Are there any legal requirements regarding safety equipment that must be carried in company vehicles such as cube vans, pickup trucks and cars? If not, are there some best practices that we should be following?
I don’t think there are any regulations regarding safety equipment that must be carried in non-commercial company vehicles. But there are several best practices I would recommend. First, every worker should be trained on a vehicle safety equipment checklist and the items should be checked before each trip to ensure there are adequate supplies and that everything is working properly.
Here’s my suggested list for what to carry in a company vehicle, particularly during colder months of the year:
A fully charged cell phone you can use to summon help.
A good flashlight. Check to ensure the batteries are fresh so the flashlight will work when you need it.
One or more warm blankets.
At least three flares.
A reflective safety triangle or a couple of small orange safety cones in case your vehicle breaks down or is involved in an accident.
A reflective orange or yellow safety vest.
A car jack and a lug nut wrench to change a flat tire, and a wheel chock to prevent a vehicle from moving while it is jacked up.
Chemical de-icer and also a bag of sand or kitty litter that can help get your work vehicle out of a slippery spot.
A collapsible shovel if you need to dig your vehicle out.
An ice scraper/snow brush and an umbrella which a co-worker can hold over you in heavy rain if you are changing a tire.
Lock de-icer solution.
An extra gallon of windshield washer antifreeze so you won’t run out. Remember to check all vehicle fluid levels before setting off on a trip and never let your company vehicle’s fuel tank get below one-quarter full.
An unfilled one-gallon gasoline container in case you run out of fuel.
Chemical hand warmers and warm, durable gloves (in different sizes for male and female employees).
A warm hat (preferably a knitted one) if you need to walk, so your ears won’t freeze.
A red rag to check fluid levels (also safety glasses if you are checking radiator coolant). The rag can also be waved to summon help from other motorists in an emergency.
(Answered by Robert Ryan, president Safety Metrics Inc., www.safetymetrics.net)