We know that people in the transportation industry, such as long-distance drivers, already have quite a lot on their plates in terms of on-time delivery, rest stops, having the right permit documentation needed for the route, and more. However, something that might get slightly neglected is personal safety, which is actually the most important thing for organisations to constantly keep in mind to ensure the well-being of their employees.
To address that, we have made a rundown of the 5 main health and safety issues that pose risks to workers in the transportation industry.
5 Health And Safety Issues In The Transportation Industry
1. Fatigue And Distractions While Driving
Fatigue is one of the most dangerous things a driver can feel while driving. It tends to be brushed off as a normal and ordinary state that can be resolved with a nap. But, for drivers on the road experiencing fatigue, this could be extremely hazardous.
Fatigue decreases concentration and attention levels, slows down reaction time, and thus increases the chance of errors - some of which can be fatal. It also makes drivers easily distractible, which increases the risk of accidents.
2. Not Just A Risk For Themselves But Also For Others
This ties in with the first point mentioned. A critical part of driving is knowing that you are going to be interacting with other people, be it pedestrians or other drivers, most of the time. An error made does not affect only the driver or the company, but it can affect the others getting into contact with them too.
Long-distance drivers and other transportation professionals must operate at their most optimal levels to keep themselves and others safe. This is because safety is everyone’s responsibility, so drivers or people operating heavy transportation machinery need to note when and how to take the proper precautions to prevent potential risks or safety hazards.
3. Weather And Road Conditions
The weather and driving conditions can sometimes change quite suddenly from terrain to terrain. If a driver isn’t aware and doesn’t adjust their driving accordingly, this could be very dangerous and a risk for their personal safety, as well as to the load they are transporting.
Long-distance drivers must be able to pre-empt and recognise the possible changes. And, if push comes to shove, they must recognise when it’s time to pull over and take a break because the weather is too challenging to drive in.
4. Slips And Falls Risks Of Other Drivers
Slips and falls are among the most common safety concerns in the transportation industry - especially during the winter months. Drivers must remain vigilant and be extra careful during wet and snowy seasons as they enter and exit their vehicles. Even though many vehicles are equipped with anti-slip features, these may prove unhelpful if there are external factors such as minus degrees, rainy and icy weather in the mix.
These external factors are usually down to human error, such as a driver not being vigilant enough or rushing through a slippery road to meet a deadline.
5. Pre-Drive Vehicle Inspections
Sometimes, when a driver is in a rush, they may skimp on all the necessary pre-drive vehicle inspections or walkarounds. These inspections can be crucial in catching any maintenance related risks on or in the vehicle that could potentially endanger the driver, the goods' and/or other stakeholders the driver might get in contact with during the transport safety.
More and more companies are already making these inspections and walkarounds mandatory, although they aren't required by law to do. Doing these inspections correctly could be what saves the driver’s or someone else’s life.
There are internal as well as external factors that transportation professionals need to take into consideration before and during a trip. It may seem like a hassle, especially when chasing deadlines, but it can make all the difference to keep the drivers and people around them safe.
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