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June 17, 2015 

Allen Lund Company Newsletter

Emergent Issues in Distribution and Transportation

In This Issue
Health and the Commercial Driver

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Jenn Cole, Editor  
Allen Lund Company
Grand Rapids Office
(800) 641-5863 

Health and the Commercial Driver 

 

Most of us seldom, if ever pause to think of the many health issues facing today's professional truck drivers.  According to the latest news release by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, truck driving is the seventh most dangerous occupation in the country with a work related fatality rate of 22 per 100,000 workers through the 2013 reporting period.  That's 7% lower than the previous year, however the report does go on to state this number is likely to rise when all information gathering is completed for the period. The data for 2014 will be available in September of this year; it will be interesting to compare the data from 2014 and 2013. These statistics should not be too surprising, given the fact that over-the-road drivers are allowed by law to work 14 hour days, of which they can, and most often do, drive 11 hours.  

 

Foregoing the potential for traffic accidents, most drivers live a lifestyle rife with health risks.  Take for example the results of a survey conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), published last year by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) where after interviewing 1,670 OTR drivers from across the country on personal health and various work related practices it was found that 69% are obese and 54% smoke.  In addition it was determined that 88% have at least one risk factor for chronic illness, compared to 54% of the general working population.  Obesity and smoking are leading causes of both diabetes and heart disease, and oftentimes leads to another major health concern plaguing drivers: sleep apnea.  This condition causes a sleeping person to stop breathing, sometimes several times each hour, preventing complete rest and aids in driver fatigue, which can cause the afflicted driver to fall asleep unexpectedly, even while behind the wheel!  

 

Stress is something we all have to contend with, but can be especially taxing to long-haul drivers who are away from home for long periods of time.  They worry about their loved ones, medical issues, finances, all the same issues that concern most of us.  In addition, they have the added mental strain of constantly competing with the ticking hands of the clock, all the while being scrutinized by a myriad of enforcement officials throughout the course of their day. They answer not only to their employer or dispatcher, but to others they rarely have the opportunity to physically meet, such as the many brokers, shippers, and receivers they serve, of whom all impose various requirements drivers are asked to adhere to.

 

The next time you have the opportunity to interact with one of the men or women who drive our nation's roadways, delivering the products we all consume, please take a moment to think about the issues they face and thank them for all they do!

 

 

 

Mike Turner
Manager, Joplin

Mike Turner is the Manager of the Allen Lund Company Joplin, MO office and has been involved in the transportation industry for more than 25 years.  His experience has led to developing closed loop transportation models in the brokerage business.  
 

About Allen Lund Company: Specializing as a national third-party transportation broker with nationwide offices and 400 employees, the Allen Lund Company works with shippers and carriers across the nation to transport dry, refrigerated (specializing in produce), and flatbed freight; additionally, the Allen Lund Company has an international division, which is licensed by the FMC as an OTI-NVOCC #019872NF, and a logistics and software division, ALC Logistics.  

 

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