How Trillium Maintains Safety Standards in a Difficult Driver Recruitment Climate

The American Trucking Associations estimates the driver shortage in 2021 topped 80,000 drivers, and experts are worried that number could skyrocket to over 160,000 by 2030. While this shortage can be attributed to several causes, there is one thing that we can state definitively—no matter how challenging driver recruitment and retention become, Trillium Driver Solutions (TDS) will never cut corners on safety.

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How You Can Prevent Workplace Violence: 5 Warning Signs of Escalating Behavior & How to Respond

Everyone has been talking about that Oscars slap. Less is being said about the reaction and de-escalation efforts of presenter Chris Rock, but Rock’s response is one of the main takeaways from the situation. It’s essential to keep a cool head when violence in the workplace starts to emerge, and all organizations should provide best practices to deescalate and even prevent workplace violence, especially in these troubling times.

A Violence Epidemic

According to the National Safety Council, a leading non-profit safety advocate for the workplace and roadways, over 20,000 assault-related injuries and 392 deaths resulted from workplace violence in 2020. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reported in 2021 that violence is the second leading cause of death in the workplace, closely behind vehicle accidents, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), homicide is the number one cause of death for women in the workplace.

These sobering statistics raise the question of what can organizations and employees do to stop workplace violence in its tracks before it becomes another troubling headline?

According to Eric Waidelich, Manager of Operations and Business Development at Rizikon, a risk management consulting firm, the number one step anyone can take to reduce workplace violence is to recognize the warning signs of escalating behavior and respond promptly with the appropriate de-escalation tactic.

What is Behavior Escalation?

Behavior escalation means that a person is showing a certain pattern of behavior that can get worse over time and follows a specific pattern. By responding with a de-escalation tactic, that pattern may be interrupted and hopefully, a resolution can be reached. Keep in mind that not every person will go through these stages in this exact order, and your response also should adjust accordingly. When confronted with a person showing these warning signs, be sure to assess your own physical safety before proceeding.

The 5 Signs of Behavior Escalation and How to Respond Source: Eric Waidelich and OSHA Academy

Stage One: Confusion

Warning signs:

● Bewildered or distracted appearance

● The subject seems unsure or uncertain of what to do next

● The subject may seem overwhelmed

Helpful Responses:

● Listen attentively. Don’t directly challenge.

● Ask clarifying questions to seek understanding (example, “What I’m hearing you say is ______”

● Give factual information

Stage Two: Frustration

Warning signs:

● Impatient and reactive behavior

● Resistant to information you are giving

● Appears defeated

● May try to bait you into an argument

Helpful Responses:

● Continue to listen and offer factual information

● If possible, relocate to a quiet location (try to have another person with you whenever possible and always an escape route in mind)

● Provide reassurance

● Make a sincere attempt to clarify concerns

Stage Three: Blame

Warning signs

● Subject places blame for problems on everyone else

● Critical of the actions of others

● Subject may accuse you or hold you responsible

*Here the subject may cross over into potentially hazardous behavior

Helpful Responses

● Disengage with the person and bring a second party into the discussion

● Use a teamwork approach

● Draw the person back to the facts

● Show respect and concern

● Focus on areas of agreement to help resolve the situation

Stage Four: Anger

Warning Signs

● The subject will show a significant change in body posture

● The subject may engage in aggressive behaviors like shouting, screaming, cursing, pointing fingers, pounding with fists, placing hands on head & closing eyes

*Anger behaviors are red flags that your safety may be at risk. Assess your physical safety before continuing to engage.

Helpful Responses

● Don’t argue with the person

● Maintain a safe physical distance and know your escape route

● Don’t offer solutions – rational discussion is over

● Ask the person to leave – be firm, but calm

Stage Five: Hostility

Warning Signs

● Physical action or threats seem about to happen

● There is immediate danger of physical harm or property damage

● Out-of-control behavior shows the subject has crossed the line

Helpful Responses

● Disengage and evacuate the area entirely or to a secure location

● Attempt to isolate the person if it can be done safely (put a barrier between them and you)

● Alert proper authorities and contact your supervisor

The statistics above paint a grim picture of the reality of workplace violence all around us, but awareness of the warning signs is a major step in the right direction. As you approach a person displaying the above warning signs, it is essential to project calm confidence rather than confrontation. Avoid criticizing or lecturing; rather, focus on the feelings, themes, and motivation revealed by the speaker. Fortunately, in the recent Oscars scandal, Chris Rock was able to quickly assess the problem and respond in a de-escalating manner. Sometimes being a hero requires only some empathy and a listening ear.

Drive With Pride; Set Your Cell Phone Aside: How to Avoid Distracted Driving with Mobile Settings

A Preventable Danger

As a driver, you have been given a huge responsibility. Everyone is counting on you to get the goods to the proper destination quickly and safely. You take safety seriously, but even the most experienced drivers can sometimes get distracted. The number one distraction for drivers today? Our cell phones. Even in hand-free mode, multiple studies have shown that drivers could be missing up to half of the visual stimuli around them.

Here’s a disturbing statistic for you. According to the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA), taking your eyes off the road for a single text while traveling 55 MPH is equal to driving with your eyes closed for the length of an entire football field. Imagine your family members and loved ones surrounded by people driving with their eyes closed at high speeds, perhaps even in a large commercial vehicle. Talk about a sobering reminder of the importance of staying focused while driving!

The NHTSA reported that 3,142 people were killed in distracted driving accidents in 2019, accounting for 8.7% of all crash fatalities that year. Because of the high risk involved, handheld devices have been banned for drivers of commercial vehicles since 2011.

To put it simply, multitasking, especially while driving, is a myth. The human mind simply cannot devote equal attention to multiple tasks at the same time. Any task that takes your mind off the road should be avoided if possible. Not only is distracted driving a major safety concern, it also carries hefty penalties, which include the following:

· Up to $2,750 in fines per offense for drivers

· Up to $11,000 in fines for employers who allow or require drivers to use handheld devices

· Possible driver disqualification for repeat offenders

· Negative impact on Safety Measurement System (SMS) results

What actions count as using devices illegally?

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), you may be fined for the following actions:

· Using at least one hand to hold a mobile phone to make a call

· Dialing a mobile phone by pressing more than a single button

· Reaching for a mobile phone in a manner that requires a driver to maneuver so that he or she is no longer in a seated driving position, restrained by a seat belt

Staying in touch while avoiding distracted driving

Now you understand why distracted driving is a problem. But how can you stay in touch for important messages or calls while still maintaining a safe focus on the road? Luckily, your mobile phone can actually help with some special setting features.

For Apple Users:

Set up the Driving Focus to silence or limit messages and other notifications. Just go to Settings, then Focus. Tap the + sign in the upper right-hand corner and select “Driving.” You can customize the Driving Focus feature to allow specific contacts or allow emergency notifications. Through Driving Focus, you can also automatically share with others that your notifications are silenced so your contacts know you are waiting to respond until you safely reach your destination, or choose an auto-reply to let contacts know you are unavailable. Driving Focus can be set up to turn on automatically for a “set it and forget it” option that always keeps your driving free of mobile phone distractions.

For Android Users:

For every phone with Android 9 or newer, users can set up Focus Mode. Go to Settings, then Digital Wellbeing. You can also search “Focus Mode” under Settings. From there, you are presented with a list of distracting apps. You can choose which ones to silence in Focus Mode and which ones to leave active. Focus Mode can also be added to the Quick Settings menu to more easily turn it on and off.

With just a few taps, you can do your part to keep the roads a safer place for all drivers. You can also spread the word about the dangers of distracted driving to other drivers, your friends, and family. As awareness increases, it is our hope at Trillium Driver Solutions that safety increases as well.

More Than 40% of U.S. Workers Suffer From This. Are You One of Them?

As if the holidays weren’t a whirlwind enough on their own, the new year always brings with it a renewed list of projects, tasks and responsibilities no matter what your line of business is. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that more than 40% of U.S. workers are sleep deprived. What’s worse? Nearly 13% of all workplace injuries in the U.S. may be attributed to fatigue. With stats like that, here’s what you need to know to stay safe in the workplace and help your colleagues do the same.

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15% of All Accidental Deaths Start With This

While it’s no shocker that motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of accidental deaths, did you know that something as simple and often times preventable as slips, trips and falls are the second leading cause of accidental death? Unless you work in a Safety or Risk Management role, you probably don’t give a lot of thought to this topic. Here’s why you should.

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The Most Expensive Workplace Injuries

While workplace injuries and illnesses cost employers an estimated $170 billion every year, the costs among them vary greatly. We often hear of companies complaining about the costs of PPE and safety equipment in roles where they don’t suspect the injuries to occur or not understanding the costs of them when they do. Regardless of cost, the important factor is the wellness and safety of the employees.

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How to Halt High Driver Turnover from the Start!

With the Driver shortage as prevalent as ever, a new study by Stay Metrics is showing that new Driver retention is also a huge issue for carriers nationwide. But what could be causing a large percentage of Drivers to jump ship before hitting the 90 day mark?

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Trillium Announces the Acquisition of ESW Staffing in Phoenix, AZ!

René Poch founder and CEO of the Trillium brand of staffing companies, announced the acquisition of Phoenix, AZ based Executemps Southwest Staffing dba ESW Staffing effective September 25, 2018.

ESW Staffing was founded in 1983 and has developed a diverse business portfolio, allowing the organization to become a regional leading provider of hospitality staffing and event staffing services to the Phoenix and Tucson markets. As the area’s longest standing hospitality staffing firm, the former ESW Staffing specializes in staffing large complex events requiring hundreds of credentialed and skilled staff as well as staffing smaller events requiring short term help for private banquets.

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Tis’ the Season for Seasonal Work!

As we have officially entered the Fall season that can only mean one thing, the holidays are just around the corner. With the holiday season comes a whole new opportunity for those of you looking to make a little extra cash! Retailers, wholesalers, distributors, etc. are all looking to increase their workforce during this time of year to help with the influx of demand. But, is a seasonal position right for you?

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It’s Driver Appreciation Week 2018!

Yesterday kicked off Driver Appreciation Week across the country. With E-commerce continually on the rise, there is no more important time than now to thank Drivers and Logistics professionals for their hard work and commitment to getting the job done!

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