Long-haul truck drivers are at risk of suffering many different types of injuries. Some result from the extensive lifting they have to do as they’re loading and unloading cargo. Others result from the long hours they spend in a confined space, largely immobile. Of course, injuries suffered in crashes are always a possibility as well.
A study published last year in Workplace Health and Safety found that:
- Over a quarter (26.3) of long-haul truckers’ musculoskeletal injuries involved their arms. Just over 21% involved their necks or backs.
- Strains and sprains were the most commonly reported injuries, at 60%. Second most common were fractures, at 11%.
- Falls accounted for more injuries (nearly 39%) than any other single cause. That was followed by contact with equipment or an object (almost 34%).
Researchers used data from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It reflected a survey of almost 1,300 long-haul truckers at 32 truck stops nationwide.
Long-haul truck drivers are more likely to have to take time away from work to deal with their injuries than those in other hazardous lines of work. Over half (53%) of those surveyed reported that they had to take time off as a result of their injuries.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, long-haul truck drivers have more than double the rate of injuries and illnesses of those who work in other professions considered to be risky, including construction, farming, forestry, fishing and extraction.
The University of Alabama researchers concluded that the trucking industry needs greater attention to preventing injuries as well as to helping truckers recover.
Taking time away from work can be costly for long-haul truckers. However, not taking this time off to seek necessary medical treatment and allow your body to heal can make things much worse.
That’s why truck drivers who suffer work-related injuries and illnesses need to ensure that they get the worker’s compensation benefits that they’re entitled to. This can allow them to continue to support themselves and their families until they can get back behind the wheel.