Once the exclusive purview of the United States Postal Service, private delivery companies have taken over the streets of cities and states throughout the nation. Companies such as Amazon, FedEx, UPS, and other providers have grown in prominence with promises of quick service.
However, with growth and success comes staff issues, specifically overworked drivers traveling from house to house. The particularly daunting task considering the holiday season creates pressure to make timely deliveries becomes daunting at best. Overwork sets in, with fatigue following soon after. The convergence increases the possibility of serious accidents.
A Multi-Year History Of Problems
The problem dates back a few years. When COVID-19 breached the borders of the United States, the need to deliver goods instead of store purchases skyrocketed throughout the nation. In response, delivery companies stepped up and increased staffing.
However, that growth in what is referred to as the haulage and logistics industries resulted in overworked employees dealing with their own mental health. Fatigue, anxiety, and fearfulness of job security have become the rule, not the exception.
Research from Mercedes-Bez Vans U K reveals twenty percent of drivers categorize their job-related anxiety as poor or very poor. Workers cite increased time pressure and workloads on highly congested roads during the holiday season. Uncertainty over their future with their employer plays a role in depression.
The problem is in desperate need of a solution. Countless drivers claim they don’t have access to managers to express their concerns. For now, their issues remain unresolved, putting them and other drivers in danger of serious and potentially fatal accidents.
Work Injuries–Including Repetitive Job Duties
With the influx of delivery drivers–and need to get christmas gifts delivered timely!–work injuries are bound to happen. From motor vehicle accidents to slip and falls to back injuries from repetitive lifting, delivery drivers are at greater risk of injury. When injured, a delivery driver is entitled to worker’s compensation benefits, including medical bill coverage, 2/3 of wages when healing, and potentially permanent disability benefits.
Many delivery drivers are unaware that repetitive movements can qualify for worker’s compensation benefits–even if not a one time event. Examples include:
- Knee injuries from repetitive getting in and out trucks/vans/cars.
- Back/spine injuries from continuous lifting and loading/unloading packages of varying weight.
- Shoulder injuries from repetitive reaching and lifting overhead.
Many deliver drivers (and their doctors) do not initially associate their job duties with the physical injury. Workers need to be aware that their repetitive job duties could be playing a role in their condition…and that they have access to work comp benefits.