Driver Safety: 3-Points of Contact

Did you know that one of the highest risks of injury for commercial truck drivers is the simple task of entering or exiting a truck cab? Falls from truck cabs can result in serious head injuries or knee and ankle injuries that are painful and difficult to heal. You can reduce your driver’s risk of falls by training them on the safe work practices we have listed below. Please follow these at all times – So we go home safe!

  • 3-points of contact must be used whenever ascending, descending, entering or exiting your truck. This means either two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand.
  • Do not hold your cell phone, paperwork, lunch or other items when ascending or descending from the truck. Reach back in and grab them or place them inside before climbing.
  • Maintain 3-points of contact until you have safely entered the truck cab or standing on stable ground.
  • Never attempt to exit the truck with your back facing the cab.
  • Only use the handles and steps built into the truck. Do not use other parts of the truck to grab onto or step on such as the seat, door handle, steering wheel, etc.
  • Steps must be free of oil, grease, mud or other slippery substances. Make sure you’re keeping these areas clean.
  • Shoes must have good traction and be free of oil, grease or other slippery substances that could cause you to slip or lose your grip.
  • Never jump or hop from an elevated surface on your truck. Always maintain 3-points of contact until you have safely reached ground surface or are inside the truck cab.
  • Remember that maintaining 3-points of contact will allow you to hold yourself up in the event of a slip.
  • Before exiting your truck cab, try to visually scan the ground for oil, water or ice that could cause you to slip.
  • Take extra caution to avoid curbs or objects that could cause you to trip or twist your ankle.
  • Try to avoid making sharp pivots the moment you step onto the ground. Instead, give yourself enough space to be able to take a few steps forward, before pivoting.
  • If the ground surface is difficult to see during a night time delivery, use a flashlight to obtain a visual of the ground surface. This will help you gauge where on the ground you will need to step.

Once you conduct the training with your drivers, a great follow up idea is to do some spot checks on your drivers as they return to the facility at the end of the day. If you observe all of your drivers exiting properly, you have the perfect opportunity to acknowledge and thank them for being safe. Perhaps you could even provide them with a reward like breakfast at your next safety meeting!

Terio Duran
Terio Duran
Terio Duran joined ICW Group in 2008 and provides risk management services in the Inland Empire region of Southern California. He serves as a technical specialist leading continuous improvement projects and customer experience initiatives for the risk management services team. Terio assists clients across a spectrum of industries, including manufacturing, construction, hospitality, healthcare, and warehouse distribution. His professional certifications include Six Sigma Greenbelt and Certified Professional in Fraud Identification (CPFI). Terio is a member of the National Safety Council and American Society of Safety Professionals.

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