Delivery workers, including those who work for UPS, Fedex and Amazon, face risks on a daily basis that people on other career paths may not have to deal with. Here are five of the most common threats to delivery drivers:
1. Repetitive strain injuries
Repetitive motions can cause stress on the muscles and joints of a worker’s body. By doing the same activities repeatedly, workers can overuse specific muscles. Commonly, this happens in the fingers, arms, hips, knees, lower back and other joints. Delivery drivers have physically demanding jobs that require them to lift, move and carry boxes, which unfortunately make sprains, tendinitis, carpal tunnel and other occupational injuries quite common.
2. Hazardous materials
From sharp objects and flammable materials to dangerous chemical compounds, the materials delivery drivers often transport can pose a threat if packaged poorly or are accidentally released. Additionally, workers who sort packages indoors could develop occupational asthma from breathing in paper dust. There are no federal regulations on paper dust, so unless the workplace stays clean, paper dust poses a risk.
According to the United States Postal Service, over 5,800 postal workers suffered dog attacks in 2020 alone. UPS, Fedex, Amazon and other delivery drivers also have to deal with this threat. Dog attacks can lead to severe injuries, such as scarring, head trauma, disfigurement, broken bones, nerve damage and more. Those who deliver packages, food or other items must be wary of aggressive or territorial dogs.
4. Car accidents
Delivery workers are on the road more often than the average worker. Therefore, the risk of getting into a car accident is much higher. Many of these accidents are the result of negligent drivers, from those who are going too fast or driving distracted to those who simply do not understand how to operate their vehicles around larger delivery trucks.
5. Hazardous weather
The weather can increase the risk of slipping and falling. Slip and fall injuries can occur from rain or hail. Delivery drivers frequently walk and climb stairs, not to mention constantly moving in and out of their delivery vehicles, so a slip can easily lead to a life-threatening injury.
Delivery workers need extra precautions to protect themselves from both common and unique workplace injuries.