Thursday, June 3, 2010

Road Debris

Contributed by Norm Nyhuis, Trainer, Evergreen Safety Council
I commute a relatively long distance from my home to my office. While our modern highway system does a pretty good job of moving traffic, there is not a week that goes by when I don’t see at least one “situation” caused by the loss of part of the load from a vehicle. Even this morning I saw a car suddenly swerve into and back out of the next lane as they attempted to dodge heavy chunks of tree bark that was falling off of a load of logs, on a truck in the adjacent lane.

If your business operates trucks, and those trucks carry a load of some kind, you must insure that the load is secured. Sounds easy enough, but apparently this is not always the case. The photo shows a piece of debris removed from the north bound lanes of Interstate 5, in the early part of the morning commute, a few weeks ago, at the Ship Canal Bridge. Lanes on the bridge were temporarily blocked as Troopers quickly removed the over 200 pound steel ramp from the left 2 lanes, but not before nearly a dozen motorists ran over it.

Thankfully, there were no injuries as a result of the lost debris and most of the damage consisted of flat tires and bent wheels. However; the steel ramp did puncture the fuel tank of one pickup truck causing a small gas leak and fire, which was quickly contained.

The stories like this one never seem to end. Most of us “regular drivers” have our own stories of dodging debris either already on the road, or unexpectedly falling from a truck rolling along beside us. Even those weekend trips to the transfer station require that we secure our load properly so nothing escapes in route. Take a few extra moments if you are carrying a load on your vehicle to insure it is proper secured. Always keep a safe following distance (4 seconds or more behind the vehicle ahead) to insure you have adequate space and time to react in case part of their load should drop off. If you have questions regarding how best to secure your load, ESC offers a free online training.

If you have drivers working for you, or simply want to refresh your driving skills, contact ESC about our Eversafe Driving Course; do all you can to NOT become another roadway statistic.

A large “Thank You” to the Washington State Patrol for the information in this posting.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for taking the time to provide your comment on this topic. We welcome comments on your experiences in safety & health, as well as additional safety ideas and resources. Please remember to keep it clean and be respectful of others. We reserve the right not to include comments that do not pertain to the posting.