People who have never been involved with the trucking profession likely fail to understand the demands it creates for professionals. For example, most people think of trucking as a relatively easy job. They think that if they can drive themselves to work and back each day, they can handle professional driving.
The truth is that operating a commercial truck is difficult and more dangerous than simply driving a personal vehicle. Trucks are difficult to control in certain situations and require extra training for safety. Drivers may have to manually attach and release trailers. Driving them for long hours can lead to fatigue and pain in the hands, arms and even hips. Even if that weren’t the case, a trucker’s job doesn’t just involve handling the vehicle.
It also often involves dealing with the contents of their trailer or the load they just delivered. Truck drivers may have to lift and move heavy items and objects frequently throughout their day. That can drastically increase the risk for back injuries. Sitting for long hours can further compromise the spine. That is why it is so important for injured truck drivers to take steps to protect themselves after an injury.
Report your injury as soon as it happens
Maybe you had to uncouple your trailer and you twisted your back in a painful manner. Perhaps you were just lifting something, as you do every day, only this time the result was excruciating pain. This could happen even if you use proper lifting technique and wear a brace. Regardless of what triggered your symptoms, you should inform your employer as soon as you notice them.
That way, as your injury progresses or improves, you won’t have to worry about whether you can show that it happened at work. Reporting the accident when it happens ensures that there is an official record of the injury, which can make it easier for you to secure workers’ compensation benefits later on. It also means your employer will know why you have to visit a doctor and potentially take a few days off to rest and heal.
A severe back injury could end your career
Just because truck drivers spend most of their time driving doesn’t mean that they can do their job while severely injured, especially if it’s a back injury. If you get hurt at work, there is always the potential that that injury will later keep you from doing your job.
If your employer isn’t held accountable for the injury and the consequences in your life, you could wind up footing major medical bills and living without an income. Reporting the accident and seeking workers’ compensation benefits protects you and everyone who depends on you from the potential of an injury that completely changes your life.