Some people mistakenly think driving semitrucks is a pretty easy job. After all, truckers only have to sit down and drive, right? While this is what they do most of the time, the truth is that trucking is actually a very demanding job.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics highlights just how dangerous this job is.
Injuries and illnesses are prevalent
Truckers are three times more likely than people in other industries to suffer nonfatal injuries and illnesses that will require them to take time off of work. There are several things that these workers face that can cause injuries or illnesses. Overexertion and tripping, or slipping and falling, are some of the common reasons why truckers are injured.
Some people don’t realize that truckers do physically demanding work. Many truckers have to load and unload cargo, which accounts for the musculoskeletal injuries that are common in this profession.
Another challenge for these workers is having to handle large trucks. Repetitive motion injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, can occur because of the demands of driving. Having to sit for so many hours also plays a part in the likelihood that truckers will suffer injuries that require them to take time off of work.
Potentially deadly career
One out of every six workers who are killed while working is a trucker. Of these deaths, 81 percent were due to transportation incidents, notes the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These incidents include things like collisions with other vehicles and pedestrian accidents.
This isn’t the only potentially fatal event that these hard workers face. Other causes of death in the industry include contact with objects or equipment, slips, trips and falls, suicide and homicide.
Preventing the problems
There are many different ways that truckers and trucking companies can reduce the risk of truckers being injured. Truckers can ensure that they get enough sleep and that they take breaks throughout their shifts. Stretching and using proper lifting techniques can also reduce the risk of injury.
Truckers should receive proper training on driving the trucks. While they do have to show that they are proficient to get their commercial driver’s license, they can possibly benefit from having refresher courses or having to complete some sort of training to brush up on the basics. They also need to have trucks that are properly maintained and fully functional.