Driving a commercial truck has some obvious risks, such as road hazards, truck accidents, and working around freight. But what about risks associated with the job itself? The long-term risks of driving a truck may not be as obvious as those associated with construction work or other manual jobs. But the risks are just as real.
In fact, common long-term injuries among truck drivers are most often orthopedic, which can impact the whole body. Here are the most common injuries reported by truck drivers, and their most common causes.
Most Common Long-Term Injuries and Causes
In 2010, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) found that the two most common types of injuries among truck drivers were arm and back injuries. NIOSH research found that:
- Back Injuries accounted for 21.1% of injuries.
- Arm injuries accounted for 26.3% of injuries.
- 53% of injuries required time away from work.
And for the most common injuries:
- 60% strains and sprains
- 11% fractures
The most common causes included:
- Falls – 38.9%
- Contact with equipment or objects – 33.7%
Many injuries to the back, neck, and arms have a long-term impact on the individual. Sprains and strains can cause permanent tearing or stretching of ligaments and tendons, which weaken the affected extremity. Fractures or breaks can take a significant time to heal, and can cause long-term or permanent loss of use.
Injuries to the neck and back often require long-term physical therapy, and some require surgery. In these cases, truck drivers may be unable to work for extended periods of time, or may be permanently disabled.
What Truck Drivers Can Do
Truck drivers who suffered an injury with long-term consequences should contact a workers’ compensation attorney to discuss their options. Workers’ compensation or disability benefits can provide valuable financial stability while recovering from an injury.