Many people may not think of trucking as a job that brings with it a lot of injury risk, but pro haulers certainly know better. There are all kinds of little aches and pains that can add up over time and create a greater risk of injury for truckers, especially if they're not diligent about taking care of themselves on an ongoing basis.
The following tips should help truckers avoid potentially major injuries by making just a few small changes to their daily routines:
1) Take the time to stretch regularly
One of the simplest ways to avoid injury risk is to stretch regularly over the course of the day, and especially any time you get out of your truck, according to Paramount Freight Systems. Little kinks in your neck or back and areas of tightness in your shoulders or legs should be dealt with as soon as you feel them, even with little stretches while you're in the driver's seat. That way, a small problem is less likely to become a bigger one.
2) Don't try to lift heavy objects without help
Among the most common causes of injuries for truckers is hurting their joints or throwing out their backs when they try to lift heavy objects, Paramount Freight Systems noted. In just about every case, if something seems slightly difficult to pick up (i.e. if you have to strain even a little bit) it's better to use a dolly or get someone to help you handle the item.
3) Check the ground before getting out of your truck
There may be certain situations where, when you get out of your truck, you've inadvertently parked just over a patch of ice, mud, debris or something else, according to Cover Wallet. These present a slipping or tripping hazard, and if you don't look where you're stepping as you get out, you could wind up flat on your back - and in a lot of pain. A little extra caution here will go a long way toward ensuring you avoid injury.
4) Don't grip the steering wheel too tightly
A surprisingly common injury for a lot of truckers is carpal tunnel syndrome, Cover Wallet said. Why? Because they spend a lot of time grasping their steering wheels. Doing so too tightly or for too long can lead to carpal tunnel. Take some time to stretch and flex your hands and wrists throughout the day to reduce your risk significantly.
5) Ensure your seat is properly aligned
Any trucker will tell you a sore back, neck, shoulders and more are a part of the job, but they don't necessarily have to be, according to Cargobot. If you do a little more to make sure your seat is properly set up - allowing for straight lines in your body so your feet sit comfortably on the pedals - and you're not holding a poor posture, you can make many of those pains a thing of the past.
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