Are Truck Drivers in Danger of Contracting COVID-19?
As essential workers, truck drivers are facing increased risks during the COVID-19 pandemic. Call a workers’ compensation lawyer if you have been harmed.
While stay-at-home orders have mandated many businesses to shut down and for workers to perform their jobs from the safe confines of their home, truck drivers are not part of a class of workers that has such protections during the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, now more than ever before, truck drivers are at an increased risk of harm due to the very nature of their jobs. If you are a truck driver who has suffered an injury as a result of your employment, please call Andres Law Offices, PC LLO today for a free consultation.
Risks to Truck Drivers During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Truck drivers are in a class of workers that has been immediately and severely impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. Truck drivers are essential during this time, responsible for getting materials, supplies, and food distributed across the country. Yet truck drivers are at a greater risk of injury and harm, as well as stress and burnout. Risks, dangers, and concerns faced by truck drivers during this trying time include:
- Increased risk of driver fatigue. There is a shortage of truck drivers right now, as some truck drivers have already contracted the virus or have been around those who are sick, and are unable to return to work. The shortage of truck drivers has resulted in longer hours for those who are working. Many truck drivers are working longer hours without breaks in fear of stopping at rest stops and contracting the virus. Longer hours and more time on the job may increase the risk of driver fatigue, which greatly increases the risk of a truck accident. Working longer hours and shifts also means that truck drivers are engaging in activities that increase the risk of repetitive stress and other work-related injuries, such as unloading and loading of cargo.
- Risk of exposure to the coronavirus. Truck drivers may be forced to interact with shippers and loaders, as well as people on the receiving end of deliveries. In addition, truck drivers must stop for gas, food, rest, and the use of a restroom, putting them in direct contact with those who could be infected with COVID-19. Many drivers have not been offered proper personal protective equipment (PPE) by their employers, and do not have access to facilities for frequent hand-washing. If drivers do contract the virus, there is worry that they will not be able to return home. Trucking companies have not revealed policies on how they will get drivers home should this happen.
- Fear of retribution. Truck drivers also fear retribution for complaining, requesting time off and paid leave, requesting PPE, or filing for workers’ compensation.
Call Our Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Today
Without truck drivers, hospitals, businesses, and citizens would not have access to critical supplies and food. These workers are heroes of this pandemic and should be treated with care and consideration. At Andres Law Offices, PC LLO, our experienced Omaha workers’ compensation lawyers will advocate for you if you are a truck driver who has been harmed during this time. Please call our law office today for a free consultation.