Avoiding Work Injuries as a Truck Driver
As one would imagine, the more time spent on the road, the higher the odds of being involved in a traffic accident. The trucking industry is an important one in our country and truck drivers play a key role in it. But there are certain hazards that come with this job that can put the health and safety of drivers at risk.
Collisions and other issues with the job of a truck driver can leave drivers with a host of different injuries and issues that may have long-lasting and even lifetime effects. Some of these may include:
- Broken bones – These can take weeks or even months to fully heal, and in some situations may require surgery.
- Back injuries – Injuries to the back can lead to long-term chronic pain or even paralysis.
- Concussions – These can have serious consequences and can lead to cognitive issues, vision problems, light and noise sensitivity, dizziness, and memory loss, to name a few.
- Shoulder injuries – These can include rotator cuff tears, either from an accident or from loading and unloading the truck.
- Strains and sprains – These are the most common issues resulting from loading and unloading the truck.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – People who have experienced a traumatic situation can feel the effects long after the incident occurred. Anyone who has either been involved in a major accident or witnessed a fatality from a motor vehicle accident can leave people with PTSD, which can completely debilitate a person and can even cause them to have suicidal tendencies.
But is there a way to avoid such horrific situations from occurring in the first place? In some situations, there may be. Consider taking the following into consideration.
Take Breaks to Rest
Truck drivers are often on the road for hours and hours, often driving through the night. But while they might be on a tight schedule to get their haul to its final destination, nothing should come before the health and safety of the driver and those around them.
Driving while overly tired or even falling asleep at the wheel can compromise a driver’s ability to drive safely. If you’re starting to feel tired, be sure to pull over and take a break to rest up and re-energize before taking to the open road again.
Overuse injuries can often be made worse if the driver is not physically conditioned for the job. Soft tissue injuries and sore muscles can result if the proper time isn’t taken to stretch the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. As such, take a few minutes out of your day each day to stretch before, during, and after your drives.
On days off, consider getting into a regular exercise regimen to strengthen your muscles and condition them so that they’re less prone to injury. A stronger body will be better able to haul all the heavy items that are typically required of a truck driver and may be able to reduce the risk of injury.
Use Proper Form
When lifting heavy items, be sure to use the muscles in your legs rather than your back. To do this, be sure to keep your upper body upright and bend at the knees to use your leg muscles to do the heavy lifting. Further, avoid forcing your muscles to get the job done which will just increase the odds of injury. And if something is too heavy to lift on your own, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Use a Brace
When lifting heavy objects, consider using a back brace to support your muscles and avoid injury. Further, use a mechanical lift to take some of the load off your back.
Ensure a Clear Loading Area
To prevent unnecessary slips and falls, be sure that the loading area you’re working in is free and clear of any debris or slippery substances that could pose a hazard.
There are things you can do to avoid injury while on the job as a truck driver, but there are many instances that are out of your control. If you find yourself suffering with issues such as concussions, back injuries, shoulder injuries, or PTSD, you should reach out for help to seek compensation for any damages suffered. At Robinson Law, Paula specializes in workers’ compensation law and can help you get the benefits you deserve.