When you operate a snowplow service, one of your top priorities is to keep your drivers safe. There's little question that plowing snow is a dangerous job, especially when it occurs at night and in snowy conditions that reduce visibility. You don't want one of your drivers getting hurt on the job for a number of reasons. A driver who cannot work leaves you short-staffed, which may impact your ability to clear the roads for your client. Additionally, you may also face a workers' compensation claim, especially if something you did contributed to the injury. Here are some ways that you can keep your snowplow drivers safe on the road:
Teach Them To Stay In Their Vehicles
If there's an issue with the snowplow, the operator may pull to the side of the road and get out to observe what is going on. In this scenario, the driver is highly vulnerable to being struck and injured by an approaching vehicle. Mandate your drivers to stay in their vehicles until they are stopped in a safe, open location such as a parking lot. You should draft up a contract and get each driver to sign it. This way, should a driver be hurt after leaving the snowplow, you can stress that he or she did so against the training that you provided.
Keep The Vehicles Serviced
A strict adherence to your fleet's maintenance schedule will also be critical to protecting your employees -- and yourself -- from legal issues. Snowplows must be maintained according to the laws of your state; this includes not only the vehicle itself, but also the plow, sanding apparatus, and any other equipment on the vehicle. If one of your drivers was injured because of equipment that wasn't serviced according to its maintenance schedule, you'd likely face a serious workers' compensation suit.
Provide Warmth Gear
You must also realize that there's a risk of an employee sustaining frostbite injuries as a result of being stranded due to a snowplow breakdown. This risk can be more likely for a driver who plows in a remote area. Make sure the apparel that you provide to your drivers is rated for extremely low temperatures; you should also supply blankets, candles, hand warmers, and other winter safety gear in the cabs of each of the trucks in your fleet. By taking these steps, you'll be increasing the safety of your drivers and protecting yourself legally. Should an injury and legal issue arise, consult with a workers' compensation defense attorney in your area.Share