5 Safety Tips for Protecting Industrial Vacuum Truck Drivers During the Busy Season
Now that spring is here and summer is on the horizon, that means one major thing for those in the industrial vacuum truck industry: the busy season. This is especially true for 2022 as many events are coming back in full swing following the hiatus brought on by COVID. This is great news for many people, but it’s music to the ears of those with an industrial vacuum truck service.
Think about it: concerts, festivals, outdoor graduations – these all call for portable restrooms that will need to be serviced. Not to mention that restaurants are running at full capacity once again, meaning that their grease traps will need to be cleaned out. Summer is always the season of road construction and with a booming oil and gas industry, vacuum trucks must always be at the ready. Either way you slice it, the warm weather brings out the necessity for these services.
No matter how busy one might get, however, safety must always remain a priority. So how can you protect yourself or your drivers during this hectic time? We here at FlowMark have compiled some safety tips that you won’t want to overlook. Keep reading to learn more!
Tip #1: Have a daily safety gear bag at the ready.
Regardless of what you haul, every truck driver should be prepared to handle a wide variety of emergency situations. This means that you need to have a bag of safety gear at all times and located somewhere that can be easily accessible. While OSHA guidelines state that there should be “adequate first aid supplies readily available”, it doesn’t go into specifics. Logically, though, this first aid kit should feature medical items such as instant hot or cold packs, bandaids of varied sizes, gauze, medical tape, antibiotics, and even eye wash supplies. Include an inspection of the first aid kit as a part of your routine safety checklist.
On top of this, however, you should also have a few more basics at hand. A flashlight, rain poncho, phone charger, bottled water, granola bars, and alkaline batteries are all among the items we recommend. Chat with your team and come up with anything else they might suggest as well. If the driver has any sort of specific medical condition or medicines that they would need to take, make sure to have a plan or any supplies for that as well.
Tip #2: Keep gloves on hand.
When working with material such as what passes through an industrial vacuum truck, it is very important to have gloves available. Waste material can be hazardous to health and even lead to infections or illness if it is mishandled. Gloves play an integral role of safety. There are two primary types to choose from: latex gloves and leather gloves. Which one you need depends on the task at hand.
Latex or nitrile gloves are among the most common types used. When working in an industrial setting, you will want to opt for gloves that are 5-8 mils thick, as that will help provide adequate protection. They provide hands and fingers the ability to stay more deft and agile, as the material is very flexible. They are also convenient because they are very easy to dispose of. Some people are allergic to latex, however, so make sure to check with the individual driver before stocking their truck with latex gloves.
If you find yourself needing protection from cuts or abrasions, choose to use leather gloves instead. While they do lessen your dexterity a little bit, they do help with getting a better grip on heavy objects as well as increasing cut and crush resistance. This is a great option when working with an industrial vacuum truck, especially when servicing portable restrooms.
Tip #3: Don’t forget the hard hat!
While this might seem like a no-brainer, reminding your drivers to bring along their hard hat is a must! According to OSHA regulations, hard hats must be worn any time an employee is at risk of falling or flying objects, head injuries or impact, and even electrical shocks or burns. This criteria is found at most construction sites. Ensure that your drivers know where their hard hats are and that they receive training on the proper way to wear them when needed.
Tip #4: Protect your eyes with safety glasses and goggles.
As we have already discussed, when working with or around an industrial vacuum truck, you are inevitably going to come across chemicals and other hazardous waste. Getting any of these into your eyes can be incredibly painful and dangerous. That is why it is imperative to protect yourself with the appropriate eyewear. Equip every driver with the safety goggles or glasses necessary for their line of work. Also, keep a backup pair in the truck in case of an accident!
Tip #5: Dead battery? Bring a jump starter!
In cases of extreme weather, a dead battery can happen at any time. Plus just about everyone who drives is guilty of leaving their lights on and draining the battery by mistake. It happens to even the most diligent drivers! That being said, it is recommended that each truck in your fleet carry a jump starter. These compact and portable amps mean that you are no longer reliant on a kind and passing motorist to give you a boost. Instead, you can get yourself back on the road in a matter of minutes. With enough juice to even kick start an industrial vacuum truck, these amps are a necessary item on your safety checklist.
While these are only five helpful tips, there are certainly plenty more measures that you can take to ensure that your drivers are staying safe when heading out to their calls. Your employees are your most important asset, after all! Even when equipping them with the best industrial vacuum trucks on the market, such as those made right here at FlowMark, safety requires daily due diligence. Meet as a team, put policies in place, and create easy checklists and habits that can be effectively integrated into the day to day.