Professionals who drive for a living face many challenges that can put them at risk for workplace injuries. This is true whether they operate tractor-trailers, buses, shuttles or other types of vehicles.
From long hours on the road to the inherent dangers of transportation, the life of a company driver can be fraught with hazards.
1. Ergonomic challenges
The confined space of a vehicle, coupled with repetitive motions such as steering and reaching, can result in musculoskeletal issues for company drivers. Poor ergonomics within the cab may contribute to discomfort and injuries over time. The lack of proper seating arrangements or the absence of adjustable features can lead to chronic back pain, neck strain and other physical ailments.
2. Road accidents and traffic hazards
About 35,590 people in Minnesota work as heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers. Bad traffic, adverse weather conditions and unfamiliar routes can expose these drivers and other types of drivers to a higher risk of road accidents. The unpredictable nature of traffic, coupled with the pressure to meet delivery deadlines, can create stressful situations that contribute to accidents and injuries. Inclement weather, road construction and other external factors further compound the risks associated with professional driving.
3. Loading and unloading responsibilities
Beyond the driving itself, company drivers often bear the responsibility of loading and unloading cargo. Handling heavy freight, using loading equipment and managing time constraints during these tasks increase the likelihood of injuries. Strains, sprains and other injuries can result from the physical demands associated with cargo handling.
4. Mental health challenges
The isolation and time drivers spend alone on the road can take a toll on their mental health. Loneliness, stress and the pressure to meet tight schedules may contribute to anxiety and depression, impacting overall well-being. Mental health challenges not only affect the driver’s performance but also increase the risk of workplace accidents.
Acknowledging and addressing these hazards is important for ensuring the safety and well-being of those who play a major role in the transportation industry.