If operating a heavy-duty commercial truck is your way of earning an income, you are a member of one of the most hazardous professions in Nebraska. Spending long hours behind the wheel with hardly any exercise and a poor diet will make you more vulnerable to illness and injuries. You could even suffer a work-related injury that is serious enough to prevent you from returning to work for a long time.
The dangerous nature of your occupation exposes you to numerous hazards, one of which is road accidents. However, that is only one of the many dangers truckers face. Loading and unloading of cargo, connecting and disconnecting the trailer, opening shipping containers and a multitude of other tasks can lead to debilitating medical conditions.
Many of your daily tasks on your trips can cause MSDs that could include sprains, strains and other injuries to tendons, muscles and nerves. The following conditions can develop from these disorders:
- Muscle strain
- Shoulder pain
- Back pain
- Epicondylitis or tennis elbow
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Lacerations and cuts
Causes of injuries
Your job will require you to carry out strenuous work without help, particularly during loading and unloading. You might even have to do minor mechanical repairs if your truck breaks down. Getting in and out of the cab and climbing up and down the trailer can cause falls. Lifting and carrying heavy objects, gripping tightly, reaching overhead, working in awkward postures and making repetitive motions can all contribute to overexertion. The following situations can result in time off work:
- Opening of shipping containers causing strained wrists
- Vehicle accidents causing a variety of injuries
- Static hold on the steering wheel causing carpal tunnel syndrome
- Lifting, moving and lowering of boxes and other cargo causing back injuries
- Disconnecting trailer from tractor causing back and shoulder injuries
- Manual or forklift-assisted loading and unloading of cargo causing struck-by accidents
- Unstable or unbalanced loads causing crush injuries
- Trips during egress or access to the trailer or driver's cab causing fall accidents
- Dangerous conditions in loading dock causing slip-and-fall accidents
How will you support your family after such an injury?
You might be unable to get back onto the road and earn a full wage after suffering any of these injuries. Life-changing surgery and rehabilitation might keep you at home for an extended period. However, you might find comfort in knowing that the Nebraska workers' compensation insurance system will have your back. If you are eligible, the benefits will cover all your medical expenses, and you will receive a wage-replacement package for the period of your absence from work. Resources are available to assist with the claims process.