By: Harold Edwards, Safety Officer
One of the biggest achievements we recognize is our driver safety awards. Each year, our goal is to safely produce as many tons of asphalt as possible. The paving crews, plants, and everyone involved works extremely hard to make sure this gets accomplished. A huge component is getting the equipment where it is needed. Not only is it the duty of our drivers to get from one point to another, but to transport the loads while possessing the knowledge necessary to be in DOT compliance. Our drivers are professionals. With their dedication to safe driving practices and truck maintenance, our DOT score has improved dramatically over the past few years.
In 2016, we recognized and applauded Charlie Helmace for 11 years of safe driving and Bradford Kelley for 10 years. This is not an easy task. They drive thousands of miles each year and must be aware of their surroundings, recognizing the potential for hazards, at all times. I am very grateful for the dedication and efforts of the employees who are involved in our fleet safety program.
There was a strong emphasis on incident reporting in 2016. This consists of reporting an event which results in any personal injury or damage to equipment or vehicles. As a company, our policy is to report all incidents so we can learn and work to prevent reoccurrence. Secondarily, we can identify trends and develop better policies or procedures to eliminate them.
One of the most important indicators is the reporting of “Near Hits.” A “Near Hit” is an incident where there is the possibility of damage or injury, but none occurred. “Near Hits” also give us the opportunity to investigate and develop prevention methods. A “Near Hit” is also referred to as a “freebee” as it serves to remind us how dangerous our work is and the number of hazards we face daily. It is well known in our industry that if “Near Hits” are ignored, eventually there will be injury or property damage.
In the past year, I saw major improvements in our incident reporting, noting greater accuracy and details. I also noticed huge strides in PPE, which has proven to be very beneficial. Given the progress we made in these areas, I am looking forward to a successful and SAFE 2017.