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Playing it Safe

Be safe and healthy on the job with these helpful tips provided by Leverity Insurance Group, Inc.

Imminent Dangers and You

Helpful tips for reducing your risk of injury at work

Any workplace hazard that puts you at an immediate risk of death or serious physical harm is considered an imminent danger. It could be a safety hazard—such as a malfunctioning forklift or no guardrail on the loading dock—or it may be a health hazard such as exposure to diesel pollution. These dangers could cause illness, irreversible physical harm and even death.

What to Do

If you encounter a safety or health hazard on the job that puts you in imminent danger of death or serious injury, notify your supervisor immediately and request a corrective action to the problem. Also request that you get protection from the hazard until it is eliminated or controlled.

Your Protection

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Labor Relations Board work together to protect employees who are punished for refusing to work in imminently dangerous situations that involve serious safety and health hazards. In addition, OSHA is available for assistance if you are discharged or disciplined for refusing to do work that would expose you to imminent danger, providing that you notified your supervisor of the hazard, the hazard has not been corrected, and there is not enough time for you to seek relief through OSHA’s standard complaint process.

Safety from Retaliation

In addition, it is illegal to punish you for reporting a safety or health hazard under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act). This law protects you from being discriminated against, fired, demoted or otherwise penalized for any of the following:

• Complaining to your supervisor about a hazard

• Requesting an OSHA inspection

• Participating in union safety and health activities

• Otherwise exercising your rights under the OSH Act

Violation of Rights

If you believe that your rights have been violated, you must file a complaint with OSHA within 30 days of the incident. OSHA can then work with your employer to restore your job, earnings and benefits. You will also not have to pay any legal fee

Load Up Safe, Drive Off Sound

Hazard control for drivers of auto transporter trucks

Auto transporters are some of the most dangerous vehicles on the road because of the weight of the cargo and the sheer size of the trailer. As a driver, you have the job of both maneuvering this large vehicle on the road and loading the cars onto the rigs, which both present significant hazards that you should continually work to eliminate.

Safety Recommendations

Here are some tips for drivers of auto transporters to reduce the risk of hurting yourself, others or your cargo while on the job:

•  If possible, carry larger vehicles on the top deck of the trailer.

• Know the weight of your cargo, and never overload your vehicle.

• Have a plan of action for loading the trailer. Fewer moving cars means a safer operation.

• Use retaining pins to prevent unintentional ramp movement or collapse when loading vehicles onto the trailers.

• Always be aware of the hydraulic control lever’s location to avoid accidental operation.

• Never place yourself inside the trailer frame to work unless the racks and ramps are pinned in place. This prevents downward motion of the racks, eliminating crushing hazards.

• Ensure you are using pins that are designed to withstand the pressures of a loaded car on the top ramps.

• Know where the pinch points are on your vehicle with regards to moving ramps and the loading/unloading operations.

• Never reach into moving machinery.

• Inspect all hoists before use— never work with damaged equipment.

• Keep any surrounding personnel clear of the fall zone during loading.

• Do not load the trailer in weather conditions (snow, ice, rain, etc.) that could cause slipping off of the top deck.

• Wear anti-slip shoes and other appropriate personal protective equipment when climbing onto ramps.