Working as a school bus driver, you need to take steps to be sure you stay healthy and safe on the job. Of course, you probably focus most on driving safely to avoid crashes, but there are other things you should remember about staying safe on the job as well.
Did you know that a study of 1,233 drivers found that there was a correlation between driving a bus weekly and lower back injuries? According to a study, injuries increased by a surprising 39% every time a driver added 10 hours to their driving time.
Why are back injuries a risk?
When driving, you aren’t moving much. You are often in a hunched position and are going to be reaching out for the door lever (in some bus models). Fortunately, you can combat this by integrating ergonomic practices into your day, such as adjusting the seating to an appropriate position and using cushions or covers that offer back support.
It is also a good idea to consider exercising to reduce pain. Exercise such as backward bends, forward bends, knee bends and neck stretches may help you stay limber and help you avoid lower back pain.
What other workplace hazards do bus drivers face?
Other than back injuries, bus drivers also face hazards such as aggressive occupants, traffic, debris in a crush and medical issues, such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). It’s important that drivers have regular safety training and medical exams so that they can be sure that they are up to date on the current regulations and traffic safety rules as well as healthy enough to remain behind the wheel.
What should you do if you’re hurt on the job?
If you are hurt when driving a bus, make sure you report your injury to your employer. You should then seek medical care, whether that’s by going to the hospital by ambulance, driving yourself to see your primary care practitioner or taking other steps to get help.
Early treatment for lower back injuries and medical conditions may help you get back to work sooner. Let your employer know, so they can help you with your workers’ compensation claim for the compensation you need to cover your medical care and the time you’ll need off work.