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In the Zone


Tips on Securing Your Workspace Area By Terry Abejuela

Field Editor Terry Abejuela has 40-plus years of light-duty towing and recovery experience. He is also a light-duty Level 1 instructor for the California Tow Truck Association.

Securing a scene for temporary roadwork utilizing two advance warning signs and traffic cones.


ow truck operators have a responsibility to use the tools and training they have been provided to identify potential hazards and take the appropriate steps to ensure their safety. When it comes to securing your workspace at the roadside near traffic, you will not always be able to guarantee that your workspace is 100-percent safe and secure, but you can significantly reduce your exposure at the scene. Common sense indicates that the most important person in charge of your personal safety is you. In taking responsibility for securing your workspace, learn to do your job as safely as possible, every time you do it. While most tow truck operators know how to do the job safely, they just don’t always do things the safest way. Inevitably they might take shortcuts when they don’t perceive that there’s a significant hazard. This lapse becomes their muscle

Work the non-traffic side - Stay Safe!

reflex because they have performed this repetitive motion so many times and they become very proficient and are able to complete the job quickly. Of course, quick can be good because it minimizes the time that you are at the scene and exposed to the hazards from traffic. But it should not be achieved by taking shortcuts that jeopardize your safety. It has to be something that is an automatic reflex for you. You have to practice it every time so it becomes your muscle reflex and you will become just as proficient and quick as when you were were taking the shortcuts.


In a perfect world, first responders would be on the scene at all incidents when the tow truck arrives and will have taken care of securing the scene when necessary. In the real world, though, light-duty tow truck operators frequently perform | November 2021 • 17