Brian Joss – A diesel spillage occurred on Johannesburg’s N3 just before Van Buuren off ramp.
It is unclear what happened but the highway had to be closed while the spillage was cleaned up. It resulted in an over 10km traffic jam and two hour delays for drivers. While infuriating for commuters, it is trivial compared to the consequences for the company responsible.
Following a spillage a company faces the following risks: drivers and other motorists can be injured in the event; your truck may be removed from use until fixed or replaced; there are major costs associated with repairs and replacements and you are responsible for the costs associated with the clean-up “Prevention is better than cure,” says managing director of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert” The best way to reduce the possible impact is to be confident your drivers know how to handle your vehicles. “Drivers of dangerous goods and other liquid bulk loads are presented with a host of additional challenges that other truck drivers may not face. The best way to adequately handle these challenges is to ensure your drivers fully understand them and how to react when faced with certain scenarios.
“Training specifically suited to the needs of those drivers – on road and not only theory – empowers them to drive in a manner that will avoid the probability of situations confronting them over which they have limited control. Bespoke training caters to the needs of organisations that take the responsibility of transporting their loads in a safe, efficient manner that benefit both themselves and their customers,” says Herbert.
Not all potential accidents are avoidable which makes liability cover an essential for the rest. Be careful to not assume that your current liability covers includes all environmental consequences of a spillage. Ensure your are insured for the worst case scenario related with the product that you transport.
Herbert adds ,”A spillage can easily equal the end of a company. Costs can soar into the millions and you do not want to find out too late that you do not have adequate coverage. It can also be worthwhile to contact your insurer and find out if training your drivers can lower premiums.”
A crash with a vehicle carrying dangerous goods can be catastrophic. Ensure that you have everything in place to deal with the disaster should it happen or, better yet, equip yourself to try avoid it all together.
CAPTION: Fire truck at the spill. Picture: Alexandra Saraiva Carniato/ Motorpress