Three Points of Contact
A trucker must always use three points of contact when entering and exiting their truck. The rule of three points of contact can be followed by using one of these two combinations.
- Two feet and one hand.
- Two hands and one foot.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, slip and fall injuries are the third largest cause of the workplace accidents and account for 15-20% of all worker’s compensation costs. More than half of the cases impacting truckers were sprains and strains caused in part by slips and falls while getting into or out of the trucks.
Do Not Jump from Your Truck
Jumping from your truck does not save time. On average, a driver will lose 11 days of work from an ankle sprain. The long-term effect of jumping from a vehicle is strain on the knees and back. Over time this may cause joint stiffness and pain, making everyday tasks difficult. A person jumping of falling from a height of 4 feet would hit the ground with a force of between 7 and 12 times their body weight. Using three points of contact as well as facing towards the cab, staying focused on the entry or exit, and using the steps will help a driver to avoid injuring themselves.
Watch Your Step
While using the three points of contact a driver must also be aware of what may be around the area in which he or she is entering or exiting. Before entering and exiting a vehicle, make sure to look for debris, ice, and water that may make the steps or the ground a hazard. Also, watch for slick spots, potholes or uneven ground, and on-coming traffic when exiting. A driver should wear footwear with good traction, high visibility clothing, and make sure that the cab steps are always in good repair.
Save Your Knees, Ankles, and Back
Using three points of contact will help a driver to save their knees, ankles, and back. Jumping down off a trailer or riding the door is dangerous and unprofessional. Plan your work, deliveries, and pick-ups so that you do not need to climb in or out of the trailer. A driver must take care of their body, just as they take care of their truck. Pay attention to your foot and hand placement. By using provided hand holds and placing the entire front half of your foot on the step, a chance for injury is significantly reduced. A driver’s safety is the number on concern.