Data shows that most injuries involving delivery drivers in Washington fall into four categories. L&I’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health has these tips for making it safer to do your job.

Getting in and out of vehicles

  • Park your vehicle so you’re able to step out onto level ground when possible.
  • Use 3-points of contact – handholds, steps – when climbing in and out of the vehicle. Don’t jump!
  • Use handrails when going up or down stairs.
  • Make sure your shoes have good traction.
  • If a package requires both hands to carry, climb out of the vehicle first and then pick it up.

Lifting and carrying

  • Carry only the number and weight of packages you can safely handle.
  • Make two trips if needed or use a hand truck if you have one.
  • Avoid carrying a tall stack of packages that blocks your view of the ground ahead of you.
  • Place heavier packages where you can lift them at waist height.
  • Bring packages close to you when lifting them. Keep them close to you when carrying and putting them down.
  • Square up to the load; don’t twist to lift a package.
  • Pocket your phone to improve your grasp.

Watch out for animals

  • Don’t run! Running into a dog’s territory (its yard) can seem like an attack on the dog.
    It will defend itself and its turf. Running away can trigger a dog to chase you.
  • Have customers shut their dogs away before getting close or handing them a package.
    A dog might defend its owner if it sees you reaching toward them.
  • If an animal attacks, stand still and use the package as a shield.

Contact with objects

  • Avoid carrying a tall stack of packages that blocks your view of objects.
  • Don’t rush when inside the vehicle. Be aware of items at head height.
  • Use a headlamp or flashlight when delivering in dark areas so that you can spot any hazards.
  • Be aware of any potentially dangerous objects or people. Look around when walking. Check your phone when you’re back in the vehicle.

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