As a short-haul driver, you’re not spending hours upon hours behind the wheel. Instead, you’re quickly delivering items to their destinations, loading and unloading your truck and being an active part of the delivery process.
Short-haul drivers as well as those doing day-trip trucking face both lifting- and climbing-related injuries at a greater rate than long-haul drivers. Doing deliveries all day creates the potential for injuries in the office, while driving, while loading and while unloading.
Lifting injuries are common for short-haul drivers because of a few factors in this industry. The first is that these drivers are usually responsible for loading and unloading their own trucks. Depending on the product, at least some of the loading process may require them to lift heavy items with or without support.
Climbing injuries are also common among short-haul and day-trip truckers. With smaller trucks, it’s normal to need to strap down and secure loads. This requires some amount of flexibility, a good amount of strength and attention to detail to prevent loads from coming loose.
Climbing over items to secure the load, climbing up into the truck bed and other movements can lead to slip-and-fall, trip-and-fall or fall accidents.
What can short-haul or day-trip drivers do to protect themselves on the job?
To help yourself, it’s valuable to take the time to learn about the safety tools and equipment you can use when loading and unloading assets from your truck. You may want to talk to your employer about using back braces and gloves, for example, to prevent injuries to your back or hands.
Using other tools to help lift heavy items, like loading with a forklift or using a dolly, may also help you avoid serious injuries. Talk to your employer if you need help loading or unloading your truck, because it is their responsibility to make sure you’re able to do so safely.
If you do end up getting hurt on the job, you may be able to seek workers’ compensation for your injuries. This compensation may help you replace lost wages, cover medical costs and provide you with security as you recover.