The answer to this question is obviously YES. How many times have you witnessed a service truck, pickup, trailer (small or large), or semi with loose or improperly secured cargo? A piece of loose cargo can easily bounce off the vehicle and present a hazard to other motorists or pedestrians.
The motoring public expects a company or organization to protect it against the risk of becoming involved in a crash caused by shifting or falling cargo. Safe cargo handling minimizes company liability exposure and helps project a safety-conscious corporate image.
Fleet operators have a responsibility to their customers to safeguard the product transported on their behalf. Customers expect a service provider (e.g., plumber, welder, or mechanic) will safely transport tools/materials/parts.
Lastly, senior executives and shareholders expect fleet managers will protect the company from expensive claims whether those claims are cargo or tool/material losses or third-party liability claims.
In addition to strictly monetary costs, other potential costs may arise:
- The impact of an injury or fatality.
- The effect on customers if the cargo or service is not delivered.
- The impact on a company’s third-party insurance rates.
- The consequences of a vehicle loss on business operations.
To proactively deal with these cost and liability issues, a company must develop and implement a cargo securement process. Ensure all drivers are adequately trained for the specific class of vehicle they operate. As the old adage advises, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”