Třinecké železárny: Safety for truck dispatchers
At Třinecké železárny (TŽ), the main method of delivery is by truck. Approximately 250-300 trucks move from the site daily, carrying mostly wire coils, bars bundles, sections and billets.
Unfortunately, injuries are recorded every year to truck drivers operating on TŽ sites, usually caused by falls from vehicles and activities related to preparation of the loading area, assistance at loading, and material fixing. Many of these injuries occur because drivers are reluctant to adhere to the instructions contained in the Occupational Safety and Health Terms (OSHT).
TŽ’s has preventative procedures in place that aim to increase driver safety. The truck dispatching centre manages the drive-in, familiarising every driver with the safety rules and pointing out road transport hazards in the TŽ area.
A copy of the document outlining the OSHT has to be signed by every driver, who is then given with the route to the discharge and loading sites. Contracts with transporters also specify required driver behaviour and the protective equipment that drivers should have with them.
Despite all this, drivers often ignored these rules, in particular regarding on-site speed limits, designated parking areas, “no entry” areas, the wearing of protective clothing (footwear, safety helmets or reflective vests), and compliance with TŽ shipping clerks’ instructions.
A team comprising dispatch shipping clerks, the truck dispatching centre and OSH specialists investigated incidents to resolve these problems. Their findings led to changes in the prevention and handling of accidents.
Operational staff in the dispatch areas now insist on strict driver compliance with all OSHT. Transport companies must be informed of any serious breach of OSHT by their staff. As a preventative step, safety rules and, if necessary, special markings are displayed at discharge and loading areas.
Shipping clerks are now obliged to require that drivers wear appropriate clothing at all times. They are also responsible for designating a safe area for the driver during loading. The driver must begin transport immediately after the shipping clerk has ended the loading.
Any transport company whose staff regularly break the regulations can be identified and appropriate action can be taken.
These measures, along with continued analysis of incidents, are expected to help improve OHST compliance. In turn this will decrease the risk of injury to drivers – especially to those who work for transport companies with high rates of incidents – and reduce the risk of incidents at TŽ.
Last updated: June 2010