Each year truck driver injury rates increase due to slips and falls upon entering and exiting their vehicles. The potential for loss work time due to these types of injuries is high and can be reduced by addressing many of the contributing factors with appropriate training and proper footwear.
Initially, you should review your loss runs to identify trends that may indicate a pattern in slips and falls. If the same type of accident continues to occur upon entering or exiting the truck cab, you may be able to determine a best practices solution to reduce that type of injury.
How to reduce slips and falls:
- Proper Footwear. A non-slip footwear policy may benefit your organization as several case studies have shown that implementing a mandatory non-slip shoe policy can reduce employee injuries from vehicles by one-third. Here are some tips to getting the most from your non-slip shoe policy.
- Recommend that drivers wear lace-up hiking boots that support the ankle and reduce ankle injuries upon exiting the vehicle cab.
- Drivers should also wear boots with non-slip soles that are oil-and-water resistant.
- Don’t Jump Down. Jumping down from the cab is bad for the knees and increases the likelihood of a fall.
- Use 3-Points of Contact. Drivers should always face the vehicle when entering and exiting with two feet and one hand, or two hands and one foot in contact with the vehicle.
- Check Surfaces. Before stepping off the vehicle, drivers should check for uneven surfaces such as potholes or curbs which may cause them to slip.
- Easily Identify Steps and Handholds. Paint ladders and handrails yellow to make them more easily identifiable.
- Vehicle ladders can help reduce slip and fall injuries. In the top picture below, the access ladder for a mounted crane increases the probability of a slip and fall accident.
- The ladder is narrow and only allows one foot to fit snugly on each step
- The step is a narrow bar with less surface area for the foot to adhere to
- The steps are spaced far apart which makes climbing more difficult
- The ladder is completely vertical which is more difficult to climb instead of on an angle
- The ladder blends in visually with the truck for poor visibility when climbing up or down the ladder
- To better access the platform the ladder was completely reconstructed with the following changes: Equally spaced steps that are wider and deeper which provides more traction when accessing the ladder
- Each step is notched for improved grip
- One extra step was added to the ladder for easier climbing
- The ladder is designed on an incline, which is a more natural position which climbing
- The ladder is painted bright yellow for added visibility