Imagine setting and releasing your emergency brake 31,000 times in nine months and that effort requiring 15-28 lbs of pressure each time.
That’s the reality for many school bus drivers after a 2007 state law required them to use the emergency brake each time they stopped. The unintended consequences have been excessive strain to drivers’ wrists, forearms and shoulders.
Bus drivers in the Elma School District are much more fortunate, as their emergency brake systems have been retrofitted with a new toggle brake system. The new system requires 0 lbs. of exerted force; it is installed in addition to the existing brake system.
The school district and Capital Region ESD 113 Workers’ Compensation Trust had noticed an alarming surge in the number of driver hand and wrist injuries. Tom Boling, Elma’s director of maintenance and transportation, and Shop Foreman Dave Howard, pursued the new system and a $4,000 Safety Grant from ESD 113 Workers’ Compensation Trust to jumpstart the transition to the toggle system.
“We are very proud of the work done by Tom Boling and Dave Howard in implementation of this creative retrofitting of this new brake system with a toggle switch,” shares Elma Superintendent Kevin Acuff. “This work will enhance both student safety and on-the-job safety for our drivers.”
The benefits and satisfaction of the new braking system were so high, the district decided to fully fund toggles in all the buses in their district, proactively helping their bus drivers avoid injury.
For more details on the brake button system visit www.safetybrake.com