Think about how many times a week (or even a day) you order something online. Every time you click “order” from Amazon, there is a whole chain of events and people work to get the order to your door. The last step in that process is the person who delivers the package to your house. They have to haul around, push, lift and carry these boxes, no matter how big or how small. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, delivery work tends to have high injury and illness rates compared to most other occupations. There are some steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of injury for delivery workers.
How-to Reduce the Risk of Injury for Delivery Workers: Safety on the Job
One major risk of injury for delivery workers is something that may not even immediately come to mind – driving. Delivery workers are on the road for a good bit of their work day. Things like bad weather, poor road conditions, distractions and other drivers can lead to auto accidents. Since packages need to be delivered almost every day of the year, these workers must go out in all kinds of weather conditions. From snow and ice to wind and rain, they are working in it all. Therefore, their vehicles need to be in top working condition. Routine maintenance, like checking the tires and replacing windshield wipers are all important to the drivers safety.
Additionally, drivers need to avoid distractions. This includes talking on the phone, texting while driving, adjusting the radio, or fumbling with the GPS. While these are sometimes a necessary part of the job, the driver should wait to complete these tasks until the they are safely stopped.
Picking up Boxes
Delivery workers typically work alone. Therefore, they do not have anyone else with them to help them with heavy loads. Due to this, there is a high risk of injury for delivery workers. Common injuries include muscle, tendon, and ligament strains and tears, slipped disk, other back, shoulder, and neck injuries, and spinal injuries. They should avoid lifting packages over their head. Additionally, a dolly can help lift and move larger boxes. In order to properly lift a package, it is important to lift with the knees instead of the back.
Since these workers are out working during all weather conditions, it is very possible for them to slip and fall. Sidewalks, roads and porches can become very slick in the rain or snow. Not every house or business will have removed all of the snow or ice, increasing the risk of injury for delivery workers. These workers need to be mindful about slick spots and wear sturdy shoes with a good grip.