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Techniques that could reduce truck driver shoulder injuries

On Behalf of | Feb 4, 2019 | Workers' Compensation

Truck drivers in New Jersey sometimes experience serious shoulder injuries if part of their duties involve the cranking of landing gears. Not all trucking-related injuries are entirely preventable, especially ones involving someone else’s negligence or unsafe road or working conditions. However, a new study found that adjustments to certain techniques involved with the raising or lowering of trailers could help prevent shoulder injuries that sometimes keep drivers off the road and away from a regular paycheck.

In order to find ways to reduce the risk of drivers experiencing the types of injuries that could be serious enough to file a workers’ compensation claim, researchers observed a dozen male truckers as they performed cranking operations. Specifically, they looked at several muscles that affect shoulder movement and each driver’s scapular range of motion as they cranked. Researchers concluded that standing parallel to a trailer while cranking to raise it is a safer position for truckers because it reduces a shoulder’s workload.

Since lowering a trailer requires less resistance, drivers are likely to be safer performing operations of this nature if they face the trailer and crank while standing at a right angle to the crank rotation. Frontal cranking – standing directly in front of the crank – tends to produce more friction on ligaments and other soft tissues that provide some type of support for shoulders, which increases the risk of experiencing a wear and tear injury for truckers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that more than 700,000 shoulder-related work injuries were reported in 2016.

When a work accident victim who works in the trucking industry contacts a lawyer, they may be asked about their work-related duties to identify possible reasons for their injuries. With workers’ comp cases, victims are typically encouraged to follow their employer’s procedures for filing claims. What an attorney might do is lend a hand with the collection or preparation of documents related to the injury. Personal injury actions may be discussed as well if it’s discovered that a third party not associated with an employer was partially or fully responsible – e.g., a driver of another vehicle.