The trucking business is booming across the nation, and Louisiana's ports see a high volume of trucking traffic. With long hours and miles logged across the country, people who drive tractor-trailers can sustain injuries and usually do at higher rates.
Truckers experience a high number of workers' compensation injuries. The long hours, lack of sleep, sedentary nature of the work and improper diet make drivers more susceptible to injury.
1. Sprains and fractures
The most common injuries that afflict truckers in the course of their work include broken bones and tendon sprains. Too often drivers need to twist, bend, pull, push and squat to get loads on and off the truck. With the poor diet and lack of muscle tone, drivers' bones and muscles can weaken to the point where even climbing in and out of the truck can cause a muscle strain or bone break.
2. Repetitive injury
Driving a truck places pressure on the wrists and arms, making carpal tunnel and ulnar tunnel syndromes commonplace among drivers. The vibration of the wheel, the unevenness of the roadways and endless hours spent gripping the wheel make these repetitive injuries frequent occurrences for truckers.
3. Slips and falls
Truckers have to traverse loading docks and roads in all-weather situations. Climbing in and out of the cab can become hazardous when rain and ice make the surface slick. Loading and unloading at docks can pose a risk as the slippery surfaces make the drivers more susceptible to slipping and falling.
One of the obvious danger factors for truckers is accidents. Since they spend their lives on the road, they come across all types of hazards and other vehicles. Exhaustion contributes to instances of driver error, but even the most alert trucker can fall victim to other careless drivers.
Truck driving is a noble and necessary industry. Staying aware of the dangers lurking in and around them may help drivers keep themselves safe for the miles ahead.