Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Important Drivers’ Safety Tips – Reduce Road Accidents

In the digital age, drivers’ safety is a more relevant topic than ever. Consumers these days are inundated with gadgets and devices from MP3 players to smart phones, all of which are designed to be as attention-grabbing as possible, including while you are driving. There are more distractions to be faced in the car as well. Satellite TV, GPSs, CD players, not to mention the dozens of buttons and knobs on some center consoles, can all shift a driver’s focus away from the road and decrease drivers’ safety. 

The Canadian Automobile Association estimates that driver distraction is a factor in about 4 million crashes in North America every year. Provincial governments have started stepping in with cell phone/distracted driving laws in an attempt to help enforce drivers’ safety. Newfoundland and Labrador introduced distracted driving legislation as early as 2003. Quebec and Ontario followed not long after, in 2008 and 2009, respectively. British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Prince Edward Island introduced distracted driving legislation in 2010. Alberta, New Brunswick, and the Yukon came on board in 2011. In 2012, the Northwest Territories introduced its own distracted driving legislation. Penalties in some provinces can be as severe as a fine of $400 and the addition of four demerits to your driver’s license. Drivers’ safety is something that most of Canada’s provinces and territories appear to take very seriously.

So what is considered a distraction on the road? Besides cell phones, an obvious culprit, the CAA points a finger at multiple threats to drivers’ safety. Inside the car, drivers are likely to be distracted by passengers and conversation, pets, GPSs, the radio or CD player, and the vehicle controls, among other things. It also identifies distractions outside of the car; these include scenery and street noise. The CAA notes that drivers who text on a cell phone are 23 times more likely to get in an accident.Talking on a cell phone makes drivers 4 to 5 times more likely to get in an accident, while dialing on a hand-held device makes drivers 3 times more likely to get in an accident. 

What can you do to ensure drivers’ safety on the road? Here are some helpful tips: 

  • Get your important calls, emails, or texts out of the way before getting into the car. 
  • Always wear your seat belt. 
  • Turn off your devices before starting your car. This way you won’t be distracted by push notifications or email alerts. 
  • Put any CD's into the stereo before leaving your driveway. Don’t listen to music during bad weather or challenging road conditions. 
  • If you absolutely must make or receive a call, pull over to the side of the road to do so.

Keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes forward. When driving with passengers, do not look at them during conversation. Don’t speak with passengers during bad weather or challenging road conditions. Avoid stressful or emotional conversations while driving. Remember, drivers’ safety is up to you as well.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Transportation of Dangerous Goods Course in Canada

According to Transport Canada, the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act is designed to promote public safety in the transportation of dangerous goods by road, rail, air, and ship. The Transport of Dangerous Goods regulations are guidelines used to promote the act that have been adopted by all provinces and territories. Alberta passed the act in 1982 and then adopted the federal regulations.

The list of dangerous goods under the act is extensive and includes products falling into 1 of 9 classes. Class 1 comprises explosives, Class 2 comprises gases, and Class 3 includes flammable liquids. Class 4 includes flammable solids, spontaneous combustibles, and products that emit flammable gases on contact with water. Class 5 includes oxidizing substances and organic peroxides.

Class 6 includes poisonous and infectious substances. Class 7 includes radioactive materials, and Class 8 includes corrosives. Class 9 includes miscellaneous dangerous goods and dangerous wastes. A system of labels and placards identify dangerous goods. However, the regulations themselves are extremely detailed and difficult to interpret. Despite this, anyone transporting items considered to be dangerous goods must meet certain standards regarding training, packaging, transporting, documenting, and using warning labels. For example, shipping documents are required for dangerous goods.

Transport Canada does not provide shipping documents; rather, the shipper is responsible for creating his or her own document. In addition, there may be different requirements depending on whether the items are being moved by road, rail, air, or sea. For example, shipping documents for dangerous goods being moved by air must have red hatching's on the left and right margins that slant to the left or right. There are further requirements outlined in the regulations.

Anyone who ships, receives, or transports dangerous goods must be trained, or work with someone who is trained, on TDG regulations. Being knowledgeable about the act itself is also a requirement. This is where a TDG course can come in handy. To be compliant with Canadian government standards, TDG courses must meet Transport Canada’s training requirements for employees involved in transporting dangerous goods. TDG course content should include topics such as TDG requirements; shipper, handler, and driver responsibilities; classes of dangerous goods; shipping documents; safety marks; containers; special situations; and emergency actions.

There are many online TDG courses available. TDG courses provide certificates upon completion. TDG course certification is valid for three years. However, it is important to note that TDG course certification is not transferable, so if a trainee changes employers, he or she will have to take a TDG course again. For more course detail click on website caycan.ca.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Company Driver Training - Better Drivers, Fewer Incidents

Though Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) and WHMIS training are both standard training for employees at many organizations, company driver training is often overlooked as an effective tool to decrease work-related driving incidents. Effective company driver training programs foster knowledgeable and safe drivers which can lead to a reduction in driving-related incidents.

A company driver training program can teach employees the essential information regarding the operation of company vehicles. An effective driver training program will educate employees on the necessary vehicle and load inspections, applicable regulations and legislation, and the various documentation requirements. Other topics that may be covered include driver fatigue, defensive driving and winter driving techniques.

With an understanding of the applicable legislation drivers can ensure they comply with the regulations, avoiding costly delays and fines. Driver training programs can also reduce the number and severity of driving incidents by increasing employee awareness of driving-related safety issues and concerns, and teaching drivers valuable driving techniques.

Company driver training programs educate drivers on safely navigating the hazards of the road, reducing work-related driving incidents. For further information on company driver training and driver training courses, visit the CayCan Safety Consulting Ltd. website at www.caycan.ca.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Increasing safety on the road with driver hours of service regulations

A driver’s on-duty and off-duty hours are limited by the regulations that govern driver hours of service. This legislation is an important part of the regulations that apply to the transportation industry. Intended to reduce the number and severity of highway collisions, the driver hours of service standards are a very serious matter. With driver hours of service regulations on both the federal and provincial levels, all carriers are sure to be influenced by the regulations. All drivers and carriers must therefore have a complete understanding of the regulations that govern driver hours of service in order to avoid violations and expensive fines.

The driver hours of service regulations were developed to reduce driver fatigue and ensure that drivers remain alert while driving. As driver fatigue can impair a driver the same as drugs or alcohol by slowing reaction times, decreasing awareness and impairing judgement, it is not something to be taken lightly. It is therefore evident that the driver hours of service regulations can increase safety on our highways.

The highways can be a dangerous place. There is no need to add to the existing dangers on the highways with fatigued drivers. This is why the driver hours of service regulations are so important to the safety of everyone on the highways.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Truck Drivers' Hours of Service - Canada

Truck drivers must comply with the Canadian Commercial Vehicles Hours of Service Regulations, which monitors the amount of time a driver accumulates on-duty and off-duty. Depending on if a driver is south or north of latitude 60 N (roughly, where the northern territories and western provinces meet, and passing through Ontario, Quebec, and Newfoundland) determines what the specific regulations are. The regulations are also different for single drivers and for driver teams. To keep things simple, let's focus on single drivers.
For drivers operating south of latitude 60 N, they cannot exceed 13 hours of driving time, or, 14 hours on-duty time in a day. After these hours have been reached, a rest period of 8 consecutive hours has to be taken. An off-duty period must be 10 hours (there has to be 2 hours off-duty time which does not cut into the consecutive 8 hours). After 16 hours of time has occurred between the end of the most recent 8 hours, and the beginning of the next, a driver cannot continue working.
It may seem straight forward, but, there's more to it than that. It gets a little complicated, when things like deferral of off-duty time, or ferry crossings are factored in. If a driver was working less than 26 hours in 2 days, or if the rest period is at least 20 hours in 2 days, than 2 hours of off-duty time could be deferred. If a driver is on a ferry crossing longer than 5 hours, they may not have to take the mandatory 8 hours of off-duty time, if the ferry crossing can be properly documented and used as a rest period.
The regulations are slightly different for drivers operating north of latitude 60 N. For these drivers, the legal daily driving time can't be more than 15 hours, and the daily on-duty time can't exceed 18 hours. The mandatory rest time is still 8 hours, but the time between rest periods is a little bigger –20 hours, as opposed to 16.
Drivers usually go by one of two time cycles. Cycle 1 is any 7-day period of 70 on-duty hours, while cycle 2 is any 14-day period of 120 on-duty hours. 70 in 1 and 120 in 2 represents the maximum of on-duty hours a driver is allowed to accumulate. At any time, a driver can start a new cycle, or alternate between 1 and 2, if the proper off-duty time has been taken. To start a new cycle 1, and to switch from 1 to 2, there has to be at least 36 consecutive rest hours. For a new cycle 2, or to switch from 2 to 1, 72 consecutive hours are required.
It may sound arbitrary, but, one of the best ways a driver can be certain that they're not a potential threat to themselves or anyone else is pretty simple; get enough sleep.

For additional information on Hours of Service and Hours of Service Training Contact Doug Fulgham visit CayCan.ca, a Transportation Compliance Solutions company.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Truck Drivers' Inspection

A very crucial component for truck drivers is vehicle inspection, be it annual inspections, or even day-to-day inspections, before setting out to drive. In Canada, the jurisdiction over trucking is shared by both the federal and provincial governments. Through the Motor Vehicle Transport Act  (MVTA), each province can apply their own rules and regulations to vehicles operating in federal jurisdiction. 
In Ontario, Alberta, and Quebec for example, a daily inspection – or Schedule 1 –  is required on any truck, or truck and trailer with either a registered gross weight or an actual weight over 4 500 kg, while in Saskatchewan, the weight limit is on any truck, or truck and trailer which exceeds 5 000 kg. Depending on if a driver is operating across Canada, or staying in one province is also another factor to take into consideration. In Alberta, the Schedule 1 is required for any truck or truck and trailer which weighs or exceeds 11 794 kg . The purpose of the Schedule 1 is to document any defects, major or minor, that a truck may have.

For additional information on Pre-Trip Inspection and online courses for Pre-Trip Inspection visit www.CayCan.ca - a Transportation Compliance Solutions company.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Combat Driver Fatigue and Comply with Safety Standards

The transportation industry does not operate on a fixed schedule and drivers are often called on to work long hours during a shift, which can lead to driver fatigue. In the transportation industry driver fatigue is a very real and serious issue. Though driver fatigue can make you a road hazard even if you’re not a commercial driver, it can be even more hazardous when the fatigued driver is in control of over 4,500 kgs of steel and potentially carrying hazardous goods. This is why Transport Canada put the commercial vehicle hours of service regulations into place. 
The National Safety Code Standard #9, which is the standard that regulates hours of service, was developed by the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA). The CCMTA is the organization responsible for controlling the administration and regulation of motor vehicle transport and highway safety in Canada. The Hours of Service standard was developed to improve safety on Canada’s highways by limiting commercial driver’s hours to ensure they remain alert behind the wheel and to decrease the fatigue they may feel while on the job.

Transport Canada takes driver fatigue very seriously and hours of service infractions are dealt with severely. It is therefore important that carriers and their drivers work together to carefully monitor each driver’s hours and ensure compliance with the National Safety Code standards.