The holiday season is here, which means that truckers and delivery drivers will be extra busy trying to ensure that merchandise gets to where it needs to be. While it is easy for people to fuss when things aren’t delivered on time or stores are out of something, they should focus on the dangers of this type of work. Unfortunately, these jobs come with serious risks.
For the men and women who have chosen these professions, the benefits are likely what keep them coming back despite the risk of accidents. These incidents can lead to serious injuries or fatalities, so it is imperative that employers ensure their workers have safe working conditions.
The working conditions for these individuals are the biggest hazards they face. Driving around comes with a risk of being involved in a traffic accident. When it comes to truckers, around 78 percent of deaths are caused by these crashes.
On top of driving, the physical demands of the job are rigorous. These workers are often required to lift heavy items. Even if a trailer is being unloaded with equipment, there is a chance that the driver is going to have to push or pull heavy or bulky things, such as containers. Forklifts and other equipment can also cause injuries if someone is crushed or pinned by them.
For drivers who have to deliver packages to homes, pets and wild animals pose a risk. Dog bites are particularly troublesome since they can cause serious injuries that can become infected. Intensive medical care might be required, especially if the animal’s rabies vaccination status isn’t known.
Impacts to the workers
Many types of injuries are possible for truckers and delivery drivers. Many have to do with the musculoskeletal system, which includes the spine, muscles, nerves, joints, tendons and cartilage. These can come from accidents but might also be due to overexertion and cumulative trauma. Even if the trucker or driver isn’t assisting with loading or unloading, simply getting in and out of the truck and having to sit for long periods can lead to trouble.
Injuries can lead to workers having to take time off work. This means a loss of income at a time when they might have increased medical expenses. Workers’ compensation coverage is one way that these individuals may be able to make ends meet. This program covers medical expenses and can provide partial wage replacement if they are off for a prolonged period.