While many employees have been asked to work from home during the COVID-19 crisis, certain “essential” employees have not been provided this luxury. Delivery drivers are in one such class of workers that, despite the risks of continuing to work during the coronavirus outbreak, are still expected to put in hours in-person like usual. In fact, a shortage of drivers has even led to some workers working overtime during the crisis. Delivery driver burnout and an increased risk of harm during the coronavirus are real, and something of which drivers and their employers should be aware. At the law office of Schibell & Mennie, LLC, our New Jersey truck and delivery driver attorneys can help if you have been injured. Call us today for the help and support you need.
Increased Risks for Delivery Drivers During the Pandemic
U.S. delivery drivers are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. While these workers may be considered indispensable, these workers are at an increased risk of injury. Factors that lead to increased risk of contracting coronavirus or suffering other types of physical, emotional, or economic harm include:
- Drivers may not have access to personal protective equipment. While OSHA has recommended that medium- and high-risk employees wear personal protective equipment (PPE), such equipment may not be available to delivery drivers or provided by their employers. In addition to not having access to PPE, there have been reports of drivers not being able to wash their hands and not having access to clean and properly sanitized vehicles.
- Drivers may be overworking. Because there is now a shortage of drivers who are able to work, those who are working may be overworking. Overworking puts drivers at an increased risk of repetitive stress injuries, feelings of stress or burnout (which can have emotional and immune-system consequences), fatigue and fatigued driving (which can increase the risk of injuries), and more.
- Drivers may be more at risk of contracting the coronavirus. One of the biggest concerns for drivers right now is that of contracting the coronavirus. Interactions with other parties on the loading and receiving end of deliveries, customers, and other staff all make contracting the virus more likely, especially in circumstances where maintaining six feet of distance is impossible.
- A lack of legal protections. In addition to the many risks above, consider that many delivery drivers do not have adequate protections to encourage them to stay home when sick or caring for a sick loved one, such as paid sick leave or adequate healthcare. Many delivery drivers are also contract workers, which provides companies with legal distance from drivers’ wellbeing. Some employers may be wrongfully categorizing employees to deny benefits, including workers’ compensation benefits.
Call Our Delivery Driver and Worker’s Compensation Lawyers & Schibell & Mennie LLC Today
If you are a delivery driver who has suffered an injury or harm during the COVID-19 pandemic, legal remedy may be available to you. At the law office of Schibell & Mennie LLC, our lawyers are so grateful for your work during this terrible time, and want to make sure you have the support you need. Please call our law firm today to request a free consultation about your rights to workers’ compensation.
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