Well, He Thought His Truck Would Fit Under the Bridge…


You can never give up on safety awareness. No matter how good the safety system is, accidents still happen.  Here’s a perfect example I read about in our local (New Haven Register) newspaper.

The article tells about a driver for a food distributor driving a 13’ truck carrying oil and cheese and hit a 12’ bridge. The trailer got ruined, buckling in the middle under the edge of the bridge. The photo in the paper clearly shows the low clearance sign.

The driver’s comment to police: “I thought I would be able to pass under because over there [pointing to a different section of the underpass] I pass under it with no problems.” He went on to say that his boss should have warned him saying, “He knows about the bridges… he’s supposed to tell me. But he didn’t.”

So the bridge height was clearly marked. The driver actually knew the bridge was a foot too low, but he had made it before. And then he blamed it on his boss for good measure. What’s wrong with this picture? Just about everything, but it’s not an uncommon situation. Accidents happen all the time in workplaces where safety is a top priority.

Safety Never Stops

That’s why the job of safety is never done. People get complacent and think that “it’ll never happen to me,” until it does. The solution for this is constant reminders about important safety items day after day, week after week, month after month.

It’s a lot like advertising, you have to keep selling. Take Coca-Cola for instance. We all know about Coke, but we constantly see their advertising, which is continually updated using new graphics, music, etc. They know that product reinforcement is critical to ongoing sales. Same thing with safety; we all know it’s important, but it’ll fade from our minds without constant reminders.

Keep Safety Going in Your Workplace

If you don’t want your drivers trying to fit a 13’ truck under a 12’ bridge, you have to keep telling them, repeatedly, to be aware at all times. Having workplace digital signage in the breakroom, where they’ll see it on their way out the door every day, is a great place to start.

Frank Kenna III
June 7, 2018

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