Perform a walk-around safety check of your vehicle before operating

Safety: Circle checks

How often do you walk around your vehicle before moving it?

At Thompsons, a circle check is mandatory before putting a vehicle into service, at the beginning of the day and any time before backing up if it has been parked and this is the first motion a driver is making. Read more

tripping hazard

Safety: Unsafe conditions

Recognize unsafe conditions and take action to eliminate and mitigate them.

It is possible to eliminate the majority of unsafe conditions in our workplaces and on our farms in order to prevent injuries on the job. It is necessary to recognize these kinds of conditions exist around you, and take action to eliminate or mitigate them. There is an endless list of possible unsafe conditions in any workplace. Two types of unsafe conditions that can be found in almost any workplace are slip, trip, and fall hazards and pinch point hazards.

  • Slips, trips, and falls are responsible for many injuries on the job year after year. Many of these incidents are a direct result of an unsafe condition.
  • Objects on the ground are a common example.
  • Other unsafe conditions that lead to slips, trips, and falls injuries include slippery floors, unmarked changes in elevations in walking surfaces, cluttered work areas, unprotected edges, etc.

Read more

Safety: The fire triangle

Fire can be compared to a triangle. Three sides are necessary to make a triangle and three ingredients are necessary to cause a fire. These are heat, air, and fuel. If any one of these three sides is missing, there can be no fire.

Heat

Heat, the first side of the fire triangle, can come from many sources. It can be generated by sparks from welding operations, discarded cigarette butts, electrical shorts, frayed wiring, friction from power tools, and hot exhaust pipes.

Fuel

Fuel, the second side of the fire triangle, may be liquid, such as gasoline or solvents; a solid, such as paper or wood scraps; or a gas, such as propane.

Air

Air, the third side of the fire triangle, contains oxygen which is necessary to sustain a fire. Heat, fuel, and air must be in the proper proportion for fire to occur. Read more

Tire explosion photo

Safety: tire explosions

When a rubber tire becomes overheated, a chemical reaction in the rubber called pyrolysis can occur. Pyrolysis causes the rubber to deteriorate. At a certain point, this deterioration can create a very rapid pressure increase inside the tire that can lead to a sudden and unexpected tire explosion. Read more

Safety: loose cargo inside and outside of a motor vehicle

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of workplace injuries according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Motor vehicle incidents contributed to 40% of all workplace fatalities. The majority of injuries occur during the initial impact of a crash; however loose cargo both inside or outside of the vehicle can cause additional injuries or property loss incidents.

Loose cargo in vehicles

Loose cargo within a vehicle such as empty bottles, trash, tools, etc. are not only a distraction while driving, but they also turn into projectiles during a crash.

Those half-filled water bottles, canned goods, boxes of products, a laptop computer could all become dangerous projectiles when hurling through the air during collisions.

At 90 km per hour (55 mph), a 20-pound (9 kg) object hits with 1,000 pounds (450 kg) of force — so powerful that a suitcase can shear off the arm of a crash test dummy. It is just as important to mitigate the secondary hazards, such as loose cargo, as it is to do so for the more obvious primary danger of the actual impact of a crash.

Mitigation actions

  • Utilise the trunk or cargo boxes before putting items in the cab of the vehicle.
  • Tie down or secure all items that pose a risk inside the cab.
  • Perform periodic inspections of any vehicles on and off the work site for loose cargo.
Heimlich Maneuver image

Safety: Emergency breathing situations

Oxygen is vital to life

  • Your body requires a constant supply of oxygen as a source of fuel. When the air you breathe reaches the lungs, oxygen from the air is transferred to the blood. It is a life-threatening situation when oxygen does not enter the body.
  • When you find an emergency situation, call 911, and then care for the life-threatening conditions.

How do you know if someone is choking?

  • Grabbing the throat with one or both hands is a sign that someone is choking.
  • If this person cannot talk, cough or breathe, you will need to help remove the object from his/her throat by giving quick, hard abdominal thrusts.

Read more

Safety: Dangerous wind-chill and frostbite

Wind chill is the temperature it “feels like” outside based on the rate of heat loss from exposed skin caused by the effects of wind and cold. As wind speed increases, the body is cooled at a faster rate, causing the skin temperature to drop.

The wind chill, “feels like,” temperature can freeze body tissue. The most susceptible parts are the extremities such as fingers, toes, earlobes, or the tip of the nose. Frostbite symptoms include the loss of feeling of an extremity and a white or pale skin appearance.

Frostbite may be prevented by:

• Wearing layers of loose fitting, light weight, warm clothing.

• Wearing outer garments that are tightly woven, water repellant, and hooded.

• Wearing a hat (40% of body heat is lost from the head).

• Covering the mouth to protect the lungs from extreme cold.

• Staying dry and staying out of the wind.

Working in an environment with twenty-mile-per-hour winds (32kph) and an air temperature of zero degrees (-18C) may cause frostbite to exposed skin within thirty minutes. Wind chill advisories are issued when the wind chill temperatures are potentially hazardous. A wind chill warning is issued when wind chill temperatures are life threatening.

Spotter safety image

Safety: Importance of having a spotter

While spotting for moving trucks and equipment, it may not seem like a dangerous task, but it certainly is. Every year in Canada and the U.S., back-over incidents between equipment and spotters result in fatalities.

Spotting for equipment has been proven to be an effective safeguard for preventing incidents between pedestrians and the equipment as well as preventing property damage incidents, but safe work practices need to be established to protect spotters as well.

Basic safe work practices for spotting

  • Never walk behind the equipment and spot at the same time.
  • Agree on hand signals prior to any spotting activities with equipment operators.
  • As the operator, stop anytime you lose sight of the spotter.
  • Review the work area for any additional hazards such as trip hazards or fixed objects that the equipment can strike. Remove any people, objects, or equipment prior to needing to back into an area to eliminate the possibility of a strike.

Other tips

  • When planning work, look at the task and determine if there is a way to eliminate backing up or minimize it.
  • Often times, personnel who are spotting for equipment may not have ever operated that specific piece or model of equipment. Work with operators to discuss and review the blind spots of the equipment onsite.