Big rig drivers face health and safety hazards each day. Commercial vehicle operators in British Columbia haul their loads across the country, and risk workplace injury and illness. For many truckers, their vehicles are also their homes, where they work, sleep and eat. A significant percentage of long haul truck operators develop health problems over the years due to exposure to various hazards.
Long haul truckers spend most of their time sitting, with limited movement. The lack of physical activity, long hours and irregular schedules often lead to health problems. Unreasonable deadlines force many drivers to continue working despite being fatigued. Many truckers develop chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity and hypertension. The nature of their work limits their food options and access to nutritious meals, leaving them eating unhealthy meals, which also contributes to their poor health.
Many truck operators are involved in the loading and unloading of cargo, mostly after sitting in one position for many hours. Safety authorities say long-haul drivers are three times more likely to suffer work-related injuries than workers in other industries. Typical injuries include slips, trips and falls, and overexertion from lifting, pushing, pulling and carrying heavy objects. Musculoskeletal disorders are common among long haul trackers.
Commercial truck drivers who suffered workplace injury or illness may be eligible for benefits through the British Columbia workers’ compensation insurance system. Many injured or ill commercial vehicle operators seek the support and guidance of a lawyer who has experience in this field of the law. Legal counsel can work to ensure that the client receives maximum benefits under applicable laws.