Many people may not realize the injury risks associated with the commercial trucking industry, particularly those of truck drivers. Truckers face significant injury risks on the job, including those that can negatively impact their ability to work and which may require serious medical intervention. Avoiding common trucker injuries is an important part of the risk management process for truckers and trucking companies. By doing so, companies can better protect their drivers while reducing the number of claims on trucking workers’ comp insurance plans. Here’s how to minimize injury risks for truckers.
Common Injury Risks for Truckers
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses of truck drivers average about 35,000 incidents annually. While the injury rate has declined over the past decade, the chance of a workplace-related injury remains high for many in the trucking industry. Common injuries for truckers include:
- Musculoskeletal injuries – including repetitive-use and overexertion injuries of the joints, back, neck, and extremities. These are some of the most common claims against trucking workers’ comp policies.
- Slip and fall injuries — including falls from elevation such as loading docks, truck cabs, and cargo floors. Common injuries of this type include sprains, strains, and bone fractures.
- Crushing/striking injuries – truckers are exposed to significant hazards when loading or unloading cargo, including being struck by falling objects, crushed by lift gates and vehicle parts or by vehicles themselves, and being struck by binders or chains.
- Driving-related injuries – injuries that occur in vehicle crashes such as when a driver loses control of a truck or is struck by another motorist.
In some cases, injuries may only require a brief period of recovery before the worker returns to the job. In other, more severe, injury cases, the trucker may require extensive medical care and rehabilitation, necessitating adequate trucking workers’ comp coverage.
Preventing Trucking Injuries
Commercial trucking is a high-risk industry, capable of exposing drivers to a wide range of potential injuries. Although avoiding all injuries is next-to-impossible, trucking company owners can and should implement safety protocols to help minimize these risks. By doing so, they can protect their drivers while managing the costs associated with trucking workers’ comp and other insurance claims.
To help avoid common trucking injuries, options include:
- Training drivers on safe lifting and loading practices.
- Implementing driver health programs that incorporate stretching, cardiovascular fitness, and yoga to help truckers better prepare for the rigors of work.
- Ensuring drivers have access to personal protective equipment, including non-slip shoes, gloves, back braces, and even hard hats if falling objects are a hazard.
- Establishing injury reporting mechanisms for truckers, allowing them to alert their managers of injuries or potential injuries promptly.
- Inspecting vehicles and equipment daily to ensure they are in good working order.
- Fostering a safety-oriented culture throughout the workplace. Companies that are invested in workplace safety programs tend to have lower trucking workers’ comp claims, ultimately saving significant overhead costs.
About Gain Insurance Agency
Gain Insurance Agency protects trucking businesses against liabilities and claims in the industry. We combine products provided by respected insurance providers with our expertise and custom packages to meet customers’ individual needs. Our goal is to give you the coverage that you need at the lowest possible price. To learn more about our products and services, contact us today at (877) 424-3344.