Safety at work for truck drivers has many facets. Among other things it is very important that forwarding agents instruct all their drivers in loading and load securing, in how to behave in case of breakdowns, in checking the condition of a vehicle, in mandatory seat belt usage even when manoeuvring and tipping and in many other rules relating to safety. These training courses should be repeated once a year so that the drivers always keep the rules in mind. But there are also other components of occupational health and safety, namely the equipment. The employer is legally obliged to take necessary measures to ensure the safety and health of employees. What this looks like in practice depends above all on the type of cargo and has to be assessed individually.
Special protection when transporting hazardous substances
If you transport hazardous substances, you should have protective goggles at hand. These are then part of your PPE, your personal protective equipment. The same applies if you transport cement, for example: If you tip out the load, the corrosive dust can attack your eyes. However, your employer must be aware of the possible risks posed by the cargo and provide you with suitable protective equipment.
On the safe side with safety shoes
Sturdy, fire and etch resistant shoes with steel toe caps protect your toes from a terrible fate, especially at loading stations. At the same time, you can be sure that this sturdy footwear will not be objected to during a check. So you are on the safe side in this situation too.
Work gloves protect against injuries
During loading and unloading, the cargo may injure your hands, depending on how it is packaged and secured. You can prevent this by wearing work gloves. Many old styles are bulky and not very grippy, so some people prefer to work with their bare hands. In the meantime, however, there are snug-fitting styles made of nylon and microfoam that maintain the mobility of the hands whilst at the same time protecting them very well.
High-vis work jackets
Be it at complex loading stations, in bad weather or in the event of a breakdown on the motorway, it is essential that you as a truck driver are clearly visible to other road users. Therefore, you should always have a high-vis work jacket ready to hand, which you can put on in the appropriate situations. For example, weatherproof softshell jackets in bright neon colours are well suited. While this may not appeal to everyone, it’s always better to get noticed than to get run over.
Comfortable work trousers increase the feeling of well-being
No employer can be forced to give their truck drivers comfortable work trousers. This is therefore only done on a voluntary basis. In fact, however, comfortable trousers with a stretchy waistband, for example, can have a major impact on truck drivers’ everyday well-being. They do not pinch and leave no red marks, and they adapt easily to minor weight fluctuations. The corresponding trousers offer plenty of legroom and freedom of movement, are not tight and lie comfortably on the skin. Thanks to easy-care polyester and breathable cotton, the comfortable trousers are also quickly washed.
Summary: Some work clothes are mandatory, others are not
Those parts of the PPE that are particularly important because of special loads or special situations during the journey must be provided by the employer. The employer is not obliged to pay for other pieces of work clothing such as comfortable work trousers. However, an employer can deduct the sums they spend on work clothes from their tax. Therefore, there is actually no reason why an employer should not take up a corresponding suggestion. In any case, comprehensive PPE can also be an argument for employees wanting to work for the respective haulier. In times of ever-increasing driver shortages, it’s not a bad idea to point out that the company cares about the health and safety of its employees.