Transportation workers make up the backbone of our nation’s economy. Without truckers to transport crucial goods, postal workers to keep communication flowing, and delivery drivers to move key items, our economy would grind to a halt. Unfortunately, being a transportation worker can also result in accidents and injuries, both because of one-time occurrences and as a result of constant wear-and tear.
Types of Injuries
One of the most common injuries suffered by transportation workers is back pain. This is particularly prevalent among long-distance truckers, who not only work extremely long hours, but also are often required to do heavy lifting to help move their load. The combination of these two risks can produce quite a lot of back pain—lower back pain from sitting for long periods of time, and upper back pain and possible strained muscles from lifting.
Another issue many transportation workers face are injuries resulting from the merchandise they are transporting. In addition to back pain, items which require heavy lifting can cause muscle sprains in the arms and legs, as well as possible hernias. Workers might also twist their limbs in an effort to extract a piece of merchandise. The merchandise itself can also be harmful and potentially dangerous—a falling piece of machinery being transported can cause severe injuries, and sharp objects can cause cuts and scrapes.
Other injuries include sitting for extended periods of time in ergonomically poor seats. Truckers and other transportation workers who remain seated for extremely long hours can suffer chronic back pain, shoulder pain, and cramps in all parts of their bodies. When the physical constraints of a vehicle require your limbs to be in awkward positions for long periods of time, permanent muscle and ligament damage can result.
How To Prevent Injuries
Because these injuries are so common among transportation workers, it is important to take steps to avoid them. Exercising regularly is an important part of avoiding injury. Getting enough rest is also critical; many of these injuries are caused or exacerbated by fatigue, so it’s important to get a lot of good sleep in between long trips. Avoiding repetitive motions will stop many of these injuries from becoming problematic — every few hours on the road, you may want to take a quick break just to stretch your legs. It is important to be careful and use good lifting and handling techniques.
Finally, it’s important that you get the compensation you are due. Many companies have workers’ compensation agreements with their transportation workers to insure them against injuries sustained on the job. These provide an important lifeline for employees suffering from medical expenses resulting from a work-related injury. If you feel that you might be entitled to workers’ compensation, contact experienced attorney John Snyder—he can help you get the compensation you deserve.