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Trucking Injuries

July 25, 2013

You sit on your butt all day how can you become injured?

Over the last few months as many of you may recall, I switched to a new workplace position. That position involves working at nights. Now while I love driving and working, there is always one thing I dislike in any workplace and that one thing is workplace injuries.  While not uncommon, workplace injuries are something that people deal with everyday and in any job industry. Some industries are naturally far more dangerous than others. You may be asking yourself as a reader; well how can one who sits on their butt all day be in any position to be injured? Well let’s take a look at some of the more common trucking injuries and explain how those who sit on their butts can become injured.

The public misconception 

 There seems to be a misconception or an untruth in trucking that has been passed around. In fact, yesterday I had stopped at a Mac’s Store and a young lad with his girlfriend (he was aged about 22-24) asked me “if I was the driver of the truck and trailer parked on the street”. I said “yes”. He then asked me |”if it paid a lot”. I told him “well it depends on what a lot of money is and what it is you want to do”. He replied “sit on my butt all day and do nothing”. My first response was “this isn’t the job for you” and I quickly left. These misconceptions about the industry in no way do anyone any good. If everyone had this misconception, soon truckers would be valiant warriors requiring no sleep. Oh wait, we already have no sleep so we must have passed that level already.

The fact remains that this misconception needs to be broken. Men and Women who drive trucks are prone to injury and we do alot more than what the general public is led to believe. Things like swamping, tarping, tightening, strapping, cinching, climbing, opening, closing are just some of the jobs we do on a daily basis and each one presents it’s own difficulties.

Common Workplace Injuries in Trucking 

Sitting for extended periods of time can place a lot of stress on a lower back. It has been well documented that many people and not just drivers who are seated for long periods of time suffer from debilitating Lumbar pain.

Falls are a frequent cause of Worker Claims in trucking. From falling off the back of trailers, falling off lumber while tarping to falling off shipper/receiver platforms to falling out of the truck missing a step are all accidents of which some can be serious.

Broken Teeth, Black Eyes, Pulled Shoulders, Smashed Glasses, broken fingers, smashed knuckles. While all of these may seem unfamiliar, picture someone with a metal bar pulling on it instead of pushing and the bar slips out.  Those drivers who work with Straps, Belts and cinches will understand well about what I am saying. Many a new driver learns real quick to push and not pull the bar.

Knee Injuries are quite a common injury. With the reason being that the driver must operate a clutch pedal and in city traffic a driver could be clutching many times up and down. The clutch on a truck is much heavier than that of a car.

Tendonitis of the Elbow is another injury truckers can get. Carrying heavy objects such as a bar quite frequently and repetitive strain on the same ligament can cause long term nerve damage. A good example is holding the steering wheel with the arm at an awkward position or tightening and untightening belts consistently.

General back pain from heavy lifting can also cause Hernias. A lot of drivers are required to swamp loads at various food warehouses which in my opinion should not be allowed but drivers are directed to do so and often at times when they are supposed to be out of service or off duty.

Head bruises are not so common but they are a pain in the ass. They most commonly occur jumping in and out of a truck fast and catching the top of the door frame on the melon. Mostly this causes angry ego and induced words of which I wouldn’t write on here to erupt and spew forth.

Of course the above are nothing compared to more serious workplace trucking accidents which can include loss of limbs, paralysis and death. These more serious accidents are usually reserved for on highway rollovers and collisions. Factors which mitigate these accidents can be anything from other inattentive road users to Drugs/Alcohol to Sleep Deprivation.

Well whatever it is that you do my friends. Drive a truck, cook in a restaurant, work on a ship or work in a factory all day long. Regardless what it is you do, be sure to stay safe and practice safety at all times. Nothing can replace a limb or a life.

Trucker

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