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Monday, October 26, 2015

Nothing Touches the Truck

I recently heard United Parcel Service (UPS) Supervisor Jonathon Veseley addressing a risk management conference. His theme was building a culture of safety, and he talked about integrating safety throughout an organization—starting with new employee orientation and daily safety messages, to mentoring and safety audits.

Nothing Touches the Truck
One of his themes was “nothing touches the truck.” The phrase represents a visual image for UPS drivers when they drive and park their trucks on their routes. The full message was: the only thing that can touch the outside of the truck are the driver’s hands and feet, and the back bumper when it touches the UPS loading dock. No cars, trucks, people, tree branches, or other objects should touch the truck. They want their drivers to drive defensively and protect the space around the truck, as well as the truck. It reminded me of the National Safety Council’s driving program that stresses maintaining a “cushion of safety” around your vehicle. And the concept works.

Avoidable vs. Fault
Mr. Veseley was asked about avoidable accidents. He said UPS looks at who was at fault in a traffic accident—and even more importantly, they investigate if the accident was preventable. They have investigated accidents where their driver was not at fault, but they determined the accident was preventable. He used an example of a UPS truck that was legally parked on a residential street but had parked opposite a neighbor’s driveway. Murphy’s Law took over as that neighbor backed out of the driveway and struck and damaged the truck. The neighbor was at fault, but it was an avoidable accident for UPS.

Both of these ideas are relevant to our public safety community and might be a good topic for your next safety committee meeting.


                                       Responder Safety = Public Safety

Up next: The Motorcycle in The Lobby—The Alexandria Police Station

In the meantime, stay safe and be careful.


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