The holiday season means people will ship things and package handles for major shipping companies will be busy. It is imperative that these individuals have a safe work environment throughout this time of year. There are many hazards at play, so employers and employees alike must ensure they take all steps possible to keep the workplace injury free.
Part of the reason why package handlers are at such a risk of injury is that the job is physically demanding. The risks don’t only apply to people who work in the distribution centers. They also impact delivery drivers who handle packages.
The heavy and sometimes bulky packages can lead to strained muscles, back pain and similar musculoskeletal injuries. While the men and women who do these jobs don’t have to be physically fit, they do need to be able to handle the duties that come with the job.
Stretching before each shift can benefit all workers. Using ergonomic lifting techniques is also a good idea, especially for people who are lifting packages without help. Ideally, any item that is heavy or bulky will be lifted by two individuals, but this isn’t always possible.
The moving equipment used during the sorting process can lead to injuries if people aren’t trained on how to work with them. Conveyor belts can catch clothing, which may lead to an incident. Workers also have to be careful when they are around vehicles that are moving. Delivery trucks and semitrucks can easily crush people.
Problems on the delivery routes
One hazard that delivery drivers face is dogs. Whether these are canines that belong to the delivery address or ones that run loose in the neighborhood, they are a big risk. Being bitten can mean having to leave the route without finishing the deliveries, intensive medical care and time off of work.
Another risk during the colder months of the year is wintry precipitation. Snow and ice on the sidewalks can be too slippery to walk on, and they are even more dangerous when the person is trying to carry something heavy. Property owners can minimize this risk by ensuring they shovel and salt walkways on days they are getting deliveries.
Delivery drivers should also ensure they are dressing for the weather. It is better to layer more than what you actually need since it is easier to remove a layer than it is to try to find ways to warm up if you get too cold.
Package handlers and delivery drivers who are injured at work should seek medical attention. They should also file a workers’ compensation claim to offset the cost of medical care and some of their missed wages.