Prioritizing Safety for Delivery Drivers
Delivery drivers constantly face risks on the road throughout the year. This is why it’s important for delivery companies like FedEx, UPS, Amazon, and others to prioritize delivery driver safety at all times.
Even though workers’ compensation benefits cover most delivery driver injuries, the best approach is for employers to do everything they can to keep delivery drivers safe.
Delivery drivers are at high risk of injury
The demand for delivery drivers has never been greater. UPS announced this past fall that the company planned to hire 100,000 seasonal delivery drivers, while Amazon planned to hire a whopping 250,000, according to The Hill.
Those numbers are on top of the 1.7 million people who regularly work in the delivery business driving for companies like FedEx and UPS, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS also noted that delivery drivers “have a physically demanding job.” This is why work-related injuries sustained by delivery drivers are so common.
The increase in delivery work is primarily driven by the growing popularity of online shopping. Since 2020, online shopping orders have increased by 43 percent nationwide, according to an Annual Retail Trade Survey.
Common causes of delivery driver injuries
Delivery drivers are susceptible to various work-related injuries due to the nature of their job. Here are some of the most common causes of injuries among delivery drivers, along with further details on each:
- Lifting heavy boxes: The task of lifting and carrying heavy packages can lead to strains, sprains, and back injuries. It's essential for delivery drivers to use proper lifting techniques and seek assistance for heavy items.
- Prolonged sitting: Spending extended hours seated in a delivery truck can result in musculoskeletal issues, including back pain and stiffness. Regular breaks and stretching exercises are crucial for minimizing these risks.
- Slip and falls: Slip and fall accidents can occur while navigating through various terrains and weather conditions during deliveries. These incidents can result in sprained ankles, fractures, or other injuries. Adequate footwear and cautious movement can help prevent such accidents.
- Repetitive motion injuries: Engaging in repetitive movements, such as bending, lifting, or driving for extended periods, can lead to overuse injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome or repetitive strain injuries. Proper ergonomics and regular breaks can alleviate these risks.
- Handling sharp objects: Delivery drivers often encounter packages with sharp objects or hazardous materials. Accidental cuts or injuries from handling these items can occur. Wearing protective gloves and exercising caution while unpacking can reduce the likelihood of such incidents.
- Motor vehicle collisions: One of the most significant risks faced by delivery drivers is involvement in motor vehicle accidents. These accidents can result in a wide range of injuries, from minor cuts and bruises to severe trauma. Defensive driving, adherence to traffic laws, and regular vehicle maintenance are essential to mitigate this risk.
Safety tips for delivery drivers
There are many ways delivery companies and drivers can help keep workers safe. Safety + Health Magazine recently offered some suggestions for preventing work-related injuries involving delivery drivers, including:
- Provide safety training for delivery drivers, especially seasonal drivers who might not be aware of the best safety practices for delivery drivers.
- Before delivery trucks leave a packaging facility, make sure the brake lights, headlights, and hazard lights are working.
- Teach delivery drivers how to safely lift and unload packages so as not to put extra strain on their backs.
- Remind drivers to park on level ground in a visible spot so other drivers can clearly see the parked delivery truck.
- Ensure that drivers wear shoes with good traction.
- Make sure drivers have a headlamp or flashlight for nighttime deliveries.
When accidents or injuries occur, delivery companies need to make sure their drivers receive medical attention right away. They must also report any work-related injuries involving delivery drivers to the proper local, state, or federal authority.
Why should I hire a workers’ compensation lawyer?
You might think you don’t even need an attorney if you get hurt on the job while working as a delivery driver. All you have to do is tell your employer you got hurt at work and you should start receiving workers’ compensation benefits right away.
Unfortunately, the reality is many workers’ compensation claims often turn into complicated legal cases. This is why our Mississippi workers’ compensation lawyers at Tabor Law Firm, P.A. in Jackson want to meet with you as soon as possible.
We understand how the workers’ compensation system works in Mississippi. We know what steps to take and how to fill out the necessary forms. We can also represent you in court before a workers’ compensation judge and handle your workers’ compensation appeal if your application has been denied.
Learn more about your legal options. Contact our law firm and schedule a free consultation with a Mississippi workers’ compensation lawyer you can count on in a crisis. Our Jackson office is conveniently located on North Congress Street and we proudly serve people throughout Mississippi.