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How many think ANSI Rated Vests or Shirts are Important?

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It only takes a few seconds and no driver should have to wear the darn things 24/7.


Well, for those that wear the proper PPE shirts. Keep your shirts on....

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OK ... I'll play. I believe reflective vests or uniforms differentiate tow operators as on-scene workers, not just a motorist, other lookie Lou, or someone not involved in tow, load, rescue or recovery. Because the industry has identified them as PPE, wearing them becomes an insurance requirement or that of a law enforcement contract.


The requirment is obvious in California's CHP rotation contract for tow truck drivers, the "Tow Service Agreement" says, "Tow Operators shall wear appropriate warning garments (e.g., vests, jackets, shirts, retroreflective clothing) during daylight and hours of darkness in accordance with Code of Title 8, Section 1598 CCR. If the tow truck driver is working on a Federal-aid highway, the operator shall comply with the guidelines contained in the Federal Code of Regulations, Title 23, Highways, Chapter 1, Federal Highway Administration, Department of Transportation, Part 634, Worker Visibility, which requires high-visibility personal protective safety clothing to be worn that meets the Performance Class 3 requirements of the ANSI/ISEA 107-2004.


While wearing either doesn't offer physical protection, they do make tow operators more visible AND OSHA and MUTCD complaint during nightime operations. They aren't an iron shield, but become one of those false senses to one's security. I believe they offer great value to the wearer's visibility especially when working in extreme weather like blizzards, heavy fog and torrential rain. So, when a tower is on-scene involved as that "pedestrian worker", what will OSHA or an insurance provider have to say if the tower is struck, injured or killed without wearing a vest? Hot or not ... I require my operators to wear them when in-process of tow, recovery and training events.      R.

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Randall C. Resch

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  • 3 weeks later...

The failure, as well as the negative attitude towards safety that permeates this industry leaves me shaking my head. Do you people not value your lives? You as an operator are ultimately responsible for your safety. You as an operator control the scene. I asked a StateTrooper some years ago to block off a lane for me. He refused to do so. I just replied, "okay" and then proceeded to pack up all my stuff. He was  busy filling out his paperwork, and did not realize I was leaving until I was already packed up and pulling away. Without the casualty. He asked me where I was going. I informed him I was going home. I had endured a very bad day and was not about to play reindeer games.  Traffic was backed up for miles on the interstate.  Not my problem. His problem. I left him there. We wound up having a sit down with his commander. We got everything settled. I mitigated the risk by walking away. Crashes are like Lay's potato chips. There is always another, and they will always make more. 

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