Loading injuries cost businesses £3.7bn a year

A third of UK van drivers have injured themselves at least once while loading their van in the past year, costing businesses up to £3.7bn annually.

According to research commissioned by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, 48% of those who reported an injury had to take more than one day off at a time, with an average downtime cost of £500 per person per day.

On top of this, 34% of drivers reported taking more than a week off due to an injury caused specifically by loading or unloading their van, with an average absence of five working days in a single period. This comes despite 83% of drivers stating they knew how to safely load their vehicles.

To help businesses and drivers alike, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and Catherine Quinn, President of the British Chiropractic Association (BCA), have published a list of top tips to help operators safely load and unload a vehicle.

Tips include assessing the weight of the object and asking colleagues for assistance if necessary, engaging your legs when lifting anything and to avoid twisting if possible.

Rob Holdcroft, Head of Network Sales at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, said: “Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is on the side of businesses and customers alike and the ability to operate in a safe environment is of the upmost importance to us. This is why we work alongside our customers to design vehicles that are effective and supportive as doing so benefits both parties – businesses don’t have big injury bills to pay and operators don’t lose any days on the job.”