Posted by Matt Bushey in #YHSafetyTips, Sep 13, 2017
You drive your company vehicle safely and know how to respond in many situations, but what should you keep in the vehicle at all times? We will go over items that you will need in your vehicle, when you should use them (some cases, there could be many uses), and some optional items that could be excluded but worthwhile if you have the funds to stock them.
Necessity Emergency Items
These items will be needed if you have or run into an emergency situation. Such as: a vehicle accident, breakdown, or even serious weather conditions leaving you stranded.
Possible use of the above items (non-MacGyver applications):
Fire extinguisher used to put out fires only (check canister to see which types of fires).
First-aid kit used for many different injuries from minor scrapes and burns to stitching up a wound (depending on items included in the kit).
Flashlight used in the dark, to see under a vehicle or even in an engine box. Many other uses from signaling for help to entertainment.
Ice scrapper used mainly to remove ice from the windows of a vehicle.
Cat litter, beside the obvious use, this is used in emergency situations such as providing traction in snowy or icy conditions. Also good to soak up a vehicle fluid spills (oil, antifreeze, etc.)
Jumper cables are very useful to not only help yourself but others when a vehicle’s battery is starting to go out and the vehicle needs a jump to start.
Tire pressure gauge is needed to check the pressure of the tires to be within the required range. This can save your tires from excessive wear and improve gas mileage.
Cell phone charger. Today we use our phones for a lot of purposes, but in an emergency, it could mean a phone call to help get towed or a can of gasoline to get you on the road again.
Maps, yes today we have digital maps saved to our phones or easily downloadable, but if you run out of power to your phone, a physical paper map can direct you to the nearest town for help.
Light sticks and/or road flares are great at night as the emit their own light and don’t require headlights or other light to reflect. Place these several yards from the vehicle to show oncoming motorists of an upcoming hazard. These are a one time use.
Reflective triangles are mainly used to signal traffic of an obstacle in the road or a vehicle hazard. These are reusable.
Water is the basic building block of life. Always have water in the vehicle.
Empty gas can, this can mean a world of difference when your or someone else runs out of gas for any reason. Simply take the can to the nearest gas station, fill it up, walk back and fill up the vehicle. Make sure you do not leave the can in your car or house after using it once. Open the can outside to allow vapors to escape and the can to dry before putting back in the vehicle for the next emergency.
A multi-tool is a handy necessity as it contains many different tools to fix and tighten anything that might be loose.
Extra Items (Great if you have money to stock)
These items are not completely necessary, but are great in extreme situations as they could have many purposes.
A good thing to check for is if your vehicle is equipped with a spare tire, tire jack, and lug wrench. Check the tire pressure of the spare as the seasons change (spring, summer, fall, and winter). Take the spare tire to a tire shop to check for holes, wear, and rotting. A rotting spare tire should never be used as it could explode or go flat very easily. Replace the spare tire as recommended by the tire shop technician. Don’t know how to change a flat tire? Check out this video.
If you missed our blog post last week on recognizing drug and alcohol use in the workplace, click here.