The Edge - Q1, 2014 - (Page 44)

Technical Feature Safely Operating the Service Truck NO ONE WANTS to be involved in a car accident and face a situation where he or she is blamed for bodily injury or property damage to others. Initial reaction to an accident may involve panic, confusion, frustration, anger, blame, guilt or denial - in any order or combination. This is natural, but it should not dissuade you from reporting the accident to your insurance carrier as soon as possible. SIMPLE RULES FOR SAFER DRIVING Each year, highly skilled service professionals lose millions of dollars to workplace injury claims. Many of these incidents do not involve slips, trips and falls or manual material-related injuries. Even before unpacking your service equipment, pool and spa contractors face the risks of the road. Vehicle accidents are a leading cause of insurance claims; and for contractors serious about keeping their crew safe on the job, the first step is making sure everybody gets to the jobsite safely. By applying straightforward, common-sense driving rules, service contractors can substantially reduce the chance of road-related injuries. IT'S OKAY TO BE DEFENSIVE A fully-loaded contractor's van weighs far more than a private passenger vehicle. For this reason, drivers often underestimate how much room they should give the car ahead. By creating a following distance of four, five or even six seconds, drivers can greatly cut down on accidents. This tactic can reduce the need for sudden stops, which are a main cause of rear-end collisions. When approaching intersections, grade crossings, passenger stops and upcoming turns, slow down early, give the car ahead extra room and stay safe. DISTRACTIONS ARE DANGEROUS Each day in the United States, more than nine people are killed and more than 1,060 people are injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver1. Contractors concerned about fleet safety should have clear policies about avoiding distractions on the road. Some distractions to consider include: * Talking on a cell phone * Texting * Adjusting the radio * Adjusting climate control * Eating and drinking * Smoking * Other passengers * Moving objects in the vehicle * Distractions on the roadside MANAGING BLIND SPOTS A service van has blind spots on each side. It is vital that you take the time to adjust your mirrors prior to moving in order to reduce blind spots as much as possible. One of the worst blind spots is to the rear of a service van when backing up. The best defense is to only back up when absolutely necessary. There are many devices on the market, such as back up sensors and cameras, which can aid in the avoidance of backing collisions. If you must back up, get out of the vehicle and check the area behind you before doing so. AN EASY FORM TO SET EXPECTATIONS FOR YOUR DRIVERS CNA has created a Driver Acknowledgement Form designed to get contractors and drivers on the same page about road safety. Copy the form on the next page or visit to download and customize it for your specific use. Use this form with members of your crew before they get behind the wheel to let them know your expectations. Set clear rules. Keep your crew safe and help make sure claims are reduced to a minimum. | Jason J. Karamanol, ASP, CHST, CRIS, RRE, is risk control consulting director for CNA Financial Corporation. 1 Jason J. Karamanol will present a seminar on this topic and others at the 2014 Atlantic City Pool & Spa Show. Visit for the latest information. 44 by Jason J. Karamanol National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Facts and Statistics. Available from http://www.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Edge - Q1, 2014

The President’s Message
Taking Your Business to the Next Level
Don’t Hire ‘Deadbeats’ – Use Talent-Based Interviews
Three Routes to Increased Profitability
The Latest and Greatest Online Marketing Tools
The Outdoor Room Boom
Successful Collaboration Between Landscape Architect and Pool Builder
Project Focus: Cipriano Custom Swimming Pools and Landscaping
Add Profits to the Job with Artificial Rock Waterfalls
Safely Operating the Service Truck
Selling Energy Savings
Service Award Winner Honored
Moving Beyond the Basics of Water Chemistry
Index of Advertisers

The Edge - Q1, 2014