New Jersey truck drivers suffer nearly twice the injuries of workers in other hazardous professions. A majority of the on-the-job injuries suffered by truck drivers involve the arms, shoulders, and neck. There are steps truck drivers can take to reduce their risk of these types of injuries.
Why truck drivers have a higher risk of injury
According to data from EMC Insurance, 68% of the workers’ comp insurance claims the company received from truck drivers in 2018 involved overexertion injuries to the shoulders, neck, and arms. The company pointed to several factors that can result in these types of injuries, including the following:
- • Pulling on the handgrips when climbing into the trucks
- Cranking the landing gear up and down improperly
- Picking up and carrying heavy items to load them into the trucks
- Vibrations of the arms and shoulders while driving
- Long periods of inactivity followed by sudden activity
Avoiding overexertion injuries
There are a few things truck drivers can do to reduce their risks of suffering work-related injuries to their shoulders, arms, and neck. Instead of pulling their weight up by using the handgrips to get into their trucks, drivers should instead use their legs and lower bodies to hoist themselves up. They should use carts and forklifts to load heavy cargo instead of carrying it. Drivers should face their trailers while cranking to lower them and stand parallel when cranking to raise them. Stretching during breaks can also help to prevent vibration-related injuries.
Truck drivers who suffer work-related overexertion injuries can file workers’ compensation claims with their employers’ insurance providers. Workers’ compensation benefits might pay for their treatment-related expenses and a portion of their income if they are temporarily or permanently disabled. While workers’ compensation might be available, it is better to take steps to avoid injuries in the first place.