The top five trucking tasks that can lead to injury

Independence, decent pay and travel are just some of the perks of being a truck driver. On the flipside, without proper safety training, experience and abiding by safety laws and rules, the job can be downright risky.

The trucking, courier and commercial bus industry in Saskatchewan had the third highest Time Loss injury rate in the province compared to other industries in 2018. And in 2018, the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) accepted more than 1,000 injury claims for the industry.

So what trucking tasks are the riskiest? WorkSafe Saskatchewan partnered with the Saskatchewan Trucking Association (STA) to take a deep dive into trucking hazards and identified 13 tasks that lead to injury the most often.

Here are the top five:

Moving freight

Injuries from moving freight — particularly from lifting cargo — happen the most frequently and include slips, trips and falls, lacerations, splinters and damage caused from repetitive movement. Cargo-lifting injuries often occur at loading docks and delivery sites and during cargo securement checks.

Securing loads

An entire section of the National Safety Code for Motor Carriers (Standard 10) is devoted to cargo securement for good reason. There are a multitude of variables when it comes to securing loads. It’s important that carrier companies ensure their drivers are familiar with Standard 10, as well as with weight and dimension regulations. Shippers should be familiar with them, too.

Hooking up trailers

Inattention, haste and poor posture when connecting a trailer can lead to hand, foot and facial injuries, as well as lacerations, crush injuries, and back and shoulder damage.

Slips and trips

An overwhelming number of slips and trips occur due to ice. They can happen anywhere, but often in yards and on loading docks.

Driving

Speeding, tailgating and illegal lane changes by other drivers — these are just some of the dangerous driving behaviours truckers encounter. WorkSafe Saskatchewan has partnered with Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) to better understand the root causes of work-related motor vehicle crashes — the second leading cause of workplace deaths in the province.

Want to know more?

Using the information from WorkSafe Saskatchewan and the STA’s joint analysis on the most common types of injures in the trucking industry, the STA  developed a four-to-six-hour training course to help participants perform key trucking tasks more safely. The course is offered in Saskatoon and Regina and is geared to drivers, technicians, safety managers, dock workers and shippers.

To register for the course, contact the STA at alie@sasktrucking.com or call 306.569.9696.