Trucking is a high-risk industry, as there are a lot of hazards ready to plague to drivers and other road users. While the rate of fatalities and injuries has significantly reduced over the past decade, the trucking industry is still considered deadlier. You can easily tell that from the high-frequency rate of serious compensation claims.
According to the Australian WHS Strategy 2012 – 2022 statistical reports, road transport was linked to 583 work-related fatalities occurring between 2003 and 2015. And unfortunately, the road freight transport industry accounted for 92 per cent of the fatalities. Each year, an estimated 5,100 workers’ compensation claims for injuries and diseases involving one or more weeks off work are accepted. Fortunately, many of these injuries and fatalities are actually preventable. That being said, we’ll take you through the dangers of being a truck driver and how to control them.
Battling fatigue while behind the wheel is one of the serious safety hazards for truck drivers. Fatigue is often as a result of working for long or irregular hours that deprive drivers of enough sleep. Driving while feeling very exhausted, tired, weary, or sleepy subjects a driver to the risk of injuries and other accidents. As a truck driver, you have the right to an adequate amount of rest. Be sure to follow the work and rest hour requirements under standard hours. For example, you shouldn’t drive more than 12 hours in any 24-hour period and get 7 continuous hours of rest. It’s also best to make use of anti-fatigue technologies like fatigue meters and wearables.
The constant lifting, moving or supporting heavy loads can easily lead to injury. If manual handling cannot be avoided, then proper training on the correct handling techniques is highly recommended.
Lack of physical activity
Truckers typically spend a lot of time sitting. They are often physically active only when loading and unloading items. Unfortunately, the prolonged lack of physical activity is linked to life-threating health conditions, including circulatory system diseases and diabetes. Exercising regularly is essential for a health-conscious driver. You don’t necessarily have to go to the gym. Just try the aerobic exercises like running, cycling, rope jumping, and swimming.
Exposure to gases and fumes
Airborne safety hazards like petrol gas and fumes are very common in the trucking industry. Breathing the vapours for an extended period can be quite detrimental to drivers’ health. It’s important to practice safe habits when handling or storing petrol. For example, you should wear gloves, masks, or protective clothing.
Driving a vehicle with poor seat and vehicle control design carries postural and musculoskeletal risks. This also leads to reduced productivity, as drivers will be off work for a week or more because of the pain and discomfort. As an employer, you should ensure comfortable driving conditions for your workers. And while you’re waiting to fix the problems on your vehicles, you can simply hire more safe trucks to keep your operations running smoothly. At Southern Cross Truck Rentals, you have a fleet of the latest premium model trucks to choose from. Truck in repair and need to hire? Call our friendly staff to better match a truck to suit your freight requirements.