Nicholson, Silverbach, & Watson

New Technique Could Reduce Shoulder Injuries Among Truck Drivers

An under-reported cause of workplace injury in Georgia and across the United States is shoulder injury related to landing gear cranking. A recent study now shows that through strategic positioning, it is possible to prevent injury to truck drivers while raising or lowering trailers.

The study was performed by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries in conjunction with North Carolina State University. The study oversaw 12 male truck drivers during the raising and lowering of their trailers. The researchers tracked 16 muscles affecting shoulder operation on each of the 12 workers during cranking operations. The researchers also studied the range of motion for each of the 12 workers' shoulders during cranking.

The study determined that drivers are safest when facing towards the trailer and cranking perpendicularly while lowering a trailer. This is because lowering a trailer offers less resistance than when a trailer is being raised. The hope is that by changing the way drivers rotate their shoulder during cranking, they will lower the wear and tear on their joints and stay healthier. This goal is notable given that 2016 recorded more than 70,000 shoulder injuries in the workplace nationwide, according to figures provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Unfortunately, even the best cranking technique won't stop every workplace injury from occurring. Workers that are hurt while performing their jobs may have a valid claim for damages through the worker's compensation process. These damages can include medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. An attorney with experience in worker's compensation law may be able to help that injured worker obtain compensation by negotiation a settlement or a filing a lawsuit in Georgia state courts.

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