June 2019 Safety Coach: Design Your Summer Around Safety

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Safety Coach
Secure Your Load

During your next safety talk, present this scenario to your employees:

You are merging onto the highway and you spot a vehicle ahead that appears overloaded. What can you do to protect yourself and others? Use our free Traffic Safety Huddle handout on Securing Your Load to aid in the discussion. Some key takeaways:

  • Slow down to create a greater distance between you and the overloaded truck
  • Scan the road and watch for flying debris
  • If you have a passenger, ask them to report the vehicle to authorities

In Texas, drivers with unsecured loads contributed to 1,241 crashes in 2017, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. That’s more than three crashes every day.

Even if your employees are not responsible for hauling equipment or materials, it is peak moving season. You can help raise awareness as some of your employees pack up their belongings and settle in new places.

Some statistics to share:

  • A 20-pound object traveling at 55-mph wields a force of 1,000 pounds on impact
  • In a typical year, more than 90,000 crashes nationwide are related to unsecured loads, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Nearly 37% of deaths in road debris crashes are the result of drivers swerving to avoid hitting an object, according to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety

And, just imagine the risk for the people called to pick up debris.

One of my biggest fears is to die because somebody dropped something on the freeway,” said a Utah patrol officer who was hit in his vehicle while helping clear a road hazard last month.

Washington resident Robin Abel has worked to shine a safety light on this issue for 15 years. Her daughter, Maria, nearly was killed in an incident in 2004. Today, 48 states and Canada recognize Secure Your Load Day each year on June 6.

“Secure your load as if everyone you love is driving in the car behind you,” Abel says on SecureYourLoad.com. Tie it down with rope, netting or straps, and tie large objects directly to your vehicle or trailer.

Use our free resources to tackle a variety of traffic safety issues. Huddle Up: Call a Winning Traffic Safety Play.

Learn to spot the signs of drug misuse at your location.

Tailgate Talk
Identify the Signs

Central nervous system stimulants commonly are referred to as “uppers,” and depressants are known as “downers.” If one of your employees is misusing a drug that could affect on-the-job performance, would you recognize the signs? How does their impairment from alcohol and other drugs affect safety in the workplace?

Our free Drug Impairment Training for Texas Employers is designed to help you identify the signs of an impaired worker and raise awareness of risks associated with impaired driving.

In each training, seven categories of drug-related impairment are covered, including drugs that impact the central nervous system. Characteristics of impairment by this group of drugs might include:

  • Stimulants: restlessness, anxiety, excitability, runny nose, paranoia, euphoria, loss of appetite and loss of weight
  • Depressants: drowsiness, slurred speech, droppy eyelids, slowed reflexes and flaccid muscle tone

Some people start the day needing a stimulant to wake up, then use a depressant to counteract the effect in order to fall asleep later. During training, participants are directed to free resources for use in educating employees on the impact of drug use. You also will learn how to develop or improve drug polices, programs and practices at your location.

We include video presentations to help answer all of your questions and bring our free DITTE training sessions to life. We now offer two training options: Webcast training and onsite training. Register to attend an upcoming session.