The past few years have seen an explosion in people ordering things online for quick in-home delivery. Amazon Prime and other subscription-based services promise fast, instant-gratification shopping. And during the holiday season, online gift shopping has joined buying groceries, clothing and other necessities as a popular at-home activity.
As a result, delivery drivers around Milwaukee have been busier than perhaps ever before. Most delivery services, like Amazon, have hired extra drivers to deal with the demand.
Delivery driving is an unusual job in that the worker does not do their job at a specific location. While they may pick up their deliveries at a particular depot or warehouse, they travel along their route to the homes and businesses that ordered the items.
This exposes delivery drivers to two ways of suffering an on-the-job injury:
- Truck accidents; and
- Injuries suffered on foot
Indications are that delivery drivers are suffering more injuries than ever before this holiday season. With increased pressure to deliver more products quicker than ever before, delivery drivers are susceptible to work-related injuries both in and out of their delivery vehicles.
Any vehicle on the road can get into an accident. Delivery drivers, who spend most of their day driving, are more at risk of a serious crash than others. This is especially true around the holidays when icy Wisconsin streets (in Milwaukee, Waukesha and elsewhere) can increase the risk of a traffic collision. As with any auto accident victim, delivery drivers can get seriously injured to the point that they will have to miss work while recovering.
Hand delivering packages
Once a driver reaches their delivery site, they must bring the packages to the customer. For workers who deliver heavy boxes or groceries, they can be at risk of sustaining serious musculoskeletal injuries. Then there is the danger of falls on uneven or slick sidewalks or pavement, broken or ice-covered stairs, or wet floors. For people who deliver relatively small items (like restaurant takeout), repetitive lifting and carrying over time can also create an issue (occupational exposure injuries are just as real as traumatic injuries in workers’ compensation).
Many delivery drivers, especially for larger delivery companies like Amazon, may be employed through a separate contract company—meaning that a workers’ compensation claim would need to be made through that separate employer if they get hurt at work. If you are not sure if you can claim workers’ comp for an injury you sustained as a delivery driver, consider speaking with an attorney who is experienced in Wisconsin workers’ compensation law.