While mechanical aids are typically available at pick-up sites, drivers must often manually remove large, heavy protective tarps from loads by themselves at delivery. In some cases, drivers have to remove tarp while perched precariously on a flatbed with no firm footholds, ladders, or platforms.
One regional trucking company confronted this problem head-on. Facing rising worker's compensation costs, the company conducted a loss source analysis to see which activities were causing injuries. The analysis revealed tarp-handling injuries made up 20 percent of the company's typical injuries--a significant statistic because the company tarps only 30-40 percent of its truck loads. By using the information from the analysis and implementing a comprehensive safety program, the company reduced its frequency of tarp-handling injuries per million miles by 30 percent during a three-year period. The result: a direct savings of approximately $50,000, plus the savings on indirect costs associated with driver turnover and lost productivity.