The trucking industry has its share of hazards. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration classifies it as having more fatalities than any other occupation.
The first cause to come to your mind at reading this may be traffic accidents, and for good reason as OSHA also reports that three-quarters of these deaths occurred due to transportation incidents. However, there are other, less-commonly discussed risks truckers face that may cause severe injury if not outright death.
1. Exposure hazards
As a trucker, you may experience burns, skin conditions and other consequences as a result of exposure to chemicals and toxic substances in your cargo. You may also become contaminated or infected if you haul biologically hazardous materials.
2. Loading and unloading accidents
A slip while loading or unloading may lead to crushed hands or feet. You may also tear ligaments or tendons while lifting heavy loads. Falling freight may collide with your head, causing brain or skull trauma.
3. Hard falls
Another risk you may face is the possibility of falling while carrying items or stepping from your truck. While this generally leads to less serious injuries such as sprains, it may result in more serious ones if you fall at a certain angle. For instance, you may hurt your spine if you twist as you plummet toward the ground or shatter your wrist if you impact with the ground.
While crashes are the most common cause of injuries in truckers, there are other dangers. If you suffer harm in the course of your work, you may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.