Champion Roofing Co. was a small, young, thriving roofing contracting company. Its employees were dedicated, and Jack, the company's owner, was determined to ensure his workers' safety on job sites. He was proud of his company's record of no serious accidents or injuries.
One morning, Jack asked Robert, a Champion Roofing employee, to drive a pickup truck across town and pick up two pallets containing about 1,600 pounds (726 kg) of single-ply adhesive from a supplier. Jack knew Robert was a good driver with a valid driver's license. Because the adhesive Robert was going to transport was considered a hazardous material, Robert and Jack checked the truck to make sure the proper hazardous-material placards were in place. After they completed their check, Robert eased into traffic and headed to pick up the materials.
A short time later, Robert arrived at the supplier's warehouse where the materials were waiting. Once the pallets were loaded onto the back of the pickup truck, Robert took the shipping papers and headed back to the job site.
On the way, rain began to fall and traffic slowed. Suddenly, the car ahead of Robert came to an abrupt stop. He reacted quickly, but his truck still bumped into the car. Robert got out of the truck as the other driver got out of his vehicle. The driver was angry, and the two surveyed the damage.