Delivery Persons - General

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What kinds of jobs do delivery persons have?

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A delivery person may also be referred to as:

  • Delivery or courier drivers.
  • Letter carriers.
  • Couriers.
  • Messengers.
  • Door-to-door distributors.

These titles are examples of jobs that involve delivering items by walking from place to place, riding bicycles or motorcycles, or driving automobiles, vans, and light trucks.

The item delivered may be anything - common examples are documents, packages, take-out food, merchandise, groceries, equipment, or appliances.

What do delivery persons do?

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This profile refers to delivery persons in general. Delivery persons, couriers or messengers pick up and deliver documents, messages, packages and various other products and deliver it to a different location. Medical samples or hazardous products may be in the packages that they deliver. The person may also have to collect payment for their delivery service or product delivered (e.g., pizza and other "fast foods", liquor, mobile canteens).

Delivery persons typically have to lift and carry items of different sizes, weights, and shapes such as letters, pizzas, office equipment and supplies, construction supplies, mattresses, or refrigerators.

Much of their work is done:

  • Outdoors, where they are exposed to a wide range of weather conditions.
  • Day or night.
  • Deliveries may be taken to potentially hazardous areas like construction sites or high crime rate areas.

What are some health and safety issues for delivery persons?

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  • Pain or injury from physical overexertion or repetitive manual tasks.
  • Working alone.
  • Vehicle or bicycle incidents.
  • Slips, trips and falls.
  • Stress.
  • Shift work, late hours, or extended work days.
  • Workplace violence (e.g., bullying, verbal abuse, harassment, physical attacks, robbery).
  • If outdoors, exposure to extreme weather temperatures and UV radiation from sunlight.
  • Suspicious mail or packages.
  • Dog bites.
  • Insect stings (e.g., bees, hornets, mosquitoes).
  • Potential of exposure to improperly labelled hazardous products or biological materials (e.g., medical specimens).
  • Potential of exposure to infectious agents, such as viruses.

What are some preventive measures for delivery persons?

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  • Learn about how to avoid musculoskeletal pain or injury from repetitive or physically awkward tasks.
  • Learn safe lifting techniques.
  • Follow a recommended shiftwork pattern and know about risks associated with shiftwork and extended workdays.
  • Keep all work areas and vehicles clear of clutter and equipment. Items should be stored securely.
  • Keep equipment and vehicles in good mechanical condition and working order. Check your vehicle or bicycle before using it to make sure that it is in good operating condition.
  • Use correct personal protective equipment and clothing, including safety footwear. Personal protective clothing includes high-visibility (HV) clothing.
  • Carry a mobile phone or have another way to stay in contact with your workplace.
  • Use mechanical aids to carry heavy items, where possible.
  • Know how to identify suspicious mail or packages.

What are some good general safe work practices?

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Follow safety procedures, where appropriate for the hazard, for:


  • Know how to report a hazard.
  • Follow company safety rules.

  • Fact sheet last revised: 2021-01-25