Driving commercial trucks provides a relatively competitive wage in many cases, and there is so much demand for commercial transportation services that drivers with no blemishes on their license and a strong work history may have their choice of routes and employers.
However, the excellent pay and benefits associated with semi-truck driving exist in part to offset the risk involved in the profession. Obviously, commercial drivers have to consider the possibility of a crash occurring, although they are much less likely than those in smaller vehicles to end up hurt and such collisions. Instead, there are other, less dramatic injuries that truck drivers need to watch out for throughout the course of their employment. For example, these workplace injuries are common among semi-truck drivers and are too often overlooked until they become debilitating.
There are two different primary ways in which commercial transportation work puts someone at risk of a back injury. Remaining seated all day can put pressure on the back, especially the lumbar spine, which results in pain and reduced function. Although drivers may try to offset that with cushioning in their chairs and brakes whenever possible, they may eventually find it prohibitively painful to remain seated for as long as their job requires.
The other way that truck drivers end up hurting their backs is through loading and unloading, which are tasks many employers require from their commercial drivers when they pick up and deliver loads. Back injuries may lead to surgery and a lengthy leave of absence.
Carpal tunnel syndrome
A lot of people associate carpal tunnel syndrome with office work, essentially because typing all day does put a lot of pressure on the hands, wrists and forearms. However, typing on a keyboard is far from the only way that someone might overexert their hands and arms.
Needing to spend multiple hours straight gripping a steering wheel can also cause fatigue in the hands and forearms. Over the course of many months and years, that extended strain on someone’s arms and hands may culminate in chronic pain and a reduced range of motion for a driver that may make it difficult for them to stay at the wheel for as long as they need to or to maneuver aggressively when such efforts are necessary for the safety of the truck driver or others in traffic.
A truck driver who ends up developing a job-related medical condition may be able to apply for workers’ compensation benefits. Learning more about the job risks associated with different professions may empower those injured by their employment to seek the health and disability benefits they need and deserve.