The Heat is ON
The crazy weather continues this year and the heat is setting record temperatures across North America. What are you doing to protect your employees from Heat Stroke and exhaustion?
These conditions are created when our body is unable to regulate our heat production at a safe level. First, we need to make all employees aware of the signs and symptoms for these conditions:
1. Fatigue, weakness, fainting
2. Nausea and vomiting
5. Muscle cramps
7. Sweating (absence or presence)
These conditions can be further escalated by the physical condition of your employees. Employees at a greater risk for heat exhaustion and heat stroke are those with: Heart disease, Skin diseases, Extensive burns, Endocrine disorders (hyperthyroidism, diabetes, etc.), High blood pressure, Overweight, Depression, Insomnia and Fever. Over the counter drugs can also contribute to a greater risk for these conditions.
ALL HEAT-RELATED ILLNESSES ARE PREVENTABLE!
What can you do to prevent them?
• Use Common Sense!
• Limit your exposure to direct sunlight as much as possible.
• Drink more fluids (non-alcoholic); do not drink fluids that contain caffeine or large amounts of sugar. Sport drinks are good as they replace electrolytes and salt in your body. Avoid extremely cold fluids as these can cause stomach cramps. Drink often throughout the day 4-6 ounces at a time. WATER IS GOOD!
• Wear lightweight, light colored, loose fitting clothing that does not create a safety hazard for your work environment. If outdoors, wear a hat to reduce direct exposure to the sun.
• Make sure your employees are wearing sunglasses that provide UV protection and are impact resistant.
• Avoid hot foods and heavy meals. They add heat to your body.
• Drivers who are on routes should pack a cooler with water for the day. Also, keep an umbrella in the truck if you are operating in extreme conditions (desolate, desert, etc.). This will allow you to move to an area with breeze and still be protected from the sun.
• If exposure to the sun is inevitable, apply generous amounts of sunscreen with a high SPF rating to exposed skin.
• Make sure your truck is in excellent condition. A good pre-trip inspection is crucial in extreme heat conditions to prevent breakdowns, otherwise you may find yourself and your unit on the side of the road exposed to the extreme heat.
Work Zone Awareness
We are now in the middle of work zone season and you cannot drive anywhere without experiencing a work zone. As traffic volumes begin rebounding as COVID-19 lockdown orders are relaxed, renewed emphasis is being placed on highway work zone safety especially as higher incidences of speeding recorded during the pandemic are abating only slowly. “Though overall [motor vehicle] fatalities have decreased in the long run, the top three crash contributors – impaired driving, lack of restraint use and speeding – have persistently each accounted for nearly a third of all crash fatalities,” noted John Saunders, Director of Highway Safety for the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, in testimony during a June 30 hearing before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation’s Subcommittee on Transportation and Safety. Now is the time to reinforce to your drivers the dangers that exist around Work Zones!
10 Tips for Driving Safely in Work Zones
• EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED! (Normal speed limits may be reduced, traffic lanes may be changed, and people may be working on or near the road.)
• SLOW DOWN and TURN ON YOUR FOUR WAY FLASHERS. (Speeding is one of the major causes of work zone crashes.)
• DON'T TAILGATE! KEEP A SAFE DISTANCE BETWEEN YOU AND THE VEHICLE AHEAD OF YOU. (The most common crash in a highway work zone is the rear end collision. So, don't tailgate.)
• KEEP A SAFE DISTANCE BETWEEN YOUR VEHICLE AND THE CONSTRUCTION WORKERS AND THEIR EQUIPMENT.
• PAY ATTENTION TO THE SIGNS! (The warning signs are there to help you and other drivers move safely through the work zone. Observe the posted signs until you see the one that says you've left the work zone.)
• OBEY ROAD CREW FLAGGERS! (The flagger knows what is best for moving traffic safely in the work zone. A flagger has the same authority as a regulatory sign, so you can be cited for disobeying his or her directions.)
• STAY ALERT AND MINIMIZE DISTRACTIONS! (Dedicate your full attention to the roadway and avoid changing radio stations or using cell phones while driving in a work zone.
• KEEP UP WITH THE TRAFFIC FLOW. (Motorists can help maintain traffic flow and posted speeds by merging as soon as possible. Don't drive right up to the lane closure and then try to barge in.)
• SCHEDULE ENOUGH TIME TO DRIVE SAFELY AND CHECK RADIO, TV AND WEBSITES FOR TRAFFIC INFORMATION. (Expect delays and leave early so you can reach your destination on time. Check the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse - http://wzsafety.tamu.edu for information on work zone delays throughout the country.)
• BE PATIENT AND STAY CALM. (Work zones aren't there to personally inconvenience you. Remember, the work zone crew members are working to improve the road and make your future drive better.)
Top 3 Hazmat Violations in 2021
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA’s) Analysis & Information (A&I) online data, the top three hazardous materials regulations violations so far this year are as follows:
- Package not secure in vehicle (177.834(a))
- No copy of US DOT Hazardous Materials Registration Number (107.620(b))
- Shipping paper accessibility (177.817(e))
“Package not secure in vehicle” has been at the top of the list for the past four years (that’s as far as the data goes back).
Drivers are on the road and responsible for the hazmat load at the time of inspection. The top three violation areas — package securement, USDOT hazmat registration, and shipping papers — are all areas where drivers may need to be reminded of their responsibilities.
Package securement. While on the road, packages containing hazmat and not permanently attached to the vehicle must be secured. This means the packages must be braced and secured to minimize shifting within the vehicle during normal transportation conditions. Additionally, drivers need to be aware of segregation requirements. Certain hazmat cannot be transported with other types of hazmat and this information is laid out in the segregation table in 177.848. Be sure your drivers know about the segregation requirements, where to find the table, and how to use the information.
No copy of USDOT Hazardous Materials Registration Number. Each year, if you’re required to obtain the hazardous material registration, you’re required to keep copies of the registration statement and the certificate of registration at your principal place of business. There’s an additional requirement for motor carriers, however. Drivers must carry a copy of your current certificate of registration, or another document bearing your current year’s registration number identified as the “U.S. DOT Hazmat Reg. No.” Every vehicle you use for the transportation of hazardous material that meets the registration criteria must have this proof of registration on board. It could be that drivers have this documentation on board, but just aren’t aware of it. Or it could be that the documentation truly isn’t on board the vehicle. Since certificates for 2021-2022 were just issued, be sure to place a new copy of the documentation in your vehicles and let drivers know what to provide to enforcement when asked.
Shipping papers. While transporting hazmat by highway, shipping papers have very specific requirements because they need to be accessible to authorities in the event of an incident or accident. Be sure to remind drivers that. If the hazmat shipping paper is carried with any other papers, it is clearly distinguished either with a tab or by appearing first. When at the controls, the shipping papers must be within the immediate reach of the driver when restrained by the seat belt. The shipping papers must be readily visible to anyone entering the driver’s compartment, or in a pouch or holder mounted on the inside of the driver’s side door. If the driver is not in the vehicle, the shipping paper must be either in the door pouch, the door holder, or the driver’s seat. Additionally, shipping papers must have emergency response information on or in association with the shipping paper.
Key to remember
This data can help you identify areas for improvement. Giving drivers short and simple reminders about their responsibilities can help prevent these common violations.
FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry (TPR) Goes Live
After years of delays, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) entry-level driver training (ELDT) rule is headed to the finish line with the opening of the Training Provider Registry (TPR). Schools, motor carriers, and other entities planning on providing ELDT are now able to register with FMCSA.
Registration is a three-step process:
1. Access - Entities will need have a login.gov account to access the TPR. If an entity doesn’t have an account, one will need to be created. Once logged in, the user will be sent to the TPR registration site.
2. Registration - Information that will be required during the registration process includes: Provider name, facility name, contact information; Type of provider (for-hire/not-for-hire, in-house/not-in-house); Type of training provided; Average training hours and cost; and Third-party affiliations, certifications, or accreditations. Training providers will also be required to certify they meet specific standards related to curricula, facilities, instructors, vehicles, and state licensing (if applicable).
3. Additional locations - Once FMCSA has approved an entity’s request, providers with more than one location will need to register each of these locations.
The TPR may be accessed at: https://tpr.fmcsa.dot.gov/Provider < About ELDT and the TPR
As of February 7, 2022, compliance with all aspects of the ELDT rule is required. The ELDT rule establishes minimum training standards for drivers: Applying for their initial CDL; Upgrading their current CDL; or Obtaining a passenger, school bus, or hazardous materials endorsement for the first time. An entry-level driver must prior to taking the CDL skills test, successfully complete a prescribed program of theory and behind-the-wheel instruction provided by a school or other entity listed on FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry (TPR). With the implementation of this rule, the process of obtaining a CDL, upgrading a CDL, or obtaining certain endorsements will become more complex.
CVSA Announces Dates for Brake Safety Week
This year's Brake Safety Week is scheduled for August 22-28, according to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA). The enforcement campaign is a part of the larger Brake Safety Awareness Month, which takes place in August.
During CVSA's annual enforcement event, roadside inspectors will: Focus on the brake systems and components as they conduct North American Standard Inspections; and Compile data on brake hoses/tubing, the emphasis this year. The association will issue a report on its findings later this year. The event is also an opportunity for motor carriers to educate drivers and maintenance service providers on the importance of brake safety.