Truck drivers in California and around the country suffer shoulder injuries more often than manual laborers and warehouse workers according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is not good news for the logistics industry because shoulder injuries cause more downtime than other musculoskeletal injures and take longer to heal. This is because the shoulder is a complex joint made up of three bones held in place by muscles, tendons and ligaments arranged in a way that allows the arm to move and rotate.
The shoulder injuries suffered by truck drivers are often caused by repetitive motion. Climbing in and out of a tractor cab and cranking trailers up and down places stresses on the shoulder that can cause impingement, bursitis, inflammation and chronic pain. Placing a load on a shoulder that has been subjected to repetitive motion can cause labral and rotator cuff tears. These are the same kind of injuries that repetitive throwing can cause in football and baseball players.
Using proper from to prevent injuries
The results of a study conducted by officials from the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries and researchers from North Carolina State University reveals that truck drivers can significantly reduce their chances of suffering a shoulder injury by standing parallel to instead of in front of trailers that they are raising or lowering. When truck drivers were observed using the sagittal cranking technique, they suffered fewer workplace injuries because their arm and back muscles did more of the work.
Using proper technique and avoiding overexertion could prevent thousands of workplace back and shoulder injuries each year. Providing safety training makes sense for employers as well as employees because back and shoulder injuries are often expensive to treat and can cause long absences.