How prepared are you in the event of a long-term injury?
February 1, 2006
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. - Getting injured on the job: it's a scary scenario for any profession, including workers in the trucking industry. Thousands of truckers in Canada are injured on the job every year,...
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – Getting injured on the job: it’s a scary scenario for any profession, including workers in the trucking industry. Thousands of truckers in Canada are injured on the job every year, most commonly by falling, getting in a motor accident, or being struck by an object. These injuries can leave drivers laid up for weeks at a time and in some cases, they may never get back behind the wheel. The question is: are truckers ready for it? Truck News stopped by the Husky Truck Stop on Shawson Drive in Mississauga, Ont. to find out how prepared truckers are in the event of an injury.
Dean Gallant, an O/O from Summerside, P.E.I., said he doesn’t know what he would do if he got hurt on the job. Gallant, who has never been injured before, said he’s too old to take another course and hasn’t really thought that far ahead.
“I just have medical insurance and that’s only good for 13 weeks. Other than that I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Murray “Moose” Tellerman, a company driver operating out of Toronto, has only been hurt twice over his 47 years of driving.
“The companies I had been working for had a policy that protected the driver,” he said. “Today companies don’t do that. You might get a policy that covers 13 to 17 weeks, but you’ve got to pay into it.”
One of the two injuries involved Tellerman falling off the top of a tanker and cracking a bone in his leg which put him out of commission for about six to eight weeks. He said if that were to happen to him today, based on the current benefits system most companies are offering, he’d be out of luck.
“Today it’s just go go go and if you get hurt, tough luck,” he said.
Ron Lundeborg, a company driver with Thomson Terminals in Toronto, Ont., said he’s been lucky to have an injury-free 33 years on the road. And though he said he has good benefits with Thomson, Lundeborg said he’d probably fall back on a hobby if he was ever forced off the road for good.
“I’m into auto mechanics so if I couldn’t return to trucking, I might try and start up my own shop or something like that,” he said.
John Kilkey, an O/O with Roadfast in Thunder Bay, Ont., has never been hurt on the job and doesn’t have any specific plans if he were ever injured badly enough that he couldn’t get back behind the wheel.
“I would probably head back to school, get an education and eventually do some office work or something like that,” he said.
Lloyd Rousseau, an O/O with Calvinson Transport in Scarborough, Ont., once threw his back out unloading a flatbed in the rain. At the time he was on Workers’ Compensation, but now he has additional insurance in case anything should happen again.
“You’ve got to get insurance at some point because if you don’t, you’re screwed,” he said. “If you get hurt, you could be out of a job and if you own your own tractor, you could be really up the creek.”
“I don’t know what I would do (if I were hurt long-term). It would be kind of hard. This is what I do. Driving is what I know.”