Survival Tips

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by scratch, Jan 1, 2006.

  1. scratch

    scratch Least Best Moderator Staff Member

    There is no doubt that anyone who works in an hourly position has an extremely physical job. I was wondering if the Retirees and "Old-timers" out there could share some tips on how to make it to the younger folks.

    We are taught Safe Work Methods, HABITS Training, Space and Visibility, etc;but what is some simple advice that is not discussed much? In my opinion, safety and "working at a brisk pace" don't mix too well, its easy to make mistakes. When I first started with this company three decades ago, the weight limit was fifty pounds per package. Now to be competitive, we handle larger packages up to three times the weight. The Surgeon that sewed up both of my hernias, stated that the Human Body is designed to handle fifty pounds. It seems that we are pushed to do more and more. TP60s, PAS, Industrial Engineering seems to think that we are machines that can go faster and do more. We are only human, and we have limits.

    Over the years, I've had co-workers who have suffered neck, shoulder, back, knees, ankle, and feet injuries. I'm hoping that the following advice and tips from others will help us make it to Pension Age without being in a walker.

    In no particular order:

    1. The old lift with your legs and not your back. Your leg muscles are the strongest ones in your body, the back muscles are among the weakest. Squat down, hold package close to your body, lift with legs. Use Handtrucks or get help whenever possible.

    2. Get Rest. Your body needs at least eight hours rest to repair itself at night. Your brain needs sleep too. Try not to eat a couple of hours before bedtime. Take your Lunch Hour, you need it.

    3. Watch what you eat. You need good food in you to function. We burn a lot of calories, eat a good breakfast to start your day.

    4. Some warmup exercise before work will loosen up your body so you don't strain it so bad. Examples: walking, stretching, isometrics, etc.

    5.Proper footwear. Wear good workshoes or boots that will support your feet and ankles. The tennis shoes may be comfortable, but are a poor choice in the longrun.

    6.Bad dogs. Dogs are by nature pack animals. Most of them that will bite will try to get behind you and bite at your heel to bring you down. My experience is to speak to them in a stern voice and face them, don't ever turn your back toward them. Walk backward to the truck if need be, use the package or DIAD to protect yourself as a last resort.

    7. Don't smoke,or drink too much in your personal time. Personally, I can function better Monday if I leave the adult beverages alone Sunday.
    Its okay to party sometimes,just don't overdo it. Your Family will appreciate you more too.

    8.Learn to enjoy life. Exercise your mind, get involved in your community and make a difference. Help people less fortunate. There is more to life than just making money.
  2. DS

    DS Fenderbender

    Always remember your space cushion, and when it comes to COD`s do it right the first time.Make sure you get your full break or paid for it if not.
    Dont punch anyone in the face.Keep in touch with your center to let them know if you were overdispatched with air...or just stops...CYA...
  3. canteenboy

    canteenboy New Member

    Thank you for the tips and encouragement. It's very easy to slack on safety. The management makes a great impression about safety the first week but after that you are really on your own. I work as an unloader/sorter in an air facility. One of my goals is to always get help on any over 70 lbs. Do you have any tips to avoid getting a hernia? It sounds very painful and not something I want to happen or deal with.
  4. mike1646

    mike1646 Active Member

    It's not easy to keep up and not get hurt.
  5. 30andout

    30andout New Member

    Always think before you act, feel out heavy pkgs and attack them the best way possible, they can hurt you. Also keep your cool don't get pissed off and kick or throw things(of course I never have) your just likely to hurt yourself.:w00t:
  6. outta hours

    outta hours Active Member

    Never allow yourself to be pressured by mgmnt. to reach performance goals,or numbers. Those are their numbers that they can change anytime they want. I have seen many drivers injured by trying to make up time by taking shorcuts and driving too fast. Just this peak we had late air one day and left the building late. It was a real cluster getting out of the hub. One driver tried to squeeze his way out and hit a phone poll in 2nd gear. He destroyed the poll and the front of his p1300. All because he was in a hurry. It's not worth it. Work at a brisk steady pace. And realize that somedays it just doesn't come off no matter how fast you go. Be safe and watch out for yourself because no one else will. UPS will not stand behind you when you screw up by working or driving unsafely.
  7. over9five

    over9five Moderator Staff Member

    Along the same line...

    REPORT ALL INJURIES!!! Anything that might grow worse over time, EVEN if you feel it may be better tomorrow. Just because you report an injury DOES NOT mean you have to see a doctor. But you will be on record if it should get worse.
    ALSO have an exact time and place where it happened. I.E. if your shoulder hurt and became worse through the day, pick a time and place you first felt it.(if you're not sure, MAKE ONE UP!)

    DON'T let them pressure you into not reporting injuries. Your career and future are very much at stake here. If you don't report an injury the day it happens (because you feel it will get better tomorrow), and it gets worse, THEY CAN DENY WORKERS COMP.

    Think first about yourself, your family, and your future. Report that injury!
  8. UPSmeoff

    UPSmeoff Active Member

    All i have to do to stay safe is think about my buddy who used to be a driver. Seeing his xrays with 8 screws and 2 metal plates holding his back together really slows me down and makes me think before i do something stupid.
    Ive said it before and i'll say it again,...UPS does not care about have to consciencely make an effort for you and your family to stay safe.
  9. toonertoo

    toonertoo Most Awesome Dog Staff Member

    #5 of scratch king is definetely one we overlook. I always wear steel toe, but my buddies make fun of me for it. But I was delivering a door for a safe, (didnt know what it was at the time) and it slid through the bottom, and I would have had badly damaged if not amputated toes, had I not had the protection. You can get lightweight ones.
    My Rockies gave out the week of peak this yr,(4th season on them) and not having the time to go get a new pair, I tried to slide through with a pair of PAC boots, cheap ones. My feet still hurt, especially the ball of my right foot. We all hate to spend the money, but your feet gotta feel good, and you have to take care of them.
    And all the other tips are great. Work as quickly as you safely can, and when there are impedements to your day, there just are...dont take chances. The numbers do not show what we do, if you make it through every day without an injury or accident, and customers are served to the best of our ability, and you did the best you could, you did a good job, period.
    #6 about the dogs is the one I most carefully observe. Once you have been attacked it will mar you forever. Everytime I hear a jingle of a collar, I cringe. I always hold the screen door shut with my foot, and I tell the people who come to the door and leave it wide open when they come out on the porch that I do not want to meet the dog. I have gotten to where I will ask the people, "do you even think about that dog coming out when you open the door?" I had one tell me he didnt care if it bit me, but he didnt want him getting loose. Ive seen them loose dragging logging chains around their neck , and their doghouses, so telling me its tied it will be OK, is not sufficient if its near the entrance. I just sit outside and toot the horm if I know the owners are not responsible. And they can go to the building and get their box.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2006
  10. retired2000

    retired2000 Active Member

    just do the best you can from day to day. do not let the numbers get to you. report all injuries no matter how small. keep you machinic on your side. you never know when you may need a bit of paint.:w00t:
  11. scratch

    scratch Least Best Moderator Staff Member

    canteenboy: Do you have any tips to avoid getting a hernia? It sounds very painful and not something I want to happen or deal with.

    Yes, I do have some advice on how to prevent hernias. Both of mine occured when I didn't have my body positioned to properly handle what I was doing at the time. Keep your feet properly positioned, lift with legs, not your back, keep load close to your body, and don't twist at the waist.

    My first one happened about 1988. I was working on a warehouse route driving a P1000. The Pickup account was a chemical plant that shipped about two pallets of 50-60 lb. boxes a day. I was standing in the rear section stacking boxes the shipping clerk was handing me. I almost fell in the floor from the pain that occurred when the muscles in my abdomible wall tore. After about ten minutes, I felt fine. I made the major mistake of not filing a report with the Center Manager that night. About a week later, I noticed a bulge on the left side groin area where my small intestine was pushing through the tear.
    I tried to file Workers Comp but was denied. Hernias are internal injuries that are very difficult to prove where they happen. The Teamster Business Agent told me if I sued UPS, I would have a 90% chance of losing the case, plus I would be stuck with attorney fees. I missed eight weeks of work, the only money I got was the Vacation Pay that my Center Manager got for me by changing the Vacation Schedule.
    I bid on a residential area a year later. Unfortunately, I had the first "Super Wally World" that I have ever seen, delivering to it first thing in the morning.
    It got about 100 packages a day, and one morning my right side groin got jealous and ripped open. I now have matching scars. The pain this time was very minor, went right away. Being the hard-headed person I am, I didn't report this either. Same results from the Company. Now I work in a different area, the only bulk stops I make now is when one of my "QVC Queens" gets a pile of boxes. Be careful out there and report any pains and strains you get!
  12. guzzi71

    guzzi71 Can do it when I get around to it.

    Never be the first,never be the fastest and never volunteer.
    You can only be super driver for so long,time catches up with us all. If you plan making a career of this, a safe pace will get you there.Always call for help with over 70lb pkgs,if no one shows notify the center using your diad not the cell phone that you pay for.
  13. diesel96

    diesel96 Well-Known Member

    During peak week, the time deadline for air packages were pushed back in our area and not necessarily guaranteed. Has this occurred in other centers around the country or is it just our area with an influx of snowbirds and dual homeownership?
  14. crazyeyes

    crazyeyes Member

    Stretching and Flexibility are very important, try and stretch everyday, I make it part of my pretrip when I start work. Don’t be overweight, and one thing that saved me, at least 2 times, learn how to fall .without getting hurt.
  15. Leftinbuilding

    Leftinbuilding Active Member

    Think "smooth", rather than "fast". Making this a conscience goal can also break up the monotony of the day until "smooth" becomes a habit. As much as possible, keep load organized. Almost every route starts the day looking like a jumbled mess. As soon as you clear out some of the bulk, take a minute to see what ya got. This can help avoid "going back". (Nothing drove me crazier) Having a "professional" attitude will help avoid stress. Be confident, courteous and calm with your customers, even when you are a whirling dervish on the inside. I practised these things and had more than one supe tell me I was the smoothest they had ever ridden with. The supe that trained me stressed these points. I don't think drivers are taught this anymore. Take pride in knowing you did a good job, even if no one else seems to notice. Right or wrong UPS expects a professional job every day and doesn't see the need to "burp" the immature among us. Take personal pride and you will survive.
  16. Remember that they are just packages. NO delivery is worth your health or an accident. You can always make the delivery tomorrow. Let management worry, it is their job to worry not ours. Keep your supervisor aware of what is going on. Let them make the decisions, it is their job.
  17. Steward773

    Steward773 Active Member

    GREAT THREAD ! Well said by everyone who posted. All the newer hires that read this ......... use all this information to your benefit. The job will never be easy, but you can make it more manageable. Always remember.... your not only working safe for yourself, your working safe for your family.:tongue_sm
  18. The Brown Santa

    The Brown Santa Ping Pong Ball

  19. helenofcalifornia

    helenofcalifornia Well-Known Member

    Because if you do punch someone in the face this is one way that you can be fired. Not many ways you can be fired for sure from UPS, but this is definitely one of them. Pulling a gun or knife on someone is another. Stealing another. A big one. Have integrity if you work at UPS.
  20. longlunchguy

    longlunchguy Runnin on Empty

    GO SLOW:wink:MAKE DOUGH:thumbup1: