We hear about safety a lot these days, don’t we? Here at Pace, safety is always our #1 priority. It’s a 24/7 365 day-per-year consideration. We strive for a safe work experience for all of our employees and contractors every single day, and we have protocols in place to ensure it. When we discuss new relationships with potential customers, we highlight these safety-first protocols because we know they matter to all stakeholders.
As we in the logistics industry enter the 2020 peak season, let’s all continue to be laser-focused on concluding each work day healthy, safe, and accident free.
“Working safely may get old, but so do those who practice it.”
– Author Unknown
The literature for workplace safety is expansive. Listed below are time-proven lessons to always remember.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Whether in one of our warehouses, a customer’s facility, or an office environment, knowing what or where potential hazards are is worth taking a few moments to recognize.
- Keep walkways, hallways and emergency exits free of debris, clutter and obstacles. Ensure you know where all emergency exits are located.
- Never take shortcuts on procedures. Workplace procedures exist to not only assure our productivity, but to keep us safe. Shortcutting procedures might save some effort or time, but are not worth the small amount of time they would save if an accident or injury should occur.
- Be aware of new safety procedures. When training or informational materials are provided, it’s the responsibility of every individual to learn them for our own sake but also for the safety of our teammates as well.
- Take regular breaks. Being tired leads to increased risk for accidents and injuries to occur.
- Focus on correct posture. It’s more than the old saying “lift with your legs, not your back.” There’s no disgrace in using mechanical devices to lift or move something heavy as needed, to assure being injury free. Working with good posture, and proper desk positioning in an office setting, can help prevent back, neck, and carpal tunnel problems.
- Wear PPE as appropriate. This may include footwear, ear plugs, safety glasses, gloves, and masks; and, of course in extreme situations, hazmat suits.
For additional information on general workplace safety, we recommend you check out the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s website.
Driver Safety Tips
For those of us behind the wheel - whether when delivering an order for a Pace customer, commuting to work, or driving on our personal time - there are important safety considerations to always keep in mind.
- Always drive using your seat belt. No matter what type of vehicle you drive, one of the safest decisions a driver can make is to buckle up.
- Don’t look at or use your cell phone or other mobile device while driving. This not only endangers yourself, but also your passengers, and all other motorists.
- Know what the speed limit is and observe it. They are put in place to protect all road users. Remember late won’t kill you - speeding will.
- Avoid drug or alcohol use prior to or (of course) while driving. It is against the law to operate a vehicle while impaired, and it puts you and others in harm’s way.
- Make adjustments due to weather conditions.
- Maintain proper stopping distances. If driving a truck, take into consideration the truck’s height and weight, including the load being carried. Make sure that there is a safe space “cushion” around all sides of your truck to avoid accidents.
- Take a few moments before starting to plan the trip. What is the route? What are potentially dangerous conditions along the route to be aware of?
- Slow down for turns and curves. In race driving, there is a term known as “string theory.” Think of a string attached to the bottom of your steering wheel and tied to your right foot. As you turn, the string “pulls” your foot incrementally off the accelerator, resulting in slowing down as you turn. As the road straighten out, the steering wheel returns to the position where your foot is available to exert a little more acceleration.
- Be mindful of low clearances, such as bridges, tunnels, underpasses and tree limbs. If in doubt, stop in a safe place and check before proceeding or use an alternate route.
- When backing into parking lots, loading docks or delivery areas, don’t be afraid to use the G.O.A.L. method - Get Out And Look.
- For our Pace drivers, remember that rest and good nutrition go a long way to keep you sharp and focused on the road.
A Safety Mindset
Safety is part of our business, and it is everyone’s business. A safety mindset keep us and our teammates healthy and able to contribute at work, at home, and in our communities. During this peak season, and always, we are better when we think safely. As another saying about safety states, “Safety isn’t expensive, it’s priceless.”
Thank you to Kevin Thompson, Pace Risk Compliance Analyst/Auditor, for his contributions to the content of this article.