Many drivers don’t want to admit that they’re stressed because they see that admission as a sign of weakness. But commercial driving is a stressful occupation. And there’s no question that stress causes physical effects on the body, including chronic pain and fatigue. Stress day-in and day out means that a commercial driver’s body is in often in a fight-or-flight mode, which releases stress chemicals like cortisol and adrenaline. And if the stress is continuous, it can lead to burnout and a lack of motivation, which often results in feeling tired even after short periods of driving.
Possibly the most important fatigue-fighter is good quality sleep. if your drivers are feeling fatigued each morning and throughout the day, a lack of good quality sleep may be the problem. If so, a lack of sleep can contribute to chronic fatigue and exhaustion. In addition, studies have shown that poor sleep quality can contribute to chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease and even shortened life expectancy. And of course, fatigue has immediate risks to your drivers, including impaired driving and other safety concerns.
Your drivers are busy folks and they may be thinking they don’t have the time or energy to exercise. But physical activity is critical for keeping energy levels up because it boosts circulation and improves heart health. Active bodies sleep more soundly because exercise helps with stress-management. And we all know that truck driving is a very stressful job.
In this time of the COVID-19 crisis, it’s more important than ever to stay as healthy as possible. It’s one of the most important things everyone can do – besides social distancing. Why? It’s a known fact that those who are less healthy are more apt to contract the virus and when they do, the symptoms are often more severe. In this series of blogs, we’re going to talk about ways that truck drivers can maximize their health – especially those very important drivers who are delivering essential supplies to the public.
Although the new recordkeeping requirements for workplace injury and illness set forth by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) have been delayed until further notice, keeping a close eye on workplace injuries means employers will be ready when the changes take effect.
As the opioid epidemic continues to widen in the United States, it’s important to recognize there are steps employers can take to help curb new cases. In a recent blog we discuss how addressing the underlying cause of pain or injury with first aid and physical therapy, rather than simply treating the symptoms with opioids, is not only a more effective treatment method for the injured worker, it’s also one that avoids the considerable risks associated with their use.
When you hear the term “workplace wellness program,” what comes to mind? You may think of initiatives that include wellness assessments, fitness, nutrition, weight loss, smoking cessation or proactive disease management. While these are important factors to consider when planning a workplace wellness program, there is another important aspect of wellness that employers cannot forget to include: ergonomics.