Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine (Sept. 2015)
The Manitoba Trucking Association (MTA) and Safe Work Manitoba (SWM) have jointly launched a program to enhance health and safety of workers in the trucking industry.
The initiative called RPM Trucking Industry Safety, was announced on September 08, 2015. By Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Steve Ashton. The acronym RPM, popularly known as “revolutions per minute”, stands for “Risks. Properly Managed.”
Dave Kramer, SWM’s portfolio leader for production, says it is the addition of an industry-based safety association.
RPM program director Ed Pschulski agrees. “SAFE Work Manitoba is looking at developing more industry-based safety associations, so the province’s industry can develop its own safety link, much like what construction has for COR,” he explains, referring to the “Certification of Recognition” program for the construction sector. MTA reached out to SWM a couple of years ago regarding the need to address workplace injury in trucking, he adds.
RPM will promote health and safety practices in the trucking profession by offering training, programs, and advisory or consultancy support services. Manitoba sees about 1,100 injuries annually in the trucking sector, costing the industry roughly $90 million per year, according to information from SWM.
“It is a major industry in Manitoba,” Kramer says, noting that many head offices are in Manitoba. “But trucking has seen an increase in injuries, in costs, in fatalities, of motor-vehicle collisions and contact with equipment.” As a result, industry leaders have observed a hike in workers’ compensation premiums over the past several years, “to the point where it really caught their attention.”
Pschulski says one of the pong-term goals of RPM is to ensure that trucking companies across the province have effective oh&s programs. “The trucking industry has previously focused on drivers and road safety,” he notes, “and for good reason.” But RPM will take the safety procedures and practices that are already in place and incorporate them into a full spectrum of training, policies and certification, he adds.
A current objective is to get RPM to a point at which it can fully function on its own as a safety association. “We have just formed, and now it is about building capacity to deliver services to their members,” Kramer says, “and really to refine those services to a point where they are very strategic.”
The numbers are staggering. About 2,000 people are killed, and 165,000 are injured in traffic accidents each year in Canada. No wonder the province of Manitoba felt it necessary to create a possible new association to deal with the trucking industry problems.
In 2019, there were 8,432 crashes and 96 deaths involving trucks in OPP patrolled areas. That was the highest number of commercial vehicle collisions and fatalities in more than 20 years, according to the force.
If the province of Manitoba has had similar numbers, I can see the genuine need for training and changing the workplace safety culture.
HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.
We can also be reached at www.hrsgroup.com.
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Remember – In Canada, “All accidents are Preventable”
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Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
CEO and Training Director