TRIB Gets Certified with TIA
This week has been Tire Safety Week in the US and I thought it was a good time to highlight the recent Commercial Tire Service Training program I went through with the Tire Industry Association (TIA) in Baltimore, Maryland. This 4-day program is designed for experienced tire service employees with at least one year of hands-on experience. The first day of training was focused on attendees (including myself) that have less hands-on experience in working with tires. This smaller group of trainees was out in the shop most of the day mounting and demounting tires, working on jacking and lifting, working with various types of wheel systems, and completing tire repairs. I have a whole new appreciation for the hard work involved in working with commercial truck tires. The experts I've seen working with tires in retread shops and repair facilities have always made it look like a fast and relatively easy process, but after struggling with tires and wheels over the course of the day I know that's not the case.
For the next two days of training, the class size grew as more experienced technicians joined us and we quickly alternated between the classroom watching videos covering different subjects, having class discussions, taking pre-tests to gauge our knowledge, and going back out in the shop to observe and discuss proper procedures for all aspects of tire service. My kids were curious about dad going to school again and over dinner we discussed what I was learning. As I said to them and as I said to TIA after the class, the one overwhelming takeaway I had from the class is this: there are lots of ways to injure or kill yourself working on commercial truck tires. Before the class, I was well aware of the dangers of inflating tires and the importance of using safety cages and staying clear of the blast trajectory, but I didn't realize how dangerous other parts of tire service were. According to an OSHA study from 2010-2014, 55% of tire-related deaths occurred when the vehicle fell on an employee and another 20% of fatalities were related to rollover accidents while someone was working under the vehicle.
The other thing I found surprising was the number of times I heard from attendees, "That's not the way we do it." when we were discussing a variety of proper procedures during the class and in the shop. These comments often came from technicians that had been working in the industry for decades. So, even if you have technicians in your shop with years of experience, I would encourage them to get their TIA certification to protect themselves and your company.
The course is well-organized and the materials provided are top-notch, whether it's the professionally produced videos, the well-structured training guide, and the various reference materials that are included in the package. If your company is not taking advantage of these resources, you should be. As TIA's motto states: "Tire Safety Starts Here" and your employees' safety should start with TIA.