The trucking industry is no stranger to high Workers’ Compensation claim rates and costs. The biggest risks fall into three categories: traffic accidents, loading and unloading injuries and repetitive stress injuries. These categories include exposure to falls, being struck by an object, and overexertion. Many of these injuries occur while connecting or disconnecting a trailer to the truck or opening stuck trailer doors. In an industry that continues to be plagued by a shortage of qualified drivers, it is vital to return those that are injured to work as soon as possible.

When a trucker is injured on the job, it benefits both the company and the employee to return the injured individual to work as soon as possible. We have provided a list of light duty tasks below that trucking companies can assign to injured workers. Before starting any injured employee on any light duty job, employers should make sure to get physician approval and provide a job offer letter in writing.

  • Assign a different area or route where there is no interaction with the freight
  • Ride along with other employees
  • Perform truck/vehicle inspections
  • Dispatch or answer phones
  • Perform training duties
  • Watch safety videos
  • Review and update safety manuals and safety bulletin board
  • Do online safety classes
  • Work as a spotter
  • Answering phones at company headquarters
  • Doing volunteer work at a non-profit organization
  • Review old files or records

Trucking companies may want to identify additional options in addition to the suggested light duty tasks listed above. Schedule a meeting of supervisors and employees to suggest other options for transitional or modified work. Attendees should try to be creative and come up with as many ideas as possible. Be sure to suggest meaningful and productive tasks that need to be done in the workplace or on the job site. List the physical activities for each task, as this will assist the doctor in understanding the work and potentially approving it to meet any physical or medical restrictions.