Staying healthy is a crucial aspect of a truck driver’s career. Chronic injuries could lead to extended time off and even alter career paths. There are steps that both employees and employers can take to reduce the risk of injury to truck drivers.
North Carolina law states that companies must cover truck drivers with some form of workers’ compensation insurance. Moreover, this also includes truck drivers who have been hired as independent contractors.
Being aware of the most common injuries and steps that can be taken to prevent them is a crucial endeavor for all parties.
Back injuries are extremely common among those who spend most of their working day in a seated position. Excessive pushing, lifting and twisting are just some frequent causes of such injuries. Crucially, poor posture can also negatively impact the musculoskeletal system.
Operators of large vehicles such as trucks, buses and agricultural machinery are frequently exposed to whole body vibrations (WBV). Research suggests that extended exposure to WBV could heighten the risk of injuries, back injuries in particular.
Admittedly, back injuries can be mysterious and the direct link between WBV and back pain is not fully understood. However, the link between HBV and increased physical and mental fatigue is well documented. Moreover, increased physical and mental fatigue can lead to drowsiness when driving, decreased productivity and diminished reaction times. All of this can create dangerous situations on the road.
Many vehicles install seats with a form of partial/passive suspension. Such measures can significantly reduce driver exposure to WBV, which subsequently reduces discomfort and fatigue. Stretching, resting and adhering to health guidelines provided by medical professionals can also help truck drivers to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Being aware of the most common truck driver injuries and their causes is of huge benefit to both employers and employees. Taking proactive measures can result in increased productivity. However, when injuries do occur, it is vital that they are recorded and that all parties are alert to their legal rights and obligations.