Running a tow truck company should be about helping your clients get out of tough spaces—not about having employees get hurt or even worse. Between 2011 and 2016, there were a reported 191 deaths in the towing industry, which equaled roughly 43 deaths per 100,000 workers. During that same timeframe, towing employees reported 6,400 non-fatal injuries and illnesses. All these costs add up quickly in insurance premiums, non-covered damage expenses, and even lawsuits.
Ways to Reduce Towing Injuries
To keep your team as safe as possible, here are some simple safety measures you can implement in your business:
- Invest in preventative maintenance. Make sure your fleet of tow trucks is operating at its best with routine inspections, regular fluid changes, and scheduled replacement of brakes, tires, and other components. Several software programs are readily available to help you track all of the vehicles in your fleet or you can contract with a local vehicle maintenance shop to do it for you.
- Provide thorough training. OSHA requires you have operational procedures to ensure your drivers receive adequate training from accredited sources. Encourage all employees regardless of their years of experience to keep their skills up to date.
- Make sure employees use PPE. In addition to COVID-required face coverings, in all situations employees should be using other personal protection equipment such as heavy-duty gloves, a high visibility vest, and high visibility long-sleeve shirt and pants. Wearing heat and light protection such as sunscreen and sunglasses will help limit injury to the skin and eyes.
- Check the mirrors. One of the first safety checks that should be completed as soon as an employee sits in the driver’s seat is to check the mirrors. Make sure each mirror is aligned so the specific driver can see as well as possible and understand where blind spots exist.
- Know your strength. Make sure all employees know the cargo weight and towing capacity of the truck and all equipment they use. Carrying too much weight will strain the equipment and can lead to injury or death.
- Inspect the first aid kit. Make sure each vehicle has a fully stocked first aid kit that can be accessed easily in case of emergency. Supplies should be within the expiration dates. New kits and supplies can be easily purchased online or at local retailers.
- Use high-quality tow products designed to keep employees safe and client vehicles undamaged. At Collins, we manufacture Hi-Speed Dolly and Carrier Dolly systems that are lightweight, easy to use, and capable of towing over 4,000 pounds. No matter if your client is stuck in the snow, on a tough slope, or wedged against a wall, our dollies make towing safe and simple. Visit our website or give us a call to learn more.
If you haven’t reviewed your safety measures recently, why wait another day. By creating a simple checklist in your monthly or quarterly inspection book, you can make sure your team is prepared and able to perform at their best with high-quality equipment built to keep them safe.