Risks endemic to long-haul trucking in North America: strategies to protect and promote driver well-being.

Research paper by Yorghos Y Apostolopoulos, Michael M Lemke, Sevil S Sönmez

Indexed on: 24 Jul '14Published on: 24 Jul '14Published in: New solutions : a journal of environmental and occupational health policy : NS


Long-haul truck drivers in North America function in a work context marked by excess physical and psychological workload, erratic schedules, disrupted sleep patterns, extreme time pressures, and these factors' far-reaching consequences. These work-induced stressors are connected with excess risk for cardiometabolic disease, certain cancers, and musculoskeletal and sleep disorders, as well as highway crashes, which in turn exert enormous financial burdens on trucking and warehousing companies, governments and healthcare systems, along with working people within the sector. This article: 1) delineates the unique work environment of long-haul truckers, describing their work characteristics and duties; (2) discusses the health hazards of long-haul trucking that impact drivers, the general population, and trucking enterprises, examining how this work context induces, sustains, and exacerbates these hazards; and (3) proposes comprehensive, multi-level strategies with potential to protect and promote the health, safety, and well-being of truckers, while reducing adverse consequences for companies and highway safety.