Workplace Safety

Amphetamines on the Road

Truck drivers cope with their intense working conditions in many different ways. Trucks are in many ways the lifeblood of America, moving food and supplies around America. The companies they work for are on tight schedules, and as a result, many truck drivers have to work 15-20 hours a week. To deal with these incredibly demanding schedules, many drivers resort to chemical stimulants to stay awake and alert on their routes. These stimulants can be as innocuous as coffee, but truckers also partake in harder drugs such as amphetamines to keep awareness of their surroundings.

The most concerning thing about taking stimulants such as amphetamines or cocaine to make it through a long shift is that, while they do make the user more energetic and awake, they can drastically affect perception and reaction to events on the road. This makes truck drivers much more unpredictable, leading to dangerous road conditions and even crashes.

This is to say nothing of the other methods some truckers use to get through a shift, which is much more concerning. Studies have found that many truckers use depressants such as marijuana and alcohol to make it through their long shifts, creating a much more serious hazard on the road. Alcohol and marijuana bring with them the same perception and reaction issues that stimulants do, but also greatly reduce the user’s awareness. They only increase and amplify the fatigue that drivers are going through a long shift experience, and make their driving much more hazardous for themselves and everyone else on the road.

Aside from being an immediate hazard on the road, substance abuse can have far-reaching consequences for drivers. Dependency is an issue with all of the drugs listed above, but it becomes much more likely when the user is taking the drug to cope with another stress in their life. Truckers who take drugs to cope with long shifts run the risk of becoming unable to work long shifts at all without the help of drugs.

While drivers shoulder most of the blame for irresponsible drug use while driving, it can’t be omitted that the reason that many partake at all are the extreme hours that many of them feel compelled to work. If truckers don’t work these extreme hours, they could be at risk of termination or not be able to pay off the lease on their truck. It’s understandable why some drivers feel the need to make the unwise decision to abuse drugs to make it through these shifts.

Truck drivers must be aware of other pathways they can take to avoid abusing drugs while on the job. The Department of Transportation recently mandated that all truck drivers be given a break after 8 hours of work and that a full work day could not exceed 11 hours. Truckers should be aware of these rules and exercise their rights whenever they feel tired. If a trucking company is pressuring its driver to exceed the 11-hour workday, the driver is protected under US law to refuse on the grounds of fatigue.

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How to Receive Compensation After an Accident in the Workplace

Accidents can happen at any time or place. Because there’s no reliable way to account for and anticipate when these incidents can occur, it’s always smart to take extra care when taking part in particularly risky activities. For some people, these risky tasks are part of their jobs. Individuals working in jobs in the construction and manufacturing industries are among the most vulnerable to accidents in their daily routines.

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration names the following as just some of the most common accidents that happen in the U.S. Among the most common workplace accidents include incidents where workers slip or fall due to slippery or hazardous surfaces and become exposed to toxic substances. Other common causes of workplace injuries include repetitive motions and constantly lifting or carrying heavy objects.

While not all workplace accidents lead to serious illness or injury, most of these accidents do end up having a profound effect on an employee’s ability to perform their jobs. Serious medical conditions such as amputations and spinal cord injuries will clearly affect a person’s ability to perform the type of work they had done before their accident, leaving them without a proper source of income. Similarly, while not as alarming, minor injuries such as carpal tunnel also requires workers to take significant time off from work in order to properly recover. In both cases, these workers should be properly compensated by their employers through workers’ compensation benefits.

Regardless of the specific details, workers that have been injured on the job are entitled to receive compensation payments that would help cover expenses they’ve incurred for treatment and recover. Individuals currently in this situation can consult with a lawyer to help expedite to claims process.

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Pre-Employment Testing Saves Times and Money

Hiring new employees can be time consuming and expensive for both the employer and the possible candidates. Employers must take the time to sift through applications, individually interview possible candidates, narrow it down and possibly even interview again. Candidates must take the time to carefully apply, then are forced to wait through the interview and hiring process, all the time with the possibility of not being qualified for the job. This wastes time, and we all know time is money. According to the website of WorkSTEPS, practicing pre-employment testing can save both the employers and the candidates’ time and money.

The main purpose of pre-employment testing is to determine if the candidate is able to perform the job they are applying for. This can be through physical measures, such as having to lift up to a certain amount of weight, or for technical jobs can be tests of knowledge, such as having a certain math level for an accounting position. By having candidates take these tests, the employer can know in advance that a candidate is qualified without having to spend hours sifting through applications. This also reduces the cost to the applicant as well; they will know immediately after completing the test if they are qualified, and if not, are able to continue their job search with less wait time between.

After a candidate is chosen, post-offer testing can be performed as well. These tests establish a baseline of health for the candidate before they begin working. A physician examines the candidate to determine any health issues or pre-existing conditions that may or may not affect their ability to do their job properly. This is also helpful in having a reliably measure of health for comparison in the event of injury.

Pre-employment testing can be beneficial to both the employer and candidate when performed properly.

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