proper training and towing procedural protocol improvements, do not lead from the rear. Have regular talks with tow truck drivers about things that they see that could use improvement. Your wrecker operators are the guys on the ground and they see things everyday that could help improve the safety and efficiency of your tow truck company. These guys minds are as good as gold, you just have to mine it. Take a driver or two out to lunch every week, he’ll appreciate it and you will gain priceless knowledge.
Injuries That Occur While Conducting Collision Repair
Repetitive Strain Injuries, or RSIs, are responsible for an alarming amount of lost-time injuries and illnesses. They can be devastating in their effects, resulting in anything from missing a few days, to major surgery or disabilities. Fortunately most RSI’s are easily avoided with simple exercises or accommodations. The nature of auto body repair and painting cars involves repetitive movements all day long. A tech fixing dents and straightening out a vehicle that has been damaged in an accident is very likely to do a lot of sanding which is exactly the type of repetitive motion that will cause an RSI. Follow some tips from Auto Body Shop and Collision Repair, Chula Vista, they provide top notch service and can even provide simple fixes like bumper repair Chula Vista, CA. Check out this YouTube video to see more The Best Auto Body Shop Chula Vista has to offer. Also visit the Chula Vista City Website to find out more about high quality repair shop safety programs in the area.
How Body Shop Injuries Occur
Three common causes of repetitive injuries are manual labor lines that go too fast, intensive keying, and repetitive and heavy lifting. Knowing what to do to keep yourself safe in each situation can help you avoid the resulting downtime, pain, or disability. To help out the car painters and auto repair personnel on the “front lines” it can be as easy as just information that you can provide either through live presentation or through training videos.
Auto Body Shop Production
Here are some ways to reduce RSI occurrence maintaining good shop production numbers.
Use hand and body positions that feel natural and normal. Seasoned workers have often found a rhythm and position that work well. Ask for advice.
Stretch hands, wrists, and arms at every available opportunity. You can do this while walking to and from the break room or restroom, or if your line has temporary downtime for a changeover or repairs.
Keep yourself physically fit – the healthier your body is, the less likely you are to develop a RSI.
Use some time to maintain auto body shop cleanliness and organization by taking regular breaks from body and paint work and sweep, clean up and organize the shop.
The Body Shop Estimators Are People Too!
Follow these tips are good for the people in the front office of your collision center to avoid stress injuries when typing:
Use good posture. Sitting correctly reduces strain on your head, shoulders, neck, back, and wrists.
Take short, frequent breaks. You should stop about every 30-60 minutes to stand, stretch your arms and legs, and flex or stretch your hands and fingers for a minute or two.
Consider getting an ergonomic keyboard or chair. Both support the way your body should be held naturally, and therefore reduce the strain that can cause damage.
Repetitive Heavy Lifting
Make sure that when you lift, you are lifting correctly.
Plan ahead. What is your destination? How will you get it there?
Stand as close to the object as possible, then kneel on one knee. Don’t bend from the waist or lock your knees.
Tighten your core muscles and lift the object between your legs. Breathe normally, and maintain your back’s natural curve.
Hold the object close to your body, and rest it on your knee as you prepare to stand.
Maintain the natural curve of your back and keep your core muscles tight as you lift the object with your legs.
Consider making multiple trips or getting help with very heavy objects.
We have all attended the mandatory trainings, but what do any of these phrases really mean? Over the last few years, there was a substantial increase in temporary worker deaths at their places of employment. Occupational safety hazards are all around us and it takes a well-trained employee to ensure that those potential risks don’t turn into hospital visits.
The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) is the largest monitoring body in the country. Recently, OSHA and other organizations around the country have become more concerned with questions surrounding best practices for protecting temporary workers. In this country, there are more than 3 million temporary labor workers. These non-traditional workers often carry a greater risk because of their lack of occupational safety knowledge. We’ve found CPR classes in Sacramento to help train and certify wost of our staff in order to protect ourselves and our temporary staff. We suggest that you do as well.
These 5 occupational safety tips will help ensure that your company is on the right path to ensuring the safety of temporary workers—and improving overall occupational safety.
1. Remember: Temporary employees are still employees
There is a common misconception that it is acceptable to treat temporary employees differently than regular employees. This is absolutely false. Every employee should adhere to the same rules and regulations. Employers have a responsibility to protect all employees.
2. Ensure that all staff members maintain up to date trainings
The most important part of occupational safety is prevention. This cannot be achieved without the proper education. Although you may not be particularly motivated to invest as many of your company’s resources into a temporary worker, it is in your business’s best interest. Understanding proper lifting techniques, back injury prevention, and equipment maintenance can help everyone avoid a nasty accident on the work site. Without the right training, temporary workers are much more prone to severe accidents such as asphyxiation, chemical spills, and machine entanglement,
Temporary employees can prove to be great assets if they are kept abreast of best practices in occupational safety.
3. Be sure you have the right amount and type of insurance
Regardless of how often you hire temporary workers, you should periodically check to be sure that your insurance is adequate in case of an incident at the work site. Do you have General Liability Coverage (GLC)? What about Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI)? How do you know what is best for your situation? Before you decide to hire temporary workers, these are a few very vital issues that must be resolved in order to protect your business and your employees. The type of coverage may vary slightly from state to state depending on the type of business you run, but you should be aware that many General Liability Coverage policies are not sufficient when considering temporary workers; it all depends on the terminology that is used.
4. Follow the OIS code for temporary workers
Launched in 2013 by Deputy Assistant Richard Fairfax, the OIS (OSHA Information System) code for temporary workers inspects worksites for exposure to safety violations. Hiring temporary workers does not excuse a company from meeting safety standards. Moreover, this initiative does not present new legislation. It is simply a stronger enforcement of the 1970 Occupational Safety and Health Act. The new measures in the OIS code also include outreach initiatives and new grievance procedures.
5. Promote a culture of safety across the board
This is an essential step to ensuring that all employees are protected in the workplace. There should be a high standard when it comes to occupational safety. Promoting a culture of safety means that employers post safety hazard literature as needed and (for lack of a better cliché) practice what they preach. During site visits, supervision, or any other time on site, be sure to follow the same rules that you expect your employees to follow. Temporary workers are much more likely to follow the guidelines if there is a reinforced culture of safety in the workplace.
Using these five tips, your company can ensure that it meets (or even exceeds) U.S. occupational safety standards in the workplace. Staying up to date on the proper procedures and strictly adhering to OSHA guidelines is the best way to ensure that your business remains in compliance.
For more information on temporary workers and OSHA, please visit:
While temporary employees can be heaven sent relief to an immediate need it’s also important to get them up to speed as soon as possible with your current safety procedures in order to protect yourself from a potential lawsuit or workplace accident. Getting an temp up to speed may cost some time but if you can take time to implement a well put together safety training system then you ca increase the speed and efficiency of the program.