It's not just accidents on the road that truck drivers have to worry about in their line of work; they face other non-crash injuries too. Just like other workers, truck drivers are also entitled to workers' compensation benefits if they are injured on the job. Here are some of the injuries truck drivers have to battle with:
Loading and Unloading Accidents
Many truck drivers don't just drive trucks; they also help with loading and offloading of cargo. Loading and offloading can lead to injuries in several ways. For example, lifting heavy objects can cause back injuries if the wrong lifting technique is employed or if the object is too heavy for a single person to lift.
Then there is also the risk of being struck by the objects being loaded and offloaded, which can cause sprains and fractures. For example, a box can fall on your leg and cause a fracture or you may get injured by a pallet jack. Prevent most of these injuries by using the appropriate lifting technique and gear.
Repetitive Stress Injuries
Repetitive stress injury (RSI) occurs when a part of the body is engaged in the same action over and over again. The action doesn't have to be physically demanding for it to cause RSI; even if the action requires minimal force it will cause injury as long as it is repetitive. Driving long distances is likely to cause repetitive stress injury because you mostly use your legs and hands, and they do the same things (handling the car's controls) over and over again. Symptoms of RSI include throbbing pain, cramps, and stiffness, among others.
Pain from Poor Posture
Bad posture also causes injuries and pain among truck drivers, especially long-distance truck drivers. Sitting behind the wheel for hours can cause pain to different parts of the body, typically the back pain, if you are doing it with a bad posture. The damage occurs when the poor posture changes the anatomy of your spinal column, constricting the nerves and blood vessels. If you maintain the bad posture for a long time the ensuing pain can be debilitating and you may have to take some sick leave.
As long as you are an employee and not a contractor, you are entitled to workers' compensation benefits just like any other employee. Don't forget that you will need to prove that you were injured on the job, and not on a personal mission. Talk to a workers' compensation lawyer to help you pursue your dues.