The trucking industry can be a brutal, unforgiving, and time sensitive business. This means that things that keep trucks off the road and moving are dealt with harshly. Suffice it to say, traffic is the enemy. Weigh stations are received with disdain. And illnesses? They happen, but it is more likely than not that a driver will be behind the wheel while sick and even tired.
While time is of the essence to trucking companies, pushing drivers too far may result in severe penalties. Such was the case with a company that was forced to pay $20,000 to a driver who was punished because he refused to drive because he was under the weather.
According to a recent overdriveonline.com report, the trucking company had suspended the driver without pay for reportedly refusing to dry because he was feeling ill. The Department of Labor’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) assessed the punitive damages because the company had a policy that encouraged drivers to drive despite being sick or exhausted. The company disagreed with the assessment, and vowed to appeal it to federal court.
While this may appear to be strictly an employment safety issue, it is also a traffic safety concern for everyone on the road. Semi-trucks are the largest and most dangerous vehicles on the road, so the safety regulations that govern their use should be strictly adhered to. If they are not, it could result in tragedy. Moreover, it could also lead to civil liability.
If you have been injured in a trucking accident, an experienced personal injury attorney can help.