Any trucker can tell you that driving is just one part of the job. Most truck drivers also spend a considerable part of their time loading and unloading vehicles, and, all too often, they suffer back injuries as a result of their labors.
There’s a right way and a wrong way to load trucks, and knowing the difference can help truck drivers avoid injuries that can put them out of work. About 35 percent of all injuries suffered by tractor trailer drivers are related to overexertion and bodily reaction, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Forty-one percent of all injuries to delivery truck drivers resulted from overexertion and bodily reaction.
Truck drivers can reduce their chance of injury and load trucks more efficiently by following a few simple tips:
- Get help for items that are too large – If a load is too large for you to comfortably lift on your own, be sure to have tools like dollies on hand or ask another person to help.
- Lift with your knees – When picking up and setting down items, bend your knees, not your waist.
- Use good posture – When lifting, try to keep your back as straight as possible. Avoid arching your back.
- Use good footwork – When lifting, stand close to the item you’re picking up and keep your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Take it easy – When lifting heavy objects, use slow and steady movements. Moving a little slower won’t slow you as much as having to stop because you’ve overexerted yourself will.
- Load large items first – This helps you to ensure you have sufficient room for everything you need to load. It’s much easier to rearrange smaller items at the end of loading than having to try to make room for a large item.
By utilizing these best practices, you can load and unload your truck more efficiently and reduce your risk of injury.
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