|Keeping Operators Safe with Training|
For a medium- and heavy-duty equipment operator, safety means a variety of things. For an organization, it is imperative that a strong safety culture and program be in place to help ensure their workers are provided with a safe and accident-free workplace.
We all know newly hired drivers/operators come with risks and have a higher probability of getting in an accident. But, do you also know that the same applies to seasoned operators who have a tendency to “go through the motions” on their daily routines? This is why regular operator training, regardless of their tenure, is crucial.
Let’s go back to the meaning of safety. The official definition of safety is “the condition of being protected from or unlikely to cause danger, risk, or injury.”
When an accident does take place, what is learned from the incident is crucial to helping ensure it doesn’t happen again. This applies to the top, to the bottom and everyone in between of an organization.
What role does safety technology play in all of this? The average consumer is now well aware of the collision avoidance technologies available in the auto industry. With this comes the understanding that those options should also be utilized in heavy-duty industries. With technology ranging from backup cameras, blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning systems, anti-locking braking systems, as well as a host of other technologies that are focused on making driving safer, medium- and heavy-duty operators can become frustrated with everything that goes on (and off) in the cab. Various alarms and alerts need to have a significant meaning.
Safety technology education at the operator level is paramount to the success of any organization’s use of heavy-duty equipment. They need to learn how the system(s) work, why they are installed, and believe in their ability to perform. All the time. Every time.
Three major points of installing safety technology on a fleet include:
- Validating that the technology provides satisfactory safety coverage to improve operator reaction time to prevent incidents
- Verifying that the technology will withstand the harsh working environment of the industry
- Proving that the technology provides a consistent level of safety protection
If these requirements are met, medium- and heavy-duty equipment operators will have more faith in the systems installed and be less likely to consider them a nuisance.
A fleet’s safety technology success is based on the operators’ understanding of the combination of technologies utilized throughout their equipment. It is through education that the operators learn to trust and become comfortable with the technology. Education is just as much about trust as it is about dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s when selecting a technology solution.
A regular and consistent safety training schedule will help ensure that operators are reminded of the importance of these systems, as well as help management understand new needs that may arise. This helps to solidify a company’s strong culture of safety.