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  • Better Behind the Wheel - Road Safety: 101

Road safety should be a major consideration for crews who drive to and from jobsites.Most concrete and construction companies require regular safety training and up-to-date certifications — but how often does road safety come up during toolbox talks? Think about the amount of work your crew does offsite, and the travel time required to get there and back. If your team isn’t talking about the importance of safe practices behind the wheel, it’s time to get those discussions started. General Chipping has pulled together road safety tips to serve as a helpful refresher for your crew. Read up, then pass this potentially life-saving information on to your friends and colleagues.

Go Back to Basics
The road safety lessons you picked up from Mom, Dad and those drivers education instructors still apply today. Before setting out for a job site, ensure the vehicle’s tires are in good shape, make sure you have adequate fuel and check that everyone inside the vehicle is buckled up. If you’re driving, take a moment to adjust your mirrors and seat for optimal visibility — and store your cellphone safely away to avoid distractions. Once on the road, obey speed limits and other laws meant to protect your crew and fellow motorists.

Brake for Breaks When Necessary
Anyone who works in construction understands the importance of staying on schedule. When given the choice between running late to an appointment versus fatigued driving that puts people’s safety at risk, however, the safe option should always win out. For long treks behind the wheel, stagger drive times so one crewmember can rest while another is driving. If it gets to the point that everyone inside the vehicle feels too tired to continue, pull in to a safe area to rest up. Just be sure to keep your employer and, if necessary, your client informed regarding your whereabouts.

Keep Your Vehicles Up — But Expect the Unexpected

Regular oil changes, tire checks and alignments go a long way toward keeping your cement mixer trucks and other company vehicles safe for your crew. Even so, breakdowns, traffic accidents and similar troubles can happen. Be sure your vehicles are stocked with basic road safety necessities such as jacks, jumper cables and even road flares. In addition, make sure crewmembers have access to proper insurance documentation, and have a plan in place for what to do following an incident. For instance, who should they call?

These are just a few of the road safety considerations crews should keep in mind when traveling to and from jobsites. You can find other helpful information online, from sites such as the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Safety Council. Just a bit of forethought now can keep your crew protected wherever they travel.

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