A 46-year-old dump truck driver was killed after a high impact crash. The driver was hauling cinder on a 2-lane road in a truck with two loaded dump trailers attached. The driver lost control while making a turn on a downhill slope. The trailers tipped over, pulling the truck down the embankment. This was only the driver’s second day on the job, and he did not hold the proper CDL endorsement for this type of truck-trailer combination. It is not known whether he was wearing his seat belt. The equipment was found to be in sound operating condition. The driver died at the scene from multiple blunt force injuries.
Some Tips to Prevent Something Like This From Happening Where You Work:
• Only accept work you are qualified to perform, including having the right training and CDL endorsements.
• Make sure you have received training on safe operation of all the types of vehicles in use. Understand the potential hazards of different road conditions you might encounter and how to safely drive in those conditions. Always wear your seat belt when driving.
• Safe driving skills should be evaluated initially, periodically, and whenever unsafe practices are observed, such as having an experienced driver do a ride-along to observe, document, and recommend improvements.
• Speak up if you or another driver you know of don’t have the training or endorsements to safely perform the assigned work, and refuse work if you believe it is unsafe.
Suggested Action Plan/Action Ideas/Discussion Points for a Safety Toolbox Talk or Safety Meeting
• Ask: Does anyone know of any instances where we assign drivers without providing instruction on safe practices?
• Ask: What do we do to make sure our drivers are qualified and licensed to safely operate equipment under different road conditions? Are there any vehicles or equipment you feel drivers (especially new drivers) could use more training on?
• Ask: Are there similar situations or potential hazards at a current site?
• (If you are a supervisor): Express your commitment to train people for each type of vehicle they operate.
• Commit to follow-up at the next safety talk.
Summary of Key Recommendations:
• Receive required training and CDL endorsements for vehicles your company operates.
• Learn safe driving tactics for a variety of road conditions and potential hazards.
• Assess and confirm safe driving knowledge and skills before driving alone.