Truckers keep this country running, but all too often they put their own safety on the back burner in an effort to get the load to the destination quickly. All truckers have risks that they need to think about when they are on the road. The need for safety is also present during the loading and unloading of the vehicles if they are responsible for those tasks.
With more than 600 truckers killed annually while they are doing their job duties, safety has to become a top priority in this industry. These are some safety points that everyone must remember when they are handling hauls.
Basic truck safety
One thing that many truckers might not remember is that they are at risk of lung cancer. Idling the rig when you are loading, unloading or sleeping has been linked to inhalation of fumes. If you must idle the truck for longer than five minutes, beware that you might be wasting gas. You should keep the windows closed if you are inside the truck and wear a rebreather if you are outside of the truck while it is idling. You should also periodically check to ensure that there aren’t any leaks of exhaust that are entering the cab of the rig.
Long-haul drivers have some specific risks that they need to think about. You must ensure that you don’t become fatigued when you are driving because fatigue leads to crashes. It is also imperative that you comply with Hours of Service regulations. You must take a 10-hour break fully off-duty between shifts. You aren’t allowed to drive more than 11 hours per shift. Even if you follow those regulations, take breaks during your shift. You need to get out and move around to help prevent blood clots and stretch out your muscles.
Loading and unloading risks
When you are responsible for loading and unloading the trailers, you need to make sure that you are using proper techniques. This includes lifting with your legs and not your back. If you are using forklifts to handle this, make sure that you are careful when moving about on it. Accidents involving forklifts can crush people, so knowing where others around you are located is important.
Truckers who are employees of a company and suffer an injury at work will likely qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. Knowing how to receive these and learning about how to appeal decisions that aren’t correct can help these individuals get what’s due to them.