UPS drivers all about safety

A small army of United Parcel Service trucks leaves the Marquette UPS Center to serve Marquette and Alger counties on a daily basis.

When delivering a package or envelope to customers, UPS is looking to do so not only in a timely manner but also in the safest manner.

“Probably ten percent of what we do is basically delivery, the other ninety percent is how we deliver it safely, how we drive safe, and how we take pride in our safety records,” Patty Schewmin, a UPS driver said.

“The drivers ultimately have to make their good decisions, we can’t get stuck, we can’t have crashes or injuries, because that really would put a damper in our day,” Jim St. Onge, Supervisor of the Marquette UPS Center said.  “With the weather the way it is, and the drivers I have, they make good decisions every day.”

Once the truck is in park, drivers are very careful when entering and exiting a vehicle.  It’s a reminder that safety is always on their mind.

“Anytime we’re entering or exiting the the vehicle there’s always a three point of contact,” Schewmin said.  She explained that drivers have to have contact with a step, and on both sides of the door.  “You always have to have have three point contact entering and exiting the vehicle, and that’s to prevent slips and falls.”

Safety is not only a habit for UPS drivers, it’s a way of life.  UPS drivers must follow a regular list of safety procedures.  Those include: backing out only when necessary, continuously tap the horn while backing up, count to three before putting the truck in motion when stopped in traffic, and finally, expect the unexpected.

“Safety is the key to running this company,” Schewmin said.  “Everything we do, there’s probably ten ways do to it safe.”

Schewmin is closing in on 25 years of safe driving.  For UPS drivers, that means joining rare company in the Circle of Honor.

“It’s a very elite group,” St. Onge said.  “To be on the road every day, all the hours they put in, the weather….Other people on the road are also a big factor, it’s not just the drivers who are out there.  They have to watch out for the other people who are not driving safe.”

If Schewmin continues her safe driving habits, she will reach that honor within the year.