Delivery drivers serve the American public by bringing us our eagerly awaited packages and supplies each day as promised by retailers and businesses. What most customers do not realize are the significant safety risks these drivers face each day.
Traffic accidents, loading and unloading injuries, and risks of violent acts on delivery drivers resulted in over 5,000 fatalities for delivery and truck drivers in 2016. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that delivery drivers and truck drivers had the highest number of fatal workplace accidents in the country that year. While many delivery drivers work relatively safe routes, the risk for serious and sometimes fatal accidents is significant.
On the Job Risks for Delivery Drivers
The biggest risk for serious injury and death for delivery drivers is motor vehicle accidents. These workers operate on tight schedules with firm deadlines. Amazon and other online retailers promise next day and even same day delivery of products to entice customers. While customers love the convenience of this service, many do not realize the risks involved with fulfilling these merchandisers’ promises.
As delivery drivers work diligently to meet their delivery schedules, they are often faced with unavoidable delays, such as inclement weather conditions, road construction and detours, and mechanical issues. The pressure of delivery schedules can result in high levels of stress that can impede the driver’s attention and focus, which increases the risk of accidents and injuries.
The most common types of accidents and injuries for delivery drivers include:
- Traffic accidents
- Lifting heavy objects
- Loading and unloading accidents
- Forklift accidents
- Falling boxes and heavy packages
- Slips, trips, and falls
- Dog bites
- Repetitive task injuries
- Muscle, tendon, and ligament tears and strains
- Fractured bones and sprains
- Degenerative joints
- Heat illnesses
- Exposure to toxic or dangerous chemicals
Delivery drivers have little control over the geographical areas where they must deliver their merchandise. High crime areas and congested city areas pose a serious risk for violence and traffic accidents that can result in catastrophic injury or death.
How can Delivery Drivers Protect Themselves?
With adherence to safety precautions and careful planning, delivery drivers can reduce their risk of serious injury.
- Avoid distracted driving by keeping cell phones and navigation tools out of reach.
- Make sure the delivery truck is routinely inspected and well maintained.
- Keep fuel tanks from dipping below the quarter tank level.
- Be familiar with the delivery area and plan the delivery route in advance.
- Use hand trucks, carts, and dollies to move heavy packages.
- Park as close to the delivery point as possible.
- Avoid delivering to abandoned buildings and hotel rooms.
- Carry a flashlight when delivering in the evening hours.
- Be prepared for encounters with animals.
- Look out for fall hazards such as wheel stops and potholes in parking lots.
Dedicated delivery personal are appreciated by employers and customers, but safety should always be the number one priority for all delivery personnel. When on the job injuries happen, workers’ compensation benefits can provide compensation for lost wages and medical costs.
Bucks County Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Advocate for Worker Safety
If you have been injured on the job, call the Bucks County workers’ compensation lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. at 888-999-1962, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Our Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Cherry Hill, New Jersey offices serve clients throughout the surrounding areas, including Bucks County and Delaware Count. We also have offices in Pinehurst, North Carolina to assist our clients in the south.