The life of a dock worker can be one filled with risks and challenges. If you’re a dock worker, you’ve likely learned how to embrace hard work and learn how to use equipment at the same time. You may have been exposed to chemicals or at some point injured yourself on the job. While a lawyer would always be happy to help, there are a few ways you can protect your body while working as a dock worker.
Stretch and use your body the right way
Moving sharply to the left or right. Lifting heavy equipment for extended periods and sometimes over your head. There are plenty of ways for a dock worker to twist their body out of proportion and strain their muscles. Before starting this kind of intensive labor, a dock worker should follow a stretching routine meant to alleviate the tension in the muscles pre-workout. As long as you lift with the knees, take pain medication, and use ice and heat as needed, the everyday pain you deal with can be avoided. Even better, moving your body right and preparing for labor will reduce the chances of severe injuries.
Learn to be a team player
There are about 144,564 dock workers in the U.S, according to Zippia. There will be other longshoremen and shipping experts with skills in manufacturing and logistics that may be more experienced or knowledgeable than you. Rather than stress over who’s getting the next promotion, learn to be a team player by rotating yourself out when possible and saving your energy. If you’re burnt out as soon as a shift starts, you’ll slow down the rest of the dock workers and increase the time it takes to get equipment off of ships.
Protect yourself from hazardous chemicals
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard requires supervisors to share information regarding hazardous chemicals. Your supervisor will educate you about acids, biological fluids, cleaning chemicals, chlorine, and more. Should you get injured, they’ll want themselves to avoid being held liable. Either way, you need to know that even if you could one day be awarded compensation, the burns, lung problems, and cancers you could develop from being exposed to hazardous chemicals are worth the time it takes to be careful. Be sure to dress according to the rules and take the necessary precautions, as hazardous chemical injuries can even prove fatal.
Prioritize more than pay
Dock workers can bring in up to $80,000 a year. That might make you think it’s a good idea to think about work with dollar signs in your head. But the life of a longshoreman is rigorous and demanding. This truth means that you have to go into this career prioritizing something other than pay. By embracing values like work ethic, integrity, self-discipline, and courage, you can excel at the physical labor that might break some of your colleagues. Think of how much you like to feel a good day’s work and you’ll do a lot more for yourself in terms of confidence than you would by thinking of only money.
If it’s your first day as a dock worker, you might be intimidated by the work. The labor is intensive and demanding and can stretch hours into the day. If you ever get injured while working as a dock worker there very well may be an opportunity for you to file a claim if you speak to an attorney. Still, you can see that you’re better off protecting your body if you’re going to work as a longshoreman.