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  • One List We Don’t Want You to Make – The Injury Report

    by User Not Found | Sep 07, 2016

    The Injury Report

    One of the most commonly utilized pieces of equipment in shipping and warehousing is pallet jacks. This incredibly handy tool helps make work easier; turning a two-person job into one, lifting heavy loads at once – but there are risks if you don’t use them properly. The most common injury? To your feet and back.

    What can you do to protect yourself?

    Wear the proper footwear and watch your toes! If your feet aren’t positioned well or you are unable to stop a heavy load, your feet become a target. When operating a pallet jack (even for a short time span) you should ensure you are wearing the correct safety equipment including steel capped boots, gloves and safety eyewear (when transporting dangerous chemicals).

    To protect your back, make sure you are square to the load and use both hands on the pallet jack handle. If it requires a lot of force, more often than not, stop and look under the wheels, there is probably a piece of a pallet or a nail or other object under the wheels. Your back is worth far more than a piece of wood.
    Pallet Jack

    Other safety precautions you need to keep in mind when operating a pallet jack:

    • Never place your feet under a machine
    • Never exceed the advised capacity.
    • Use proper lifting techniques when loading/unloading and operating the pallet jack
    • Move the load slowly to ensure safety in case your surroundings change
    • You should always push the load (never pull the load)
    • When going down on an incline go in reverse
    • Be wary of pinch points to avoid injuries to your hands

    Read more about pallet jack safety, training and best practices.

  • When in Doubt: G.O.A.L. - Get Out and Look!

    by User Not Found | Sep 07, 2016

    A costly and dangerous mistake that truckers sometimes make is backing up without first getting out and looking behind the vehicle. These are preventable backing accidents if the drivers takes a few minutes to review the situation. The best way to avoid accidents is to get out and survey the situation prior to beginning any backing maneuver.

    There are really only two ways to avoid these backing accidents:

    1. Get out and look for yourself (best option)
    2. Have someone help you out (less reliable)

    There are several types of backing that are required as part of your daily deliveries with some more dangerous than others. The CDL tests for each state test on various backing types including:

    1. Backing straight back
    2. Offset Backing
    3. Alley Dock Backing
    4. Parallel Parking Backing

    You can review these backing techniques using YouTube videos.

  • Lifting Without Overexertion

    by User Not Found | Sep 07, 2016

    Overexertion, often caused by lifting, pushing and pulling, is the leading cause of disabling injuries since 2012. According to Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety’s 2014 Workplace Safety Index, overexertion ranked number 1 on the top 10 leading causes of workplace injuries, accounting for just over 25% of all injuries. An overexertion injury is a strain or sprain to your back or a major joint. The most common result of overexertion is back injuries, especially in the trucking industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics,

    • Every year more than 1 million workers experience back injuries.
    • One of the most common reasons people miss work is because of low back pain.
    • In America, more than $100 billion is spent annually on medical bills, disability and lost productivity at work due to back injuries and illnesses.
    • 75% of back injuries occur while performing a lifting task.

    It is extremely important to take your time, assess the situation, and use proper lifting equipment when necessary. Back injuries can be debilitating and affect both your work and home life. Don’t become one of these statistics, lift smart. Below are some do’s and don’ts when lifting.


    • Know the object’s weight before lifting
    • Use ergonomic lift assists
    • Determine and clear your path
    • Ask for help with a heavy load
    • Use your legs
    • Push the load, don’t pull
    • Keep the object as close to you as possible


    • Don’t hold your breath
    • Don’t bend or twist at the waist
    • Don’t lift or jerk the load quickly
    • Don’t try to “muscle” the load
    • Don’t use a partial grip

    Watch this video for more information on proper lifting techniques.

  • A Truck Driver's Winter Survival Kit

    by User Not Found | Sep 07, 2016

    As October has come to an end and cold weather approaches, it’s time to ensure that any truck you drive is stocked with the essentials. As a professional driver, you must encounter many winter weather conditions to get your job done. Below is a list of items, recommended by other truck drivers, to have available in your company truck as the winter months roll in. Click to enlarge.

    Truck Driver Winter Survival Kit

    As you set out on assignment bring the personal items with you and make sure the essentials are kept in the truck at all times. Stay warm and stay safe!

  • Stay Safe on the Busiest Travel Day of the Year

    by User Not Found | Sep 07, 2016

    As a seasoned driver, it is no secret that this coming weekend we are in for some crowded roads. Thanksgiving is the busiest travel holiday of the year. This year, AAA and IHS have projected an increase of 300,000 travelers this Thanksgiving weekend. This puts the grand total at 46.9 million travelers, 89.3% of which will travel by car. With the increased congestion of the roads, truckers need to take extra precautions to maintain safety. Here are a few things to remember this holiday weekend.

    • Check the Traffic. Before beginning to drive, check the routes and evaluate the traffic conditions. Several apps like, Apple's Maps or Google Maps, will indicate the traffic by different colors. By checking ahead you can choose a route that, may not be typical, but will save you time in the end.
    • Stopping Distance. Leaving adequate stopping distance is stressed over and over again in the trucking industry, and for a good reason. At 65 mph it takes a semi-truck 525 feet to completely stop. If you add in some rain or snow, that distance increases.
    • Defensive Driving. With the surge of motorists on the road, you are bound to come across individuals who are zipping in and out of traffic. Be sure to be aware of your blind spots and be extra vigilant and patient. Don’t let others catch you off guard.
    • Emergency Kit. Check your emergency kit before leaving for your daily route. It is important to carry some essentials such as, a blanket, jumper cables, and flares. Check out more items to carry here.

  • Look to the Past for a Safer New Year

    by User Not Found | Sep 07, 2016

    Truck SafetyIt’s easy to see the past, so how can you use this knowledge to make 2016 safer? When we reflected back on 2015, we found that the top 4 hazards consisted of taking an unsafe position, inattention to surroundings, improper use of tools, and driving errors on public roads. Below are Centerline's top safety tips addressing these 4 hazards in trucking. Your safety is our number one priority so let's kick the year off right!

    #1 hazard – Taking an unsafe position or posture

    1. Avoid awkward postures
      • Move items close to your body and use your legs when lifting an item from a low location.
      • Avoid twisting, especially when bending forward while lifting. Turn by moving the feet rather than twisting the torso.
    2. Cold temperatures can cause decreased muscle flexibility, which can result in muscle pull.
      • Wear warm clothing when exposed to cold temperatures.
      • Stretch and warm up before unloading your truck.
    3. Pulling Vs. Pushing
      • Pushing is generally preferable to pulling. Pushing allows the driver to use large muscle groups and apply more force to the load. Pulling carries a greater risk of strain and injury.

    #2 hazard – Inattention to footings and surroundings

    1. Avoiding Slips, Trips, and Falls
      • One of the most common hazard groups is slips, trips, and falls. When you carry and move materials on different levels, and on different types of floor surfaces, it's all too easy to lose your balance or stumble over an out-of-place item.
      • Put items in their assigned places immediately, rather than moving them from one stopping point to another.
      • Clean up all spills immediately.
    2. Loading Dock Safety
      • Check dock plate load capacity before piling up materials or starting to unload. Slide the dock plate into place, rather than dropping it.
      • Don't jump off the loading dock.
      • Protect yourself and others by making sure that trucks or trailers can't move once parked at the dock. Check that the wheels are blocked or chocked.
      • Pay attention to weather conditions on the loading dock. To prevent slips and falls, keep the area dry and don't let ice form on it.

    #3 hazard – Improper use of tools/Lack of use of personal protective equipment

    1. Packing and Unpacking
      • Any cutting tool demands caution. Hold and use it in a manner that won't cut yourself or someone else. Don't leave an open blade on the floor or any surface where it creates a hazard.
      • Take care with metal and plastic strapping, too. If it whacks you in the face or eyes—or anywhere else, for that matter—you could be hurt. Always wear heavy gloves and goggles when you attach or remove strapping. Use cutting tools that don't leave sharp edges.
    2. Personal Protective Equipment
      • A lot can happen overhead, either in the warehouse/distribution center or in the back of a trailer, so hard hats or bump caps can be very important forms of protection.
      • Protecting your feet is important, too. OSHA requires protective footwear "where there is a danger of foot injuries due to falling or rolling objects, or objects piercing the sole...." Your shoes should also have nonskid soles to prevent slips when you work on loading docks.
      • Some environments may require other forms of PPE. For instance, you need gloves to protect your hands when you're handling materials that are rough or sharp or have splinters. Some tasks may also require safety glasses. You'll also need gloves and safety glasses—and perhaps protective clothing—if you handle chemicals. In high-noise areas, you also may need hearing protection.

    #4 hazard – Driving errors on public roadways

    1. Night Driving
      • Take extra caution when driving at night. Too often, drivers leave a truck stop at night and misjudge the exit, resulting in sliding into a ditch or hitting a trailer or post. Be extra alert and move slowly at night.
    2. Changing lanes and taking it slow
      • The best thing to do while driving long stretches of highway is to pick the best lane and stay in it. Avoid making unnecessary lane changing and when exiting its best to stay in the 2nd lane from the right. This helps you avoid merging lanes and cars who dart all over.
      • Take corners and ramps slow. It does not matter if you hold up a little bit of traffic, it is important to be safe and remember that you are driving something much larger than a little car that zips around corners.
    3. Utilizing GPS to the fullest
      • Using a truckers GPS is well worth the money. It provides valuable proactive information for the truck driver such as, distance before an exit, when to change lanes, traffic reports, etc. These early prompts help alleviate stress when driving in an unknown area.

    We look forward to a safe new year!

  • Safety First: Pallet Jack Safety

    by User Not Found | Sep 07, 2016
    Pallet_Jack Image

    Using equipment such as pallet jacks is a daily occurrence in the transportation industry. And when we use something so frequently, sometimes we forget how to protect ourselves from injury. Our friends from Grainger Industrial Supply provided some helpful reminders on how use pallet jacks, hand trucks and carts properly.

    Take time to review the task.  Before moving a load, review the task to determine what will be moved, how heavy the load is, and where it’s going. Ask yourself, “Can I handle this load alone? Is the item large and bulky, or small and heavy? Will it block my vision?”

    Know the load capacity of your pallet jack, cart or hand truck. Trying to load your cart with small individual items or large unstable pieces can cause the load to fall off, resulting in an injury or huge mess.

    Make sure the load is evenly distributed. A top-heavy load can tip over and hurt you or someone else. Use a two-wheel hand truck for light loads and a four-wheel truck for heavy loads. Make sure to load the heaviest items first. When using a pallet jack, center the forks evenly under the load to maintain good balance and ensure stability. Make sure the forks are positioned completely under the pallet. Try to maintain a clearance of about 1 inch between the floor and the pallet, because the load is more stable if it is kept close to the floor. Always follow the load capacity of your equipment and never overload.

    Don’t let a load get too big. Try to break down larger loads into smaller ones, as much as possible, so they are easier to handle.

    Always secure your load. Use a ratchet belt tightener with auto rewind to keep loads from shifting or slipping.

    Never pull a cart or hand truck. Always push the cart or hand truck when moving loads. This helps you avoid muscle strain and maintain control of the load.

    Know when it is time to use mechanical equipment. Never use your back when raising or lowering a load. Instead, use mechanical or hydraulic lifting mechanisms when you need to move extremely heavy loads.

    Source: Grainger Industrial Supply, “Using Pallet Jacks, Hand Trucks & Cart Properly,” February 25, 2016.

  • Safety First: Protect Your Back

    by User Not Found | Sep 07, 2016

    Did you know that back injuries and muscle strains are among the most common injuries to drivers? Sitting is a primary function for your job. So how can you prevent injuries and muscle strains when you reach your destination? The Healthy Trucker has some great tips in their article, “How To: Prevent Truck Drivers Back Pain.”

    • Watch your posture
    • Do some light stretching in your cab to keep your muscles loose
    • So some walking every few hours

    For more on safety, we have seats available with the safety training program, J.J. Keller. Take the course, Back Safety: Keep Your Back in Action by logging into the Centerline Driver Center.  

    After completing this course, you will be able to:

    • Describe how the human back works

    • Discuss various types of back pain and identify what causes it

    • Demonstrate how to properly perform everyday tasks to prevent back pain and injuries

    • Recognize steps you can take to prevent back injuries