If you drive commercial trucks for a living or love someone who does, you probably spend a lot of time thinking about truck crashes. Especially for those who haul hazardous or volatile materials, a collision is a constant concern.
While it may be the most obvious risk for injury on the job for a truck driver, it might surprise you to know that crashes are actually not the most common cause of workplace incidents among truckers. What are the big risks for those who work in commercial transportation?
Many aspects of a trucker’s job are dangerous
Driving for hours is dangerous, and not just because of the possibility of a crash. Sitting for long hours can do damage to the back and hips, while needing to grip the steering wheel can be hard on the hands and forearms. There are plenty of risks when the truck isn’t on the road as well. Truck drivers can get hurt while loading and unloading, as well as while dealing with machinery at warehouses or delivery sites.
Working too hard when lifting is certainly one of the biggest risks for truckers. About 35% of job injuries for truckers involve overexertion. Another 30% involve slips, falls or trips, while accidental contact with an object, person or machine causes another 17% of trucker job injuries. Crashes were responsible for only 14% of truck driver injuries.
What protections are there for injured truckers?
If you are not an owner-operator but rather an employee of a transportation company, then you likely have rights if you get hurt on the job and need time off to heal.
Workers’ compensation will cover you regardless of whether you got hurt in a car crash, got hit by machinery on a loading dock or you suffered a medical condition because of repetitive stress on the job.