A Firm Grip: Best Practices for Trucking Industry Safety

By St. Aubin, John R. | Risk Management, November 1997 | Go to article overview

A Firm Grip: Best Practices for Trucking Industry Safety


St. Aubin, John R., Risk Management


For truck drivers, the most common workers' compensation injury usually goes something like this:

On a cold, rainy morning, a trucker pulls off the road for breakfasts and a rest. He puts down the CB microphone, opens the door and swings his leather-soled boots to the top step of his cab. Before he knows it, he's on the ground--but not on his feet. This trucker has just become a workers' compensation statistic.

Any number of factors could have caused the trucker's fall--a loose wire wrapped around his heel; a pointy toe of his boot catching on the top stair; slipping on the stair tread or the oil-slicked pavement; or a miscalculated jump from the cab to the ground.

It may not surprise you, therefore, that the biggest cause of workers' compensation accidents for truckers is not on-the-road accidents or improper cargo lifting. Nearly 35 percent of the time, according to CIGNA Property & Casualty's Loss Control Services, it's some version of the above scenario--drivers slipping and falling when getting in and out of their vehicles.

In the late 1996, the company conducted a statistical loss analysis to understand the causes of injury-producing incidents in the trucking industry. In addition to analyzing three years' worth of trucker-related claims, a team of loss control and claims specialists conducted a bechmarking study to identify workers' compensation best practices in the trucking industry. The study produced some interesting results that should influence loss control efforts and help trucking companies convince their drivers about the importance of safety.

A Closer Look

Of the 2,500 workers' compensation trucking claims filed from 1993 to 1996 (950 of them exceeding $ 1,000), the largest number of claims, 34.8 percent, involved slips and falls. The rest involved lifting and overexertion (22.7 percent), vehicle accidents (16.1 percent), employees being struck by or striking against objects (16.1 percent) and other miscellaneous injures, such as cuts and burns (10.3 percent).

The high incidence of slipping and falling on the job warranted further attention. Driver falls occurred most often (35.1 percent of the time) at rest stops, fueling stations and restaurants. The remainder took place at customer locations (32.2 percent) and on their company's premises (31.2 percent). Across all locations, falls occurred from tractors (34.8 percent), trailers (25.8 percent) and on the ground (28.2 percent).

The study also examined what truckers were doing when they fell. The results showed that they were either getting in or out of the cab (31.3 percent), walking or climbing (24 percent), handling freight (13.7 percent) or climbing in or out of trailers (8.6 percent).

Lessons Learned

To determine the most effective ways to reduce driver injuries, CIGNA identified trucking customers whose loss experience was considered "best in class." These companies, representing a wide variety of large operators and truck sizes transporting all kinds of goods, had excellent loss histories and proactive safety management activities.

Through interviews with the risk managers, safety directors or supervisors of these companies, we identified the following "best practices" that had positive effects on the number and type of workers' compensation injuries:

Written safety programs--These initiatives stressed injury prevention and detailed necessary safe work practices.

Strong disciplinary procedures--Although the methods varied, successful programs enforced safety procedures strictly.

Strong incentive programs--A variety of rewards, from monthly pizza parties to bonuses of up to 25 percent of the base yearly wage, provided effective incentives for safe behavior. One company went so far as to split 50 percent of their workers' compensation dividend with the employees. Training and overall fleet safety were measured in many incentive programs.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Firm Grip: Best Practices for Trucking Industry Safety
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.