Truck driving is a dangerous job in New Jersey, with hazards extending beyond the usual risk of being in a road accident. Truck drivers have to navigate long hours, tight deadlines and heavy loads, which can take a toll on their mental, physical and emotional well-being. As a result, it’s common for them to suffer the following injuries.
Tasks, such as lugging heavy items in and out of the truck, entering the vehicle by pulling up on the grab bars and contending with road vibrations while driving, can lead to shoulder problems, such as rotator cuff tears and tendinitis. In fact, these injuries are so common that there is a name for it: trucker shoulder, and it accounts for a significant number of workers’ compensation claims.
Sitting in an upright position for hours on end and not getting enough physical activity can lead to chronic back pain and other spinal issues. Add that to loading and unloading heavy cargo without proper lifting techniques, and you have a recipe for disaster.
Neck and head injuries
The long hours spent behind the wheel can also cause neck and head injuries from poor posture and repetitive motion. This can lead to chronic headaches, neck stiffness and even more serious conditions, such as cervical radiculopathy.
What can you do as a truck driver to prevent injuries
Minimizing the risk of injury starts with proper training and education on lifting techniques, posture and taking breaks to stretch during long hauls. You should also ensure that your seat is comfortable and provides good lumbar and head support. It’s also important to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle, including regular exercise and a balanced diet.
On top of that, you may want to consider regular exercise to strengthen your back and core muscles. Lastly, it’s important to always listen to your body and address any pain or discomfort before it turns into a serious injury.
Ensuring your safety and health as a truck driver is a journey rather than a one-time task. Caring for your health requires taking proactive steps each day and being mindful of your body’s needs. If, unfortunately, an injury still occurs, you may be eligible for compensation through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance.