Common Workplace Injuries for Truck Drivers
Truckers face more injuries than those in any other occupation. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a list of the most common trucker injuries, in the order of their frequency, which is:
- Back strains and joint sprains
- Broken bones
- Lacerations (cuts)
- Muscle and joint soreness
- Chronic pain
- Repetitive movement injuries include carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, or tendinitis.
- Multiple traumatic injuries from traffic accidents
Back strains and joint sprains are the number one injury reported by OSHA, accounting for 50% of all truckers’ injuries.
The causes of injuries are also ranked by OSHA, with these causes being the top five:
- Having contact with an object
- Being hit by an object
- Falling from the same level, such as from a ladder.
- Traffic accidents
A three-year study found that truck drivers had more fatalities than all other jobs, which accounted for 12% of all workers’ deaths. Around two-thirds of the truckers who died on the job did so in a traffic accident, usually on the highway.
Unsafe driving by other drivers was the main contributing factor that caused truck accidents. The trucking industry associations suggest that more public awareness of how vehicles can safely share the road with commercial trucks is needed.
Another factor that the study found was the second major cause of truck accidents is exceeding the speed limit. Excessive speed could be the trucker’s fault, the other driver(s) involved in the accident, or both.
Truck drivers have more non-fatal injuries when compared to all other occupations. This problem is because they are often overworked. Some do double-duty as the driver and then handle the loading and unloading of the transported items.
Many truck drivers experience serious strains and sprains caused by unloading their trucks. Improper use of a forklift is also a cause of truckers’ injuries.
On-the-job injuries are increasing for truckers, including women, representing about 17.6% of the reported trucker injuries.
Tips for Truckers to Prevent Workplace Injuries
Truckers benefit by taking the time to do a stretching routine before starting and taking breaks that include stretching.
Eating a high-protein diet, low in carbohydrates, helps a trucker maintain muscle mass.
While driving, truckers should avoid distractions such as using a cell phone or playing loud music. If fatigue starts to come, pull over and take a break or a longer rest as needed.
Most of all, when lifting heavy objects, do this correctly. Lower the body down to lift using the legs, not bending over and using the back. Wear a hernia belt for protection if you plan to do lots of lifting.
What Truckers Should Do for a Workplace Injury
Suppose you are injured while on the job. You must make a report of the accident and injury to claim workers’ compensation. You must fill out the paperwork on a timely basis or run the risk of denial of the claim.