Well, actually, we’d prefer that they get two hands up, when they’re climbing into the cab!
No one wants to think about it, but winter IS coming; municipalities and private landscaping companies are already hard at work preparing to take care of the wintery roads.
Snowplow drivers are exposed to several strain/sprain injury hazards:
– Awkward postures (slouching over a wheel, head forward or sideways to watch the road, traffic, and the plow)
– Prolonged seated postures, with few opportunities for posture changes
– Forceful exertion to pull the body from the ground to the cab
– Repetitive shoulder, or neck, or leg demands (subject to weather, traffic, and vehicle conditions)
And how do snowplow drivers prepare their bodies for the winter season? Some drivers drive all year, so the switch to a plow is not a huge adjustment. But there are plenty of seasonal snowplow drivers, for whom the demands of prolonged driving are an abrupt departure from their regular activities of daily living. If you’re not a snow plow driver, imagine, for a moment, what it would feel like, to spend the fall doing everyday things, and then plop yourself behind the wheel of a heavy truck, and spend the better part of the next 6 months, day and night, often in poor visibility conditions, vigilantly scanning the edge of the road.
How can we help these essential drivers avoid discomfort, injury, or accident? We can train them to:
• Enter and exit the vehicle safely and ergonomically.
• Adjust the seated environment to optimise support, comfort, and safety. This includes all of the features available on the seat pan, backrest, steering wheel, armrests, and mirrors.
• Encourage them to interrupt prolonged posture with movement, in and out of the plow, including both strengthening and stretching activities.
Want help with this training?
One of our ergonomists can come in to provide a 2-hour hands-on session, before the season starts. Drivers will find seat adjustment features they never knew existed, and they’ll figure out how to make the driver’s seat more comfortable than they thought possible. They’ll gain a whole new appreciation for why it’s important to enter and exit with 2 hands, facing the cab. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to keep the training in-house?
Alternatively, we can licence your organisation to use our coaching templates; supervisors, safety manager, or JHSC reps can deliver training to snowplow drivers in one session, or spread out over several sessions, as tail-gate talks, for example. Check out the license here.
Will this training make the winter go by faster? Perhaps not for you and me, but if it takes the edge off of one long night of plowing, I’ll rest a bit easier.