Even though our nation is still in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, some areas of the country are also dealing with civil unrest, which has included property destruction. Effectively dealing with civil unrest scenarios is largely unprecedented in most of our experiences. If your trucks operate within the affected areas, it is important for you to plan contingencies to keep your drivers safe and your vehicles free from damage. Some general safety ideas include:
- Consider a “No Stop” policy to thwart hijackings. Such a policy instructs drivers that in most situations, not to stop their vehicles if someone is attempting to get them to do so. Even at low speeds, large trucks are difficult to stop if the driver is intent on not stopping.
- Schedule runs to avoid nighttime loading and delivering in the affected cities if at all possible.
- If you have regular runs, try to vary routes the drivers take in case cargo thieves are conducting surveillance on your trucks and have planned a hijacking along your known route of travel.
- Try to manage driver’s HOS to get them in and out of the affected cities without forcing the driver to take a 10-hour break while there.
- Instruct drivers to avoid large crowds by observing situational awareness and tuning in to local news-oriented radio programs when entering large cities.
- Instruct drivers to park at modern, well-lit truck stops with on-site security and video surveillance. Avoid parking at remote locations and unprotected customer sites.
- If you choose to adopt any safety or security policies, be sure to properly train your drivers and address any concerns they have about their personal safety. Drivers should not risk their lives in order to protect the truck or cargo.
Author: Kenny Ray, CSP, CHMM