OSHA ranks semi-truck driving as one of the worst jobs for drivers’ health. The combination of long hours of sedentary driving, stress, and sudden activity with heavy loads is dangerous. But as OSHA, FMCSA, and health professionals examine semi-truck driving in greater detail, there are even more underlying health risks.
What are some of the top health risks impacting your drivers?
Your drivers’ health doesn’t just impact health insurance costs. Risk factors can also impede safe driving, and that can cause additional risks for your company’s driving records, liability to third parties, and more. Here are some of the most expensive risk factors that may surprise you:
Sleep apnea made headlines last year when there was going to be more regimented testing and diagnosing for the sleep disorder. Whether through genetics, weight gain, or a combination of both, an increasing number of Americans have difficulty breathing consistently during sleep. Their throat muscles relax and their airway gets smaller, which means regular breathing and, through that, sleep is interrupted. Even if drivers with sleep apnea aren’t fully woken up, it decreases the quality of sleep and causes higher incidents of driver fatigue, exhaustion and poor response time, and even a lowered immune system.
This health risk is associated with staying in a seated position for several hours a day. The leg and foot muscles don’t receive enough stimulation to keep good blood flow, and the problem is worsened through roadside diet, lack of exercise, and cold temperature or high altitude.
Stress is dangerous no matter job people have, but the isolation, long hours, and occasionally nocturnal work schedule drivers have can make the condition worse. If you manage your drivers’ routes, make sure their schedules are varied to allow interaction whenever possible; even having required breaks fall along times when they’ll have the most communication with others at truck stops can help stave off mental stress.
For more factors affecting your drivers, and how to keep both them and your insurance rates healthy, go to J.E.B. Insurance Services, LLC. We provide commercial truck insurance in the states of Florida, Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Illinois, Iowa & Nebraska.