Tow truck operators are frequently among the first responders at accident scenes along with police force, ambulance, and fire crews. It’s essential to properly train and equip your operators with the needed tools to do their job correctly. When a tow truck operator responds to a call to an accident or to remove a disabled car they need to have the right equipment (including PPE), vehicle, and procedures.
1. Get training safety on a calendar, and enforce it
Attendance mandatory training comes to not only be expected, but extremely well received. Your drivers will get used to training, and you’ll begin to develop a safety culture in your organization no matter how large or small your company is. Be specific enough to keep your employees engaged, but also general enough to go over all safety issues your operation faces.
2. An improvement quarterly
Implementing what is discussed is key. To ensure that your team of drivers is engaged, get their input on which added safety measures will be implemented this quarter. OSHA actually understands this. It’s not their guideline that every business be perfect in knowing all of the safety rules and regulations. But you have to have a safety plan in place, and keep a record of it. Review any improvements implemented in your next quarterly meeting, document and plan again. All of this helps your towing shop safety culture mature into one that will help resist citations when OSHA visits because if you can prove you’re at least trying to be compliant (with records of employee training, injury documentation and corrections to the plan, etc.) you’re better than most locations they see.
3. Your safety program constantly needs updated
Keep your safety program on the cloud. It’ll be a living document, easy to update from anywhere. When you come across an OSHA newsletter that has safety measures you know you need to implement, copy/paste - and you can do that on any device! We recommend keeping your program accessible to your Safety Compliance Supervisor and other key individuals who have safety roles in your company. If you don’t have safety roles, it’s not to late to assign those out and share the load with your management and employees. Next quarterly meeting, it’s easy to bring out your safety program (keep it on a Google Doc!) and review it with your team - any updates you’ve made are there and ready for you to focus on. Often, new employees are not receiving the training they need, and you should make it a point to have them read and sign your plan before taking on any role where their safety or employee safety would be in jeopardy.
Owners Guide - Tow Operations Fleet Safety: This starter kit can be used and modified to fit your organization. Feel free to copy sections of it (or all of it) and use it in your next quarterly meeting: https://goo.gl/h6FFGR
Tow Operation Training Program Employee Sign-out: With a safety program in place, require all members of your team to sign-out, indicating they’ve attended the safety training for your body shop. Click here for the simple safety training sign-out form: https://goo.gl/RY9Psx
Western Pacific Insurance highly recommends that you implement an encompassing Employee Safety & Injury Prevention Program in addition to having these regular trainings. This is an OSHA requirement and you are at risk of being fined if you do not have this in place. We can assist you with dividing up safety management responsibilities among your team and implement injury tracking (knowing type of injury will help you zone in on what hazards need to be addressed), and help you maintain excellent records compliance for OSHA.
Please reach out to our Risk Management Department to assist you with managing your auto body shop’s long-term insurance rate reduction. A safer environment can not only save you money on your insurance, it will also make for a happy and safe team. Call 702-932-3105 to get the conversation started on your risk assessment and safety program today.