Long-distance truckers are in more demand than ever, thanks to the “aging out” of older drivers and consumers who increasingly use online shopping platforms. Trucking can, however, be a dangerous profession — and not just because of the risk of an accident.
In fact, 50% of the work-related injuries suffered by truckers can be attributed to strains and sprains. A strained back from overexertion or lifting heavy boxes can take months to heal properly. A sprain can occur from a slip and fall or just having a bad grip on an object. Repetitive motion injuries are also a type of strain injury that is common among truckers.
The majority of the $107 million in costs and 576,000 lost workdays each year suffered by truck drivers occur when a truck driver is opening the doors to a shipping container or working with the connections to his or her trailer. On average, an injured trucker will lose 184 days of work.
Part of the problem is that the profession requires drivers to spend long hours in their seat. They tend to have a relatively poor diet while on the road and don’t get much exercise. This makes their bodies ill-prepared for the intermittent lifting, stacking, bending and carrying that they do on stops.
Plus, the threat of an accident while driving is always quite real. The driver doesn’t have to make a mistake to end up in a rollover if a badly loaded cargo suddenly shifts or the weather turns foul.
If you’re a truck driver who has been injured in a work-related accident, make sure that you understand your right to compensation and seek help, if you need it, for your claim.