Truckers face serious risks each time they head out on the road. It is easy to think about these hulking vehicles posing risks to others, but there are a lot of things that can harm the ones handling the trucks. In fact, truckers aren't the only ones who are at risk of suffering injuries. Others who help maintain the trucks can also suffer from injuries.
There are many different things that can lead to accidents that go far beyond crashes. Here are some of the dangers that people in this industry need to watch for:
Truck and trailer maintenance
Keeping the truck and trailers in good condition is critical so that they can remain in service. Anyone who has to do these jobs is at risk of several things, including being crushed. For people who work on the interior of tanker trucks, there is a chance of becoming trapped and suffering from asphyxiation. Even the seemingly easy job of washing the truck can be dangerous because of the slippery surfaces that come along with using water.
Parking and rest
Truckers can't always drive from point A to point B. The hours of service regulations prevent them from driving for more than a set number of hours. This means they will have to stop periodically. Historically, there were rest areas along the highways but these have decreased in number. This can make it difficult for truckers to find safe places to stop and sleep or rest.
Loading and unloading
Loading and unloading these trucks usually involves heavy equipment, such as forklifts. This places workers at risk of being pinned between objects or being crushed by items. Making sure that anyone who operates machinery in the loading and unloading process is doing so in a safe manner is critical to help keep others safe.
Sitting for long periods
The long periods that truckers have to sit while they are driving can put them at risk of developing blood clots and other health issues. Stopping frequently to move about is a good idea. However, truckers might be wary to do this due to the often tight delivery deadlines that are placed on loads. These same deadlines can sometimes encourage truckers to drive for a longer period than what is safe or under conditions that aren't safe.
Any truckers who have suffered injurys or health issues due to their job duties might need to file for workers' compensation to help with missed wages and medical care.