A third of UK van drivers have injured themselves at least once while loading their van in the past year, according to research commissioned by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

It said 48% of those injured had to take more than one day off work at a time, while 34% took more than a week off.

With an average downtime cost of £500 per person per day, VW said this added up to £3.7 billion annually. 

It said the findings came despite 83% of drivers saying they knew how to safely load their vehicles, and has published advice with British Chiropractic Association president Catherine Quinn.

This states that drivers should warm up with stretches before starting work, split loads into manageable chunks, ensure they engage their legs when lifting, and avoid lifting and twisting.