The towing industry comes with its fair share of risks and dangers. As a tow truck operator, you know the road can be a scary place sometimes. However, there are ways that you can manage the risks that you and your drivers face. Having written workplace safety policies for your towing business is a great way to emphasize safety at your business and keep you and your drivers out of harm’s way.
Here are 5 workplace safety policies or protocols you can consider implementing at your business.
1. Distracted driving.
Distracted driving has gotten a lot of attention lately, and for good reason:
Your tow truck (traveling at 45 miles per hour) can cover the length of a football field (about 300 feet) in five seconds. If you’re looking down at your phone for that five seconds and not at the road, that’s like driving across a football field blindfolded. Now that’s a pretty scary thought.
It’s important that your drivers understand that you’re not going to tolerate any sneaky (or not so sneaky) handheld cell phone use behind the wheel. Make your policy crystal clear: texting and talking on the phone while driving are not allowed. This policy will help your drivers stay safe. It will also help you avoid accidents and save money on your tow truck insurance rates – an added bonus!
Okay, yes, it’s true that towing is a high-pressure job.
But that doesn’t mean it’s okay to be reckless.
Driving at the speed limit (or a slower speed appropriate to poor weather conditions) is really important because there are many reasons that speeding is dangerous. The faster you’re going, the more severe an accident could be. Putting a policy in place that expects drivers to obey the speed limit will hopefully encourage safe driving.
(And speeding tickets don’t look that great when you get tow truck insurance. They can actually make your rates go up.)
3. Following distance.
You can’t stop a tow truck on a dime. Tow trucks are big, heavy vehicles, so they take a while to slow down and come to a halt. If you have a policy about maintaining a safe following distance, you’ll raise awareness and keep the thought in your drivers’ minds. If they keep plenty of room between them and the car in from of them, they’ll have plenty of time to come to a safe stop (without hitting anyone) if there’s a sudden slow-down in traffic.
Maintaining a safe following distance will help your drivers prevent rear-end collisions. And avoiding accidents, like we said, means avoiding claims…which will keep the insurance company happy.
4. Pre-trip vehicle inspections.
Having a procedure or protocol to keep track of pre-trip vehicle inspections can help you and your drivers communicate about the safety of your tow trucks. By doing pre-trip inspections, your drivers can catch any problems with the trucks that could lead to major safety hazards. You can outsmart your tow trucks and make repairs before the truck becomes unsafe. Your drivers can help you prevent accidents simply by ensuring that their truck is roadworthy before they hit the road. Make sure your drivers know what to check and what paperwork to fill out.
Seatbelts do a lot of cool things.
- They can prevent the driver from being thrown into (or through) the windshield if there’s an accident.
- They take the force of the impact of the accident and distribute it over a wide, strong area of the body (the chest and hips.)
- They protect the driver’s head, neck, and spine.
You can encourage your drivers to buckle up by making one of your workplace safety policies a formal seatbelt policy. It will also help people understand why it’s so important to wear a seatbelt.
The above are five workplace safety policies you can put in place at your tow truck business. Make sure that everyone gets a copy of the written policies and have them sign off that they’ve received and reviewed them. By having everything in writing, you can make your expectations very clear and keep your team safe.
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