Semi-Truck Safety Equipment
Most people don't realize how dangerous semi-trucks are. These massive vehicles weigh several tons, with trailers containing everything from heavy goods to hazardous materials. This means that even a minor accident involving a big rig can quickly turn catastrophic.
Say, for instance, that a large truck is improperly restrained and chocked while being worked on in the garage. Because there's nothing stopping the vehicle from moving, this means there's nothing stopping it from rolling and potentially crushing anyone unlucky enough to be nearby.
And that can cost you. In 2016, for instance, OSHA found that a truck driver was fired for refusing to violate OSHA. In response, it issued the following demands to the trucker's former employer:
- Immediately hire the driver back to his former position with all benefits, remove the discharge from its records and make no retaliation against the driver or adverse statements about them.
- Pay the driver a total of $126,870 in back pay, $50,000 in compensatory damages and $10,00 in punitive damages.
- Post a signed, dated notice informing employees of their rights under the Surface Transportation Assistance Act.
As you can see, the penalties for violating trucking safety regulations are incredibly steep. And that's not even accounting for the fact that, if a fatal accident occurs involving one of your workers, you may be held liable if it's found that you were non-compliant. Such incidents will also cause your insurance rates to soar, costing you even more in the long run.
As for what regulations you are required to follow, it tends to vary from state to state. As a general rule, however, you are required to adhere to all of the following:
- OSHA's general industry regulations, where applicable.
- OSHA's heavy equipment safety regulations. This includes mandates covering training, vehicular maintenance, job site safety, and protective equipment. In particular, it mandates that all trailers and trucks not classified as commercial vehicles use proper wheel chocking.
- OSHA regulations around commercial vehicle safety. In addition to hitting many of the same beats as OSHA's heavy equipment regulations, these also include proper vehicle registration, seatbelts, rearview and side mirrors, and emergency equipment such as first aid kits and traffic cones.
- FMCSA's Hours of Service regulations.
- FMCSA's regulations around wheel chocks and general safety guidelines. In particular, it requires blocks or chocks for heavy haulers as well as trailers carrying agricultural commodities and pulpwood, though air-braked power units are sufficient for most commercial vehicles.
- State-specific guidelines and legislation. Check your State's government website to see if there are any rules to which you must adhere.
- The Environmental Protection Agency's emission regulations.
If you want to learn more about trucking law, OSHA has assembled a page of applicable trucking standards, which we highly recommend familiarizing yourself with.
In the meantime, Checkers Safety™ can help you stock your workplace with critical safety equipment. Designed collaboratively with transportation safety managers, our products are built from high-quality, lightweight materials and engineered for ease of use and transport. Where trucking is concerned, our most relevant offerings include:
- Ground protection. Our mats are manufactured from composite material, making them both more durable and longer-lasting. They undergo rigorous safety and quality testing and are usable for everything from truck access to slip prevention and cleaning.
- Wheel chocks. Known worldwide, our wheel chocks are the strongest and lightest on the market. Easy to both transport and position, they make it easy to keep both your people and your trucks safe.
- Parking lot safety. A trucking depot can be a dangerous place. Checkers can help make it much safer, with parking curbs, speed bumps, wall guards, and speed humps manufactured from durable rubber.
- Cable and hose protection. To help safeguard electrical cables and hose lines against damage from tractor-trailers, Checkers manufactures the most extensive line of high-performance protection products in the world.
Big rig trucks can be incredibly hazardous if you don't know what you're doing. Fortunately, by using the right equipment and understanding guidance around workplace safety, you can take an enormous step towards making them safer. An enormous step towards protecting not only your truckers but everyone else on the road.
Contact our trained service professionals today to discover how our full line of safety products can prevent dangerous semi-truck accidents.