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Major Hazards Faced by Truckers While on the Job

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The transportation industry is an integral part of the U.S. economy. The transportation industry facilitates the movement of goods and people across vast distances. At the heart of the transportation industry are truck drivers, also called truckers. From delivering important goods ranging from food to medical supplies to connecting consumers and producers, the importance of truck drivers can never be overstated. Like other workers, truck drivers face a host of hazards while on the job that can result in injuries, illnesses, and even death. Below, we look at some of the major hazards truckers face while on the job.

  1. Road Accidents

When people think about hazards faced by truckers, they often think about road accidents. Indeed, this is one of the most common hazards truckers face while on the job. Truck drivers are constantly exposed to the risk of road accidents, whether due to their own actions, dangerous road conditions, or other drivers’ negligence. Poor weather conditions, distracted driving, bad roads, drunk driving, and speeding are some of the main factors that result in truck accidents. Whether a truck accident is caused by adverse weather conditions, distracted driving, drunk driving or something else, the consequences can be devastating.

  1. Slips, Trips, and Falls

Slip, trip, and fall accidents are quite common among truck drivers. While truck drivers spend a considerable amount of time behind the wheel, they also encounter other dangers during other tasks. Truck drivers are at risk of slipping, tripping, and falling when climbing into the cab or getting down from it. Truck drivers can also slip, trip, and fall when loading and unloading cargo.

  1. Fatigue

Another major hazard that truck drivers face while on the job is fatigue. Truckers spend long hours behind the wheel and have to deal with demanding schedules. Sometimes, truck drivers extend their shifts to meet tight deadlines. Additionally, many truck drivers have irregular sleep patterns. This can lead to sleep deprivation and fatigue. When someone is fatigued, awareness, reaction times, and decision-making abilities can fall as much as 50%. This increases the risk of accidents.

  1. Exposure to Noise

For example, truck drivers who are exposed to engine noise greater than 80 Dba can suffer severe headaches as well as hearing loss in the long term.

  1. Chemical Hazards

Truckers tasked with the responsibility of transporting hazardous materials are at risk of suffering chemical exposure from spills and leaks. Using proper Personal Protective Equipment is one of the most effective ways of reducing the risk of chemical exposure.

  1. Ergonomic Hazards

Prolonged driving while seated in uncomfortable positions, coupled with insufficient rest breaks increases the risk of lower back pain and other musculoskeletal disorders.

  1. Threats or Violence

Truck drivers are at a great risk of being harmed by thieves especially when transporting valuable cargo through high-crime regions. Thieves may target trucks at fuel stations, rest stops, or delivery sites. Such incidents can cause financial losses and also pose a threat to the well-being of truckers.

Truckers harmed on the job have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim and recover benefits, including medical treatment, wage replacement, and disability payments. This applies regardless of fault.

Legal Help Is Available

If you suffer an injury as a truck driver while on the job, contact our Vermont workers’ compensation attorney at Sluka Law PLC for legal help.

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