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Motorcoach risk management & loss prevention Volume 2


Contents About Protective Insurance

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Turn and tail swing accident prevention techniques

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By Todd Carrier

Enterprise risk management and the safety planning process

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By Todd Carrier

Customer care and passenger safety

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By Todd Carrier

Avoiding collisions while parking and moving from a parked position

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By Todd Carrier

OSHA overview: Maintenance pit injury prevention

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By Owen McLean

Get the WHOLE Story! Download the Motorcoach risk management and loss prevention: Volume 1 eBook

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BUSRIDE | PROTECTIVE INSURANCE — MOTORCOACH RISK MANAGEMENT AND LOSS PREVENTION • VOLUME 2

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About Protective Insurance Company Protective Insurance Company is licensed in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and all Canadian provinces and provides coverage for trucking fleets of all sizes. We offer a public transportation insurance program that provides comprehensive coverage for charter and tour bus companies, school bus contractors and limousine services. We provide complete coverage for public transportation fleets, including charter bus, school bus and limousine operations. Through an exclusive network of partner agents, we offer the following coverages, available in all 50 states: • Auto liability • General liability • Garage liability • Workers’ compensation • Physical damage Deductibles are available upon request and we have the ability to package all lines of coverage. We target fleets that have been in business for five or more years and have 10 units or more, a good loss ratio and strong financials. Why partner with Protective? For some insurance companies, the work ends once a policy is written. At Protective, that’s when we’re just getting started. Rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best, we are a financially strong company who is equally invested in the safety of your drivers. We provide superior claims service and comprehensive loss prevention and risk management resources. We also have flexible payment plans tailored to match the seasonality of the public transportation business. Visit www.protectiveinsurance.com to find an agent near you.

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Turn and tail swing accident prevention techniques By Todd Carrier Have you ever come close to making contact with an object or vehicle while turning? Are you aware of how wide the rear of the bus will go as it makes the turn? Turns can be dangerous and costly if you don’t take the necessary precautions before and during these maneuvers. They are among the most common type of accident in the school bus and motorcoach industry. Most of these accidents are minor and usually involve something small such as a mailbox, mirror or stop sign. However, these accidents can also involve pedestrians and bicyclists, resulting in extensive bodily harm. For example, a right turn in a school bus on a tight residential street may only result in the right rear tire going over someone’s sidewalk or lawn. But a left turn in a motorcoach in a parking lot drop-off situation could knock a pedestrian into a parked car, causing severe bodily injury. Poorly adjusted mirrors, not knowing the dimensions of the bus, speed and proximity of fixed/moving objects can all contribute to this type of accident. So how can companies avoid turning accidents? First, always know the length and width of the vehicle. Many school buses have a standard width of 8.5 feet and length of 40-45 feet, while motorcoaches have a standard width of 9 feet and length of 45 feet. Follow company policy on pre-inspections and be sure to take note of the vehicle’s dimensions, especially if you are assigned to a different vehicle than normal. The rear axle of the bus acts as a pivot point for the rear of the vehicle. However, the distance between the rear axle and the rear of the bus is much greater than that of a passenger car. This part of the bus between the rear axle and rear of the bus is commonly referred to as the “tail swing” because it appears to swing around during a turning maneuver. The tail swing can be 10 feet or more on a standard school bus and almost as much on a motorcoach. Make sure that mirrors are properly adjusted so you can be sure that the rear of the bus will adequately clear vehicles, pedestrians and objects when it begins the turn. Begin with the driver side mirror. If you can see the windows on the side of the bus, the mirror needs to be pushed out. Remember to check the right side of the bus when turning left and to check the left side of the bus when turning right. And always be certain your vehicle has the right of way before beginning the turn. During the turn, it’s necessary to ensure that the rear axle is up far enough to keep the bus from pinching objects on the right once the bus begins to pivot to the right. Check the right flat and convex mirrors for space as the bus continues through the turn. Re-check the left mirrors for clearance in the event that a vehicle or person has entered the area where the tail swing has occurred. Once the vehicle has completed the turn, check the mirrors and straighten out the front wheels before accelerating. 4

Ensure that your rear axle is up far enough to keep your bus from pinching objects on your right once the bus begins to pivot to the right.

The part of the bus between the rear axle and rear of the bus is commonly referred to as the tail swing. The tail swing can be 10 feet or more on a standard school bus and almost as much on a motorcoach.

When turning from a single lane into a double lane, always turn into the far lane and make the transition to the desired lane well after the turn. When entering a double turn, always stay in the outside lane to avoid a pinch by an outside vehicle. Finally, it’s important to ensure the vehicle’s pre-trip inspection includes cleaning off the windshields, mirrors and side windows, adjusting the mirrors properly, and knowing the dimensions of the vehicle and tail swing. Todd Carrier serves as director of risk management for Protective Insurance Company, Carmel, IN. Watch Protective Insurance Company’s “Safety Solutions: Turns and Tail Swings” video online at www.youtube.com/ protectiveinsurance. For more information, please email lossprevention@ protectiveinsurance.com.

BUSRIDE | PROTECTIVE INSURANCE — MOTORCOACH RISK MANAGEMENT AND LOSS PREVENTION • VOLUME 2

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SAFETY S N SOLUTIO

Enterprise risk management and the safety planning process By Todd Carrier A company is comprised of a complex web of systems and processes. The duty of safety and risk management is to keep these systems operating safely and efficiently. Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) is a concept that enables organizations to centralize risk management functions across all departments and company operations. To understand the link between ERM and safety, let’s begin by exploring basic risk management. Risk by definition is a vulnerability that, when triggered, may cause an undesired event or outcome. A first order risk consists of immediate property damage or bodily injury. A second order risk consists of consequential losses such as production or profits. Third and fourth order risks consist of indirect losses such as reduced market share or public outrage. In 2009, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) published ISO 31000: Risk Management Principles and Guidelines, a document designed to help companies improve the identification, documentation and mitigation of risks. At a high level, the guideline summarizes four categories of risk: •S  trategic risks are the choices your company makes to enter new markets, produce new products or services, merge with or acquire other companies and protect your intellectual property or brand reputation. • Operational risks relate to your day-to-day activities and include the impact related to your people, machines, materials and methods, such as the cost of accidents or business interruptions. • Legal and compliance risks are the exposures your company has to lawsuits, fines and penalties from private, public or governmental agencies. • Financial risks include any adverse effects to your stock price, liquidity, balance sheet or insurance, or currency / commodity price fluctuations. Companies tend to focus most on operational risk because it’s tangible and quantifiable. However, reports suggest that companies are not spending enough time on strategic risks, even though these risks often pose the biggest negative financial threat. According to a resource from CEB, failure to properly address strategic risks leads to significant market decline 86 percent of the time, but companies spend only 6 percent of their time addressing these risks. What is the role of safety within ERM? The Safety Department should strive to reduce the total cost of risk for the company beginning at the enterprise level. The department should contribute not only to operational and compliance risk management, but more importantly, to addressing strategic risks. Everything you do with regard to safety should directly correlate to an overall business objective. Follow these key steps to successfully incorporate the ERM perspective into your department:

1. Develop a safety plan. Your safety plan should directly support the corporate strategic plan. Ask your president or CEO for the company’s mission statement and objectives. The Safety Department should be mindful of how its activities will support goals such as overall company growth, profitability, expense control, market share, customer service and efficiency, to name a few. In your plan, set three to five high level improvement goals. Remember, your safety goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely (SMART). An example of a safety goal might be: Safety goal #1: Reduce DOT collisions per million miles by 10 percent in the next 12 months. Activities to achieve: Focus on the majority of collisions, which involve distracted driving during rush hour. Implement and enforce a distracted driving policy, reroute vehicles during peak traffic hours if possible and provide training on safe following distance and speed. Measured by: • Primary = Percent reduction in collisions • Secondary = Number of policy violations, number of trainings completed, number of training attendees, customer service scores, etc. Contributes to: Profitability, expense control, customer service and brand image 2. Create a safety dashboard. After your safety plan is drafted and you have agreement on your goals, create a dashboard or spreadsheet displaying baseline measurements and target improvements. Set targets to be attained in the next year as well as more ambitious goals to be attained over the next two to three years. Remember that your desired results need to be attainable yet challenging. 3. Develop a safety communication process. The safety message in your organization should come from the top. Ask your president or CEO to ensure that safety is specifically mentioned in all corporate mission statements and materials. Issue regular safety communications such as company-wide addresses, monthly or quarterly newsletters, payroll stuffers or posters at each terminal. Focus on activities that will produce results. Give employees feedback on their safety performance, and involve them in decision-making by establishing a safety committee, surveying drivers on training content, or even asking veteran employees to present safety training. In conclusion, effective safety leadership is not just about conducting training or making sure employees are simply being “safe.” It entails supporting the organization to help reach strategic corporate goals. Educate yourself on your organization’s goals and ask yourself how safety can contribute to achieving them. Todd Carrier serves as director of risk management for Protective Insurance Company, Carmel, IN. For more information, please email lossprevention@ protectiveinsurance.com.

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SAFETY S N O I T U L O S

Customer care and passenger safety By Todd Carrier The public transportation industry carries the most valuable cargo — people. Customer service and unwavering commitment to safety gives your company an edge over the competition. In today’s world, it seems threats are numerous. There are the news reports on shootings, violence on the bus and horrific accidents on the road. At a very basic level, there are three key components of customer care and passenger safety: preparation, practice and passenger control. Your obligation to the motoring public and the safety of your passengers starts with good customer service. Never underestimate the importance of (or the time involved with) preparation, no matter how long you’ve been doing the job. Prior to each trip, ensure the driver has met all regulatory and company policies and procedures, including pre-trip inspections, mirror adjustments, route planning and being well rested. Ensure they will be flexible and sensitive to the needs of your passengers and communicate regularly; if passengers are not updated on all facets of the trip, they may become nervous. It is also important to outline the safety features of the vehicle and expectations of passengers. Passengers should be reminded to stay seated, use seat belts and handrails, know the location of fire extinguishers, and follow evacuation procedures. This not only shows good customer service, but also demonstrates the driver is attentive and in control. As in athletics, practice makes perfect. A driver will not be able to perform under duress unless the agency has made emergency procedures routine. Hands-on training is often the most effective, but practice begins with the drivers’ own personal habits. For example, there is no message more damaging to passengers than not wearing the seat belt or passing vehicles to make up lost time. Drivers should practice how to deal with distractions or unplanned events. If people are talking excessively to the driver, they should politely inform them that safety is the first priority and they must concentrate on driving. If they experience an emergency, regardless of how minor it might be, their job is to control the scene. They should be prepared and trained to proceed to the nearest roadway exit, side-street or parking lot to minimize exposure to traffic. In most situations, it is usually safest to keep everyone in the vehicle unless the danger is inside the bus. Calling dispatch first in a true emergency will delay response time and prove to be poor judgment in subsequent investigations. Passenger control techniques are the most underutilized and misunderstood topic in the industry. Often, the company and drivers blur the line between customer satisfaction and safety. We do not place enough emphasis on how to handle threats from non-passengers such as the general public, terrorism, active shooters, student violence and even angry parents. “Most drivers and companies alike recognize there is a distinct possibility, but they don’t know what to do or where to start in regards to that possibility,” says Jesus Villahermosa of Crisis Reality Training, Inc. “I tell them to expect the unexpected and to remember that when someone has been interviewed from an incident after it occurred; 6

“As in athletics, practice makes perfect.” almost all of them have made a statement to the effect of, ‘We never thought it would happen here!’” Villahermosa suggests companies train drivers on crisis management by focusing on the acronym I-A-M: identify, assess and manage. Identifying a threat begins by being aware of your surroundings and learning to recognize body language indicators, which can be precursors to violence. “If you think and feel something bad is about to happen then you need to start trusting that instinct and take some action that will eliminate or mitigate whatever you perceived the threat to be,” Villahermosa says. Reasonable responses include locking down your bus, driving away or making an emergency stop and allowing passengers to exit the bus to get away from the internal threat. Villahermosa recommends training drivers on reasonable and necessary defensible use of force and de-escalation techniques. “We are teaching drivers to learn verbal response techniques that could de-escalate that incident without it ever getting physical,” he says. “Everyone has a legal right to defend themselves, so we also discuss what your options and legal obligations are if it does get physical.” Managing a situation requires training the driver on options and, most importantly, making a decision. In stressful situations, it’s human nature to choose fight or flight. Unfortunately there’s a third reaction — freeze. Companies and drivers must realize that the worst decision is no action and inadequate training can expose the risk of vicarious liability. Although no one likes to talk about the possibility of these types of incidents occurring, these are the very questions where drivers are looking for reality-based answers. Todd Carrier serves as assistant vice president of risk management for Protective Insurance Company, Carmel, IN. Jesus Villahermosa, Jr. is the president of Crisis Reality Training, Inc., a firm that specializes in assessment, policy, procedure and protocol development for crisis situations. He has partnered with Protective to develop reality-based tools and training for the public transportation industry. To learn more, please visit www.crisisrealitytraining.com.

BUSRIDE | PROTECTIVE INSURANCE — MOTORCOACH RISK MANAGEMENT AND LOSS PREVENTION • VOLUME 2

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SAFETY S N SOLUTIO

Avoiding collisions while parking and moving from a parked position By Todd Carrier Drivers experience congested roadways, massive highways and adverse driving conditions regularly, but most collisions do not occur under these conditions. Many collisions occur in an uncontrolled and potentially chaotic area: parking lots. Collisions in parking lots are usually minor and property damage is the most likely result. However, these minor collisions can add up to large costs because they can be more frequent, are often below insurance deductibles and can hurt relations with customers. Informing your drivers of the following procedures can help reduce parking-related collisions. When parking on narrow roadways or streets, pull out of the lane of traffic as far as you can, put on your four-way hazard flashers and fold your traffic-side mirrors in whenever possible to avoid having them struck. Unless you are stopped in a business or residential district during the period when vehicle lighted lamps are not required (see FMCSR Part 392.22), federal regulations state that if the vehicle is stopped for other than normal traffic stops, emergency triangles must be deployed within 10 minutes. It’s also a best practice to use four-way hazard flashers from dusk to dawn, particularly in the winter months with reduced sunlight and adverse weather. When you return to your vehicle, take a moment to look around the vehicle for obstacles and double check your plan for leaving the area. This step is very important in residential areas. Children and pets are common and you may not see a small child or animal with your mirrors. Children may also leave bikes or other objects around your vehicle. Before pulling back into traffic, check to make sure your mirrors are properly adjusted, put on your turn signal, check your mirrors, look over your shoulder for approaching traffic and carefully enter the lane of travel when clear. Be sure to also check your tail swing on the side of your vehicle closest to the curb by looking in the mirror on that side of the vehicle. When parking in a lot, scan the area and look for where you are going to park and how you will need to exit the area. Note vehicle and pedestrian traffic flow and any fixed objects such as mailboxes, trash cans, light poles or signs where you intend to park. These objects may be hard to see with your mirrors and knowing they are there will help you avoid hitting them when you leave. Remember to look up to see low awnings and low-hanging signs, which are commonly hit. This is especially important if you are parking along the building. Backing can be dangerous and you should never back unless you have no other choice. Always park your vehicle so that you can drive forward to leave. If you are parking along a building, leave enough space between other vehicles or obstacles to allow you to pull forward. Avoid blocking traffic when doing this or you could create a dangerous condition for your vehicle and passengers by encouraging motorists to quickly drive around your vehicle. If you are parking in marked spaces, it is best to find two spaces in a line so that you can pull through the first space and into the second. This will allow you to pull forward when you leave without ever having

Always park the vehicle so that you can drive forward to leave.

to back. The next best option is to back into a marked space, because the space is a more controlled environment than the aisle and is safer to back into. You should start this process by rolling past the space to observe the area. If the space is clear, quickly honk your horn a few times to alert anyone that may be near the space and slowly back toward the driver’s side. Check all of your mirrors and look over your shoulder to ensure that the space remains clear and you are not going to hit anything. If you are unsure of where your vehicle is going or if the area is clear, always get out and look. If you are traveling to a new destination and you are unsure of where to park, try calling ahead and asking for specific instructions. This can help you avoid searching for parking in crowded lots and can help build good relationships with customers. Aerial views from the internet can also help with advance planning, but remember, new obstacles may be present that are not shown online. Todd Carrier serves as director of risk management for Protective Insurance Company, Carmel, IN. For more information, please email lossprevention@ protectiveinsurance.com

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OSHA overview: maintenance pit injury prevention By Owen McLean A letter of interpretation posted by OSHA reads: “Employees engaged in maintenance work at bus and rail car inspection and repair pits when the bus or rail car covers the pit are not in violation of 29 CFR 1910.23(a)(5). When the pit or pits are not covered, employees walking at least 6 feet from the pit would not be in violation of 29 CFR 1910.23(a) (5), provided the following actions are implemented by the employer:

One injury associated with falling into an open pit could more than eliminate any cost savings associated with them.

Maintenance pits are necessary for servicing your vehicles; however, there are many dangers associated with them that could pose a severe threat to the safety of your employees. Understanding the laws and regulations of OSHA can protect your employees and prevent costly accidents. According to OSHA Standard 1910.21(a)(2), a “floor opening” is “an opening measuring 12 inches or more at its least dimension, in any floor, platform, pavement or yard through which persons may fall; such as a hatchway, stair or ladder opening, pit, or large manhole.” OSHA continues to state in Standard 1910.23(a)(5): “Every pit and trapdoor floor opening, infrequently used, shall be guarded by a floor opening cover of standard strength and construction. While the cover is not in place, the pit or trap opening shall be constantly attended by someone or shall be protected on all exposed sides by removable standard railings.” An inquiry to an OSHA official resulted in a reference to a Federal Register published on May 2, 2003. This Federal Register specifically discusses the unique problem associated with the use of guardrails for perimeter protection that would otherwise interfere with normal work operations. It references the fact that guardrails or similar fall protection devices may cause issues for employees when vehicles are moved over and/or away from the pit. The fact is also acknowledged that when a vehicle is parked over the pit, the primary hazard of falling to the surface below has been eliminated. Don’t breathe a sigh of relief just yet. While there is an understanding of issues, it does not mean employee safety is not the top priority in this situation. The General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1) states: “Each employer shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees.” In other words, the employer has the responsibility to take whatever measures necessary, and with all means possible, to protect the safety and health their employees. At no time should the “easy” route or the “least expensive” route be taken when it comes to ensuring the protection of human life. 8

1. The employee’s safety training program will instruct employees to maintain a 6 feet clear distance from the uncovered pits. 2. Highly visible contrasting lines will be installed 6 feet from the edge of pits. 3. Employer will install caution signs and ensure compliance by employees.” So, are you in compliance if you train employees to maintain a clear distance of 6 feet from the pit, paint the floor 6 feet out from the edge with high visible contrasting lines and install signage to warn employees of the pit? The answer is maybe. While the precautions mentioned above may be acceptable, it does not mean that is all that is required. The best practice for this type of situation is to ensure there is a standard railing surrounding the pits to ensure no one can fall to the bottom. However, ask yourself the following questions. • Is a standard railing a viable option? If yes, install the railing. If no: o Are employees trained and alerted to the presence of the pits? If so, is the training documented? o Are employees trained to only be in the vicinity of a pit when a vehicle is over the pit and being serviced? If so, is the training documented? o Is there adequate signage posted warning employees to the presence of the pit? o Is the floor surrounding the pit painted in a contrasting color to warn employees they are in the vicinity of an open pit? o When the pit is not in use, is there some barrier erected such as stanchions and chains so an employee cannot accidently fall into the pit? o Most importantly, have you taken every measure conceivably possible to protect employees from falling into an open pit? One injury associated with falling into an open pit could more than eliminate any cost savings associated with them. It can also prove lifealtering to the employee who suffers injuries resulting from the fall. Following the regulations and guidelines set forth by OSHA can greatly diminish your risk of a workplace accident occurring. For more information, visit www.osha.gov. Owen McLean serves as team lead in the Loss Prevention & Safety Services Department of Protective Insurance Company, Carmel, IN.

BUSRIDE | PROTECTIVE INSURANCE — MOTORCOACH RISK MANAGEMENT AND LOSS PREVENTION • VOLUME 2

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Motorcoach risk management & loss prevention - Volume 2  

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