As the holiday season approaches, delivery drivers often experience an uptick in workload. This makes it crucial to revisit safety protocols to prevent on-the-job injuries. The tips outlined below are designed to safeguard delivery drivers during the busy holiday period.
Whether you're a delivery driver or an employer, learn which tips and best practices to consider this holiday season. If you're injured on the job, speak to an experienced Ohio workers' compensation attorney to initiate your claim.
Defensive driving techniques
Employers should teach drivers about defensive driving practices to navigate congested roads safely. Drivers should know how to keep a sufficient distance from the vehicle ahead to allow adequate time to react and stop safely, especially in adverse weather conditions or heavy traffic.
Additionally, drivers should be trained to stay alert, focused, and aware of their surroundings, anticipating potential hazards such as erratic drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, and changing traffic conditions.
Proper work attire for delivery drivers
Delivery drivers should be educated on the type of work attire they should wear during the holiday season. Wearing shoes with good traction is important, especially in slippery or uneven conditions. Drivers should also wear multiple layers of clothing for insulation, as well as gloves and a warm hat.
Vehicle safety and maintenance
As a delivery driver, you may need to conduct thorough pre-trip inspections. This should cover checking headlights, tail lights, brake lights, turn signals, tire pressure, oil levels, coolant levels, windshield wipers, and ensuring mirrors and windows are clean and unobstructed.
Drivers should also know how to inspect the battery for corrosion and loose connections and how to gauge battery health, especially in colder months when battery performance can decline.
Handling and ergonomics
Proper lifting and handling techniques are important for preventing injuries while loading and unloading packages. Ergonomic training can reduce the risk of strains and sprains.
Employers should teach drivers to lift with their legs, not their backs. They should bend at the knees and hips, keeping the load close to their body, and avoid twisting or turning the spine while lifting.
Drivers should also be trained to use mechanical aids such as hand trucks, dollies, or pallet jacks to move heavy or bulky items. This reduces the strain on the body.
Fatigue management for delivery drivers
Employers should educate drivers on the signs of fatigue and strategies to manage it, such as taking regular breaks, staying hydrated, and maintaining a healthy sleep schedule.
Drivers should also learn how to identify signs of fatigue, such as yawning, heavy eyes, lack of concentration, and slower reaction times. Understanding these signs is the first step in managing fatigue.
Emergency procedures for delivery drivers
Knowing what to do in case of a vehicle breakdown is important. This includes safely moving the vehicle off the road, using hazard lights, setting up reflective triangles or flares, and contacting roadside assistance or a supervisor.
Drivers should know the steps to take if involved in a traffic accident. That includes:
- Checking for injuries.
- Calling emergency services.
- Exchanging information with other involved parties.
- Taking photos of the scene.
- Reporting the incident to their employer.
Employers should also provide basic first-aid training. That includes how to handle cuts, bruises, and sprains. Knowledge of CPR and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED) can also be invaluable.
Parking and backing up safely
Employers should instruct drivers to select parking spots that are safe and legal. Drivers should know how to avoid blocking traffic, driveways, and pedestrian pathways. Parking should be in well-lit areas for better visibility.
Whenever possible, drivers should park on level ground to prevent the vehicle from rolling. This is especially important for larger delivery vehicles.
Get legal help if you've been injured on the job
If you sustained an injury this holiday season, it's important that you get medical attention, report the incident to your employer, and speak to an attorney as soon as possible. The Ohio workers' compensation attorneys at Hochman & Plunkett know how to help delivery drivers get the compensation they need to cover medical expenses and lost wages while they're out of work.
When you consult with us, we won't charge you any upfront fees. We also offer legal representation on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay no fees unless we win your case. Get started on your workers' compensation claim today. Contact us for a free case evaluation.