More than 1.4 million Americans work as delivery drivers in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). While different companies use these drivers for different purposes, the most common task for delivery drivers is to pick up and/or transport products. From local family-owned businesses to global Fortune 500 companies, countless businesses use delivery drivers. And while some people believe that this occupation has a low risk of injury, this isn't necessarily true. There are steps that delivery drivers can take, however, to lower their risk of injury.
Watch the Back
One of the most common injuries sustained by delivery drivers is low back pain. Deliver drivers are often forced to sit in uncomfortable positions for four or more hours at a time. Even when they arrive at their destination, they must load or unload packages, further straining their back. To protect against back injury, delivery drivers should avoid lifting boxes and objects by bending their back. The proper way to lift is to bend your knees and pick up the load without bending your back.
Don't Drive While Fatigued
Driving while fatigued may seem harmless enough, but it increases the risk of collision while leaving both the delivery driver and motorists surrounding him or her susceptible to injury in the process. Some studies have shown that driving while fatigued carries the same risk of collision as driving while under the influence of alcohol. If a driver feels tired and fatigued, he or she should refrain from getting behind the wheel until they've rested and recovered.
Of course, vehicle maintenance plays an important role in creating a safe working environment for delivery drivers. If a driver isn't given a safe, properly maintained vehicle, he or she may experience an accident. With that said, vehicle maintenance isn't the driver's responsibility; it's the employer's. The employer should maintain all active vehicles in his or her delivery fleet to reduce the risk of collision and worker injury.
Use Lights and Signals
This rule isn't limited to delivery drivers. All motorists should use their lights when it's raining and their turn signals when they are turning. If another motorist doesn't see the delivery driver's vehicle, he or she may veer into their path, resulting in a collision. Delivery drivers can make themselves more visible on the road by using their lights and turn signals.