Millions of truckers haul their cargo in big rigs across the country. Many of them travel from logistics companies in Nebraska. If this is the manner in which you earn your living, you will know that you have to consider more than the threat of crashes every time you embark on a trip that will take you across state lines. Occupational hazards in this job include a range of work-related injuries and illnesses.
Safety authorities list transportation and material handling as one of the most hazardous fields of employment. Many of the risks you face can cause long-term health problems, and some are life-threatening.
On and off-road safety precautions
If you take note of the following safety risks of your job, you might find ways to mitigate them:
- Cab comfort: Taking precautions must start as you enter the cab because this is where you will spend many hours, and insulation, interior noise, and leg space will play an important role. Also, the steering wheel, seat, and backrest positions, along with the control panel and switch layout and accessibility, are ergonomic factors to consider.
- Avoid restrictive clothing: Tight-fitting clothing and uncomfortable footwear will not only create long hours of discomfort, but it will also restrict proper blood circulation, which can cause health problems over time.
- Allow time for rest breaks: Never let the pressure of your schedule prevent you from pulling off the road for short rest breaks, during which time, it will be a good idea to get out of the vehicle and walk around to stretch your muscles instead of just resting in the driver's seat.
- You have nothing to prove: Avoid being macho when you physically handle loads during onloading and offloading. Use pallet trucks or forklifts to move the loads and ask for assistance if mechanized equipment is not available.
- Take care when exiting the cab: After hours behind the wheel, your legs might feel deadened, and jumping from the cab could cause a fall. Make sure you do not miss a step upon egress and avoid jumping from the trailer.
- Mind your step: Be aware of surface hazards wherever you stop and step out of the vehicle. Ice, slippery contaminants, grease and oil can cause slip-and-fall accidents, and cracked, damaged or uneven surfaces could cause trips — often with devastating consequences.
- Vibration hazards: The position and tilt of your seat can prevent the dangers of the whole-body vibrations caused by the movement of the wheels on the road. The vibration frequencies and road shocks can cause spinal damage, and adequately maintained suspension systems and tire pressure can limit potential harm.
- Never ignore fatigue: Fatigue can exacerbate the risks of road accidents and all the mentioned injuries. Be aware of your level of tiredness because fatigue affects your attentiveness and your ability to concentrate and focus while it limits your reaction times.
Remember, returning home to your loved ones after every trip might depend on your desire to get to your destination safely instead of quickly.
How will you cope with the consequences of a workplace injury?
Although taking precautions can limit the injury risks, accidents happen, and you might be the victim. Fortunately, the Nebraska workers' compensation system will cover your medical expenses and lost wages. However, you might suffer an injury while hauling a load of cargo in another state, and another party's negligence might be to blame. Experienced legal counsel is available to explain your legal rights and options for recovering maximum compensation.