Many New Jersey truck drivers suffer from shoulder injuries caused by manually lowering and elevating their rigs. Has your trucking company educated you on proper cranking techniques to reduce the chance of this repetitive injury?
Study shows positioning can help deter injuries
Truck driver shoulder problems are common workers’ comp injuries because of the repetitive motion involved. However, a study performed by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries and North Carolina State University indicates that changing your position when cranking your trailer up or down can significantly reduce the chance of incurring a shoulder cranking injury. The study measured the scapular range of motion and shoulder range of movement, focusing on 16 muscles in the shoulder.
The research indicates that truck drivers should stand parallel to a trailer when cranking it higher because this position uses full body strength and lessens the shoulder’s workload. When lowering a trailer, drivers should face it and crank the handle perpendicularly to ease the rubbing and grinding of ligaments.
Tips for safer cranking
When picking up or dropping off a trailer, follow these tips to protect your shoulder:
• Brace yourself with the opposite hand you use when cranking
• Maintain good body posture
• Avoid twisting your back
• Use the correct gear and all your fingers when cranking
Your employer has a duty to keep you safe
Your employer should take measures to keep you safe from repetitive work injuries. As such, they should provide you with information and training on correct cranking techniques. However, you may still experience problems with your cranking shoulder even with training and better cranking techniques. In this case, you can file a workers’ compensation claim to receive treatment for your injury.
No matter what your injury is, if the mishap occurred while you are working on the job as a truck driver, you can file a workers’ compensation claim. This insurance entitles you to medical treatment and time off from work if you cannot drive or perform other functions.