Commercial vehicle operators in Ohio haul cargo across state lines. They are at significant risk of suffering work-related injuries and illnesses, often while they are very far from home, familiar doctors and their employers. If you are one of the thousands of big rig operators in Ohio, you could be a perfect example of a driver living with chronic pain, although you have a clean crash record.
Your occupation’s nature requires you to sit behind your truck’s steering wheel for long hours, living on a poor diet and minimal exercise. Combining all the hazards you face makes your job one of the most dangerous in the country.
Every hour that you spend driving adds to your vulnerability for sprains and strains. The following are typical causes of nerve, muscle and tendon injuries classified as musculoskeletal injuries:
- Awkward postures while driving or reaching overhead to load or unload cargo
- Falling or jumping from the trailer or cab
- Objects striking you
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Gripping improperly or tightly
- Lifting heavy objects
- Transportation vibration
Injuries while opening and closing shipping container doors, and connecting or disconnecting trailers from their trucks, cause a significant number of lost workdays. The consequences of sprains and strains could cause the following:
- Muscle strain
- Back pain
- Shoulder pain
- Epicondylitis or tennis elbow
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Bruises, pain and soreness
- Lacerations, cuts and fractures
If you take extra care during the following situations, you might avoid chronic pain:
- Vehicle accidents
- Hard-to-open containers cause wrist strains
- Repetitive hand and wrist movements while driving cause carpal tunnel syndrome
- Back strains and injuries when lifting and moving cargo
- The process of releasing the trailer from the truck
- Climbing in and out of the cab, or on and off the trailer cause slips, trips and falls
- Jumping from cab or trailer cause ankle or heel injuries
- Wet and slippery dock areas
- Crush injuries from unbalanced or unsecured cargo falling over
What type of cargo do you haul?
Compared to other occupations and industries combined, safety authorities say couriers suffer four times more injuries from sprains and strains. Next comes the waste collection industry with an injury rate of three-and-a-half, and then general freight services with two-and-a-half times the other workers’ injury rates.
Armed with this knowledge, you will likely recognize the need for mitigating the known risks. However, if you do suffer transport-related injuries of any kind, your employer’s insurance will cover your medical expenses and lost wages.
Most importantly, the claims procedures might be complicated if your injuries occurred while you were in another state. This is where the skills of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Ohio can be invaluable. While you recover and prepare to return to work, legal counsel can navigate the benefits claims process and work to obtain maximum benefits for you.