Industry to Mark Trucking Week Under Covid Cloud

TORONTO, Ont. — The industry will observe the National Trucking Week during Sept. 6-12, against the backdrop of Covid-19.

The aim of the annual event is to recognize the contributions made by drivers and others in the Canadian trucking industry, which employs some 400,000 people.

Driver appreciation week(Today’s Trucking Photo File)

“It goes without saying that truck drivers should be celebrated 365 days a year for the invaluable job they do as the backbone of the Canadian economy,” said Marco Beghetto, vice-president of communications at the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA).

“During National Trucking Week, let’s make it a point to at least lend a smile and say thank you to the incredible job these essential workers do every day.”

This year, truckers have won rare public praise for braving Covid-19 to keep the freight moving. The pandemic has, however, made it difficult to hold big events because of health concerns.

Still, many fleets and trucking associations are planning to celebrate drivers.

In Western Canada, the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) and SafetyDriven of British Columbia will hold driver appreciation days.

AMTA volunteers will go to five commercial vehicle inspection stations to hand out goodie bags.

“All Covid-19 protocols will be followed and we will be handing out 2,000 bags in total,” AMTA said.

In British Columbia, SafetyDriven is holding a contest, Share Your Safety, to mark the occasion.

The first National Trucking Week was held some 20 years ago.

In the U.S., the American Trucking Associations will hold a National Truck Driver Appreciation Week during Sept. 13-19.


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Workers Exposed to Common Hazards More Likely to Report their Injuries: IWH Study

Study conducted in B.C., Alberta, Ontario found injury reporting linked to hazard exposure and OHS awareness

Published: August 6, 2020

When people are injured at work, whether they report it to a workers’ compensation board or not is linked to whether they are exposed to a common work hazard.

That’s according to a study conducted in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario by the Institute for Work & Health (IWH), which built upon previous findings about under-reporting of work injuries.

The study shines a light on lower reporting patterns among workers who were injured but who didn’t work in jobs that were typically recognized as hazardous, says IWH Senior Scientist Dr. Peter Smith, lead investigator of the study.

If you think about an office worker who hurts their back lifting a box of documents, this worker could be less likely to report the injury than someone who lifts and carries heavy things regularly as part of their job, he adds.

The study drew on survey results of 2,800 people who worked at least 15 hours a week in one of the three provinces. These workers were asked in November 2017 to June 2018 to complete the OHS Vulnerability Survey, a 27-item IWH tool developed by Smith.

The tool asks workers to indicate if they are exposed at least weekly to one or more of nine common work hazards. These range from heavy lifting and repetitive movements to working at heights and exposure to hazardous substances (see sidebar for the full list of hazards). The tool also asks workers about the adequacy of three dimensions of OHS protection in their workplace—namely, policies and practices, awareness and empowerment.

Of the 326 surveyed workers who said they had been injured in the previous 12 months, 64 per cent said they did not report their injury to a workers’ compensation board. This under-reporting was consistent in all three provinces; little difference in reporting levels was found among them.

Workers who were exposed weekly to one or more of the nine common work hazards were more likely to report their injuries. Among the 271 workers who indicated being exposed, 40 per cent reported their injuries. In comparison, among the 55 workers who did not indicate being exposed to these hazards, only 22 per cent reported their injuries.

While the finding about the degree of under-reporting is consistent with those from other studies, the finding about the role of hazards enriches our understanding of under-reporting, says Victoria Nadalin, an IWH research associate and lead author of the article on this study, published in January 2020 in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine (doi: 10.1002/ajim.23094).

Why are reporting patterns lower among workers who weren’t regularly exposed to common hazards? says Nadalin. That’s something we would need to explore in future studies, but it may have something to do with levels of awareness about the importance of injury reporting.

Indeed, when asked questions related to their awareness of OHS rights and responsibilities, the injured workers with inadequate awareness were less likely to report. Workers with inadequate workplace policies and practices also tended to under-report, but this was not statistically significant. Those with low levels of empowerment (i.e. those who felt they had limited ability to speak up about hazards) were neither more nor less likely to report their injuries than those who felt more empowered.

The research team also found other notable patterns of under-reporting. Although not statistically significant, these patterns included a higher likelihood of under-reporting among women, part-time workers, workers in the education, health and public administration sectors, workers who were not unionized, and workers with higher education (i.e. a post-graduate degree).

The research team noted a number of limitations in the study that should be considered when interpreting the findings. Information on the nature and severity of injury and the length of time off work was not obtained from workers participating in the survey. Previous studies have shown that belief that the injury is not serious is an important reason for workers not reporting injuries to workers’ compensation. Although self-employed workers were excluded from the study sample, other workers may not have been eligible for workers’ compensation coverage. Additionally, some workers may have reported injuries where the contribution of work exposures was minor compared to non-work exposures.

We started this study because we were interested in injury-reporting patterns among workers who were exposed to hazards with inadequate OHS protection—and therefore more likely to have a work-related injury or illness, say Smith. It’s encouraging to see that people most exposed to work hazards are more likely to report their injuries. But it’s also important to note that workers with inadequate OHS awareness were less likely to report injuries. This suggests that, when we are making workers aware of their OHS rights and responsibilities, we should also include information on the right to compensation if they get injured or ill at work.

What does the study consider a common hazard?

The Institute for Work & Health’s OHS Vulnerability Measure used in this study asks workers how often they perform work tasks that may expose them to hazards. Workers are considered exposed to hazards if they:

Experience one of the following every week:
– work involving lifting or carrying 20kg at least 10 times a day;
– work at heights
– greater than two metres;
– work with hazardous substances such as chemicals, flammable liquids, and gases;
– being bullied or harassed at work;

Experience two of the following every week:
– do repetitive movements with their hands or wrists (packing, sorting, assembling, cleaning, pulling, pushing, typing) for at least three hours a day;
– perform work tasks or use work methods they’re not familiar with;
– work in a bent, twisted or awkward work posture;
– work in noise levels that are so high that they have to raise their voice when talking to people less than one metre away;
– stand for more than two hours in a row.


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ICBC: Some Temporary COVID-19 Support Measures to Expire

With Phase 3 of B.C.’s Restart Plan progressing and more British Columbians returning to B.C.’s roads and highways, three of the temporary measures ICBC had introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are now set to expire in the coming weeks.

The B.C. Utilities Commission had approved ICBC implementing the following measures starting April 23 and ending on August 20:

  • waiving of the $30 insurance cancellation charge

  • suspension of fleet vehicle insurance

  • allowance of unlimited deliveries by drivers in non-delivery rate classes

Private passenger vehicles continue to have up to six days per month for delivery use.

Customers are now reinsuring their vehicles at higher than historic levels. Since April 23, 2020, a total of 300,000 new plate policies have been issued for non-fleet customers compared with the approximately 120,000 non-fleet customers who cancelled their insurance policies for the same time period.

As these measures come to an end on August 20, customers are encouraged to talk to their broker to ensure they are properly insured, including those people who are using their vehicle for the delivery of food or medical products and services.

The following measures remain in place at this time, as outlined in regulation:

  • waiving of the $18 re-plating fee

  • waiving of the first knowledge test fee for learner driver’s licence holders whose licence expired during the pandemic

Customers can continue to renew their insurance by phone and email with the help of brokers, and those who are facing financial hardship and who pay for their insurance on a monthly basis still have the ability to defer their payments for up to 90 days with no penalty.

ICBC continues to review its operations to support the safety and well-being of its customers and employees as normal business resumes.


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CVSA Schedules International Roadcheck for Sept. 9-11, Focuses on Driver Requirements

Drivers and/or vehicles found in violation may be rendered out of service and any vehicles found in violation will be restricted from traveling until those violations are corrected.

On March 25, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) postponed its 2020 International Roadcheck due to the growing novel coronavirus pandemic. CVSA has now rescheduled the 72-hour event for Sept. 9-11. This year’s enforcement initiative will focus on the driver requirements component of a roadside inspection.

Last month, CVSA conduced Operation Safe Driver Week, focusing on dangerous behaviors such as speeding, distracted driving, failure to use a seatbelt, following too closely, reckless driving, drunk or drugged driving, and more. CVSA continues its focus on the driver with this year’s event.

According to CVSA, International Roadcheck is a three-day high-volume, high-visibility inspection when CVSA-certified inspectors in North America conduct commercial motor vehicle and driver inspections at weigh or inspection stations, at designated fixed locations or as part of roving mobile patrols. During that time, law enforcement officers will inspect commercial vehicles for compliance with federal regulations as well as use the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria to identify violations.

“Although the coronavirus pandemic, understandably, shifted priorities and personnel during the spring, the commercial motor vehicle law enforcement community has reasserted its focus on the roadside inspection program and enforcement duties,” said CVSA president John Samis.

During 2019’s International Roadcheck, 3.36 million inspections were conducted and 952,938 driver violations were discovered, of which 199,722 were out-of-service conditions, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

“Jurisdictions are nearly back to their pre-pandemic capacity with a strengthened concentration on identifying and removing unfit vehicles and drivers from our roadways using federal safety standards and the out-of-service criteria,” Samis added.

Driver inspection
For the driver portion of an inspection, the inspector will collect and verify the driver’s documents, identify the motor carrier, examine the driver’s license, check record of duty status and review periodic inspection reports, according to CVSA. If applicable, the inspector will check the Medical Examiner’s Certificate, Skill Performance Evaluation Certificate and the driver’s daily vehicle inspection report.

Inspectors will also check drivers for:

– Seat belt usage
– Illness
– Fatigue
– Apparent alcohol or drug possession or impairment

Drivers found to be operating without the proper driver credentials, in possession of or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, operating while ill, fatigued or showing other signs of impairment, or in violation of hours-of-service rules may be placed out of service.

Vehicle inspection
The vehicle portion of an inspection includes checking critical vehicle inspection items such as:

– Brake systems
– Cargo securement
– Coupling devices
– Driveline/driveshaft components
– Driver’s seat (missing)
– Exhaust systems,
– Frames
– Fuel systems
– Lighting devices
– Steering mechanisms
– Suspensions
– Tires
– Van and open-top trailer bodies
– Wheels, rims and hubs
– Windshield wipers

If an inspector discovers critical violations during an inspection, the vehicle will be rendered out of service, meaning that vehicle will be restricted from traveling until those violations are corrected.


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Brake Safety Week is Set for Aug. 23-29

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) Brake Safety Week will proceed as scheduled, Aug. 23-29.

Enforcement officials will inspect commercial motor vehicles throughout the week and vehicles found to have critical out-of-service brake violations, or other critical vehicle out-of-service inspection item violations, will be restricted from traveling until those violations are corrected. Vehicles that pass eligible inspections may receive a passed-inspection CVSA decal.

Checking brake system components is always part of the roadside inspection process; however, inspectors will be paying special attention to brake hoses/tubing during this year’s Brake Safety Week to highlight the importance of those components to vehicle mechanical fitness and safety.

The brake systems on commercial motor vehicles are comprised of components that work together to slow and stop the vehicle, and brake hoses/tubing are essential for the proper operation of those systems. Brake hoses/tubing must be properly attached, undamaged, without leaks and appropriately flexible. Brake hoses/tubing are an important part of the braking system so when they do fail, they can cause problems for the entire braking system.

During last year’s International Roadcheck inspection and enforcement initiative, brake system and brake adjustment violations accounted for 45.1% of all out-of-service conditions. That’s more than any other vehicle violation category. And during last year’s Brake Safety Week, 13.5% of the commercial motor vehicles inspected had brake-related vehicle inspection item violations and were placed out of service.

Brake Safety Week is part of law enforcement’s effort to reduce brake-related crashes by conducting roadside inspections and identifying and removing unsafe commercial motor vehicles from roadways.

“Despite the pandemic, commercial motor vehicle safety inspectors continue to prioritize vehicle and driver safety by conducting inspections every day,” said CVSA President Sgt. John Samis with the Delaware State Police. “Safety is always our top priority and it’s our mission to ensure the vehicles on our roadways have met all safety standards and regulations. This is especially important as we rally behind truck drivers as they transport essential goods during this public health crisis. We need to do everything we can to ensure that the vehicles truck drivers are driving are as safe as possible.”

In addition to CVSA’s Brake Safety Week, August is also Brake Safety Awareness Month. Along with inspections and enforcement, law enforcement agencies also engage in outreach and awareness efforts to educate drivers, motor carriers, mechanics, owner-operators and others on the importance of proper brake maintenance, operation and performance.

“Brakes are one of the most important systems in a vehicle,” added Sgt. Samis. “Failure of any component of a brake system could be catastrophic. Routine brake system inspections and component replacement are vital to the safety of commercial motor vehicles.”

Brake Safety Week is part of CVSA’s Operation Airbrake program, in partnership with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators.


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ICBC & Police Warn Impaired Drivers Ahead of Long Weekend

This B.C. Day long weekend, our roads will be busy with some British Columbians choosing to travel throughout the province for a getaway and others visiting local parks and restaurants. No matter what your plans are, if you plan to drink, don’t drive.

Police will be setting up CounterAttack roadchecks across the province to get impaired drivers off our roads. If you’re caught driving impaired, you could end up paying in a number of lasting ways – from increased insurance premiums to fines, car impoundment or even jail time.

On average, four people are killed and 620 people injured in 2,200 crashes across the province over the B.C. long weekend.*

5 ways to stay safe on your road trip:
1. If you’re away from home, you may not be familiar with all of the options available to get home safely after you’ve had a few drinks. Check your options such as taxis, ride sharing, transit or shuttle services before you head out and save the information into your cell phone so you can relax knowing you have a plan to get home safely.

2. Most crashes on B.C. Day long weekend occur on Friday so plan to leave on Thursday or Saturday morning if possible to avoid traffic congestion and possible delays. You should also make sure you get a good night’s sleep to avoid getting fatigued behind the wheel. Plan your route on and include rest breaks or switch drivers every two hours.

3. Do a pre-trip check and check your engine oil, coolant levels and lights, and inspect your vehicle tires, including the spare, to make sure they’re in good condition and properly inflated. Make sure any camping or outdoor equipment is securely tied down to your vehicle before you take off.

4. Summer means more motorcyclists on our roads so it’s vital to scan as you approach an intersection. Be ready to yield the right-of-way when turning left and keep in mind that it can be hard to tell how fast motorcyclists are travelling.

5. Be patient with R.V. drivers if they’re travelling below the speed limit in mountainous areas as they’re likely going uphill as fast as they can. If you’re driving your RV this weekend, be courteous and pull over when it’s safe to do so to let others by. This is much safer than a driver making an unsafe pass out of frustration.

Regional statistics*:
Over the B.C. day long weekend, on average, 420 people are injured in 1,400 crashes in the Lower Mainland every year.

Over the B.C. Day long weekend, on average, 94 people are injured in 380 crashes in the Southern Interior every year.

Over the B.C. Day long weekend, on average, 26 people are injured in 130 crashes in North Central B.C. every year.

Over the B.C. Day long weekend, on average, 75 people are injured in 330 crashes on Vancouver Island every year.

*Five year annual average. Crash and injury data is ICBC data (2015 to 2019). Fatality data is police data (2014 to 2018). B.C. Day long weekend is calculated from 18:00 the Friday prior to B.C. Day to midnight on B.C. Day.


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All Border Crossings to Collect Personal contact details from truck drivers

TORONTO, Ont. – All Canada-U.S. ports of entry will be collecting personal contact information from truck drivers beginning July 30, completing the rollout of a program meant to support contact tracing efforts in the fight against Covid-19.

The Ontario Trucking Association reports that some delays and queues emerged when the process was first introduced earlier this month, but the personal information only needs to be collected once and does not need to be re-entered during subsequent border crossings.

Truck drivers are being encouraged to enter the required information in the federal government’s ArriveCAN app before arriving at the border, reducing the need for border services officers to enter the data in primary inspection lines.

The required information includes contact information and self-reported symptoms, although truck drivers must provide the information regardless of whether they are demonstrating symptoms of Covid-19.

The process applies to anyone crossing the border who is exempt from 14-day quarantine requirements.


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Extensive New ICBC Data Available to Public Online

British Columbians can now access comprehensive new data, quickly and easily, as part of ICBC’s commitment to increase transparency, with extensive crash and vehicle population data available on

Find out more.


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New Planning Tool Simplifies Regional Truck Navigation

NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. – TransLink and the Government of British Columbia are releasing the Truck Route Planner, an online tool to help commercial vehicle operators plan their trips. This tool is the first of its kind in Canada to plan truck routes with a holistic picture of the region’s commercial vehicle network.

To use the Truck Route Planner, truck operators input the dimensions of their vehicle with their desired destination and starting point to find the optimum route for their vehicle. The Truck Route Planner suggests optimum routes based on:

  • The operator’s vehicle dimensions
  • Municipal bylaws
  • Height clearances
  • Bridge weight load limits
  • Major road closures on truck routes

The tool also has COVID-19 information such as open businesses and facilities. Operators can see washrooms and parking locations specifically designated for commercial vehicle drivers, as well as restaurants and hotels that are open to the public.

The Truck Route Planner is a pre-trip planning tool, it is not designed to provide real-time directions. Operators are asked to not use the tool while driving. Operators of oversize or overweight vehicles on provincial highways should not use this tool, and instead plan their route using other provincial resources such as:

Identified as a priority in the 2017 regional goods movement strategy, the Truck Route Planner was developed with support from municipalities, the BC Trucking Association, and the Greater Vancouver Urban Freight Council. The Government of British Columbia and TransLink will continuously monitor and update the Truck Route Planner to provide the best available wayfinding information.

The app is free to use at


Honourable Anne Kang, Minister of Citizens’ Services

“We are grateful for truck operators and the invaluable service they provide, giving people access to the food, gas, building supplies, technology and other goods they need, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s why my ministry worked closely with TransLink to provide the technology that made this app possible. This online tool makes truck operators’ jobs easier and safer in and around Metro Vancouver and will help keep our provincial economy moving.”

Sany Zein, TransLink VP of Infrastructure Management and Engineering

“This new online tool will make it easier for truck operators across the region to plan their trips in accordance with varying municipal regulations. I’m proud that this industry-leading technology will benefit the BC economy by making it easier to transport goods throughout Metro Vancouver.”

Dave Earle, BC Trucking Association President & CEO

“The Truck Route Planner supports trucking companies in finding safe, viable routes for goods movement in Metro Vancouver, taking some of the guesswork and frustration out of their operations. We were extremely pleased to work with TransLink on the BETA version of this tool and appreciate their vision and that of the Province of BC in undertaking its development and prioritizing efficient goods movement for the region.”

More information:
Link to Truck Route Planner


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New Anti-Harassment and Violence Obligations for Federally Regulated Fleets

Many fleets in our employer community have been following developments surrounding Bill C-65 – a piece of federal legislation that amends the Canada Labour Code by introducing new guidelines on how harassment and violence can be prevented in the workplace, and how to address it if and when it occurs. While Bill C-65 received Royal Assent in 2018, specifics surrounding employer obligations and compliance timelines remained to be confirmed. But as per recent updates, there is now new information surrounding detailed requirements that federally regulated employers will have to meet.

On June 24, 2020, the federal government published the Work Place Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations. The new framework will apply to the federally regulated private sector as of January 1st, 2021. Transportation companies that provide international and interprovincial services are regulated by the federal government and are therefore subject to these updates.

New rules will thus soon come into effect that will increase employers’ responsibilities in matters of workplace health and safety. The new Regulations set a framework of obligations centered on three elements: the prevention of workplace harassment and violence, the delivery of a timely and effective response to incidents, and the provision of support for affected employees. Based on these three pillars, the new Regulations bring changes in the following main areas:

  • Workplace harassment and violence prevention policy
    • Employers will be required to make available a workplace harassment and violence prevention policy that aligns with new Regulatory requirements.
  • Workplace assessments
    • Employers will have to conduct assessments that identify risks of harassment and violence in the workplace and implement preventative measures to protect the workplace from these risks.
  • Emergency procedures
    • Employers will be required to develop emergency procedures to be followed in situations where an occurrence of harassment and violence poses and immediate danger to the health and safety of an employee(s).
  • Training
    • Employers will be required to identify and develop harassment and violence training and ensure it is delivered to all members of the organization, including to employers themselves but also to employees, and to the designated recipient of harassment and violence complaints in the workplace. Training will need to align to specific guidelines proposed under the Regulations, and will be delivered once every three years, including in the onboarding of new employees.
  • Support measures
    • Employers will be required to make information available regarding support services that employees may access should they experience an incident of workplace harassment and violence.
  • Resolution process
    • Employers will be required to respond to every notification of an occurrence of harassment and violence in their workplace, but also to structure their response around a more detailed web of specific requirements (including prescribed timelines, processes, and procedures).
  • Records and reports
    • Employers will be required to keep records relating to harassment and violence in their workplace. They will also be required to submit annual reports to the Minister, as well as report on any fatalities that occur as a result of workplace harassment and violence.

It is clear from the above that the new Regulations will require major adjustments to policies, programs, and processes for many employers. Given new requirements, it is important for both employers and employees to understand the nature of these changes and how it will impact them and their workplace.

Trucking HR Canada is committed to providing trucking sector-specific resources to support the needs of the industry in adapting to these new changes. Central amongst these tools will be a bilingual suite of online and in-person training modules for employers, employees, and designated recipients of workplace harassment and violence complaints. Pamphlets that clarify employer and employee rights and obligations will also be made available, in addition to other forthcoming resources centered on best practices in workplace anti-harassment and violence. These supports will be made available in time for the January 2021 entry into force of the Regulations – follow our website and social media channels to find out more.


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