When many people think about the workplace injuries that truck drivers can experience, they immediately think about accidents on the road. However, truck drivers can struggle with many other work-related conditions and injuries.
One surprisingly common struggle for truck drivers is musculoskeletal disorders. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) lists semi drivers and delivery drivers among those at high risk for these conditions. How might musculoskeletal disorders impact truckers?
Musculoskeletal disorders can result from repeated motions on the job.
Performing the same motions repeatedly during the workday can slowly damage a person’s body, and operating a truck involves many repeated motions. The impact of these repeated motions can include:
- Sitting for long hours in a cab can put strain on a person’s back
- Operating pedals on the floor can increase the wear on a person’s knees and ankles
- Gripping the steering wheel can lead to tendonitis or carpal tunnel syndrome
- Turning the head to check mirrors and identify hazards can injure the muscles and joints of the neck
- Loading cargo and even the simple action of getting in and out of a truck’s cab can lead to “trucker shoulder”
While these conditions often arise slowly, they can seriously impact a trucker’s ability to perform their work. Pain can impact not only a person’s time on the job but their life outside of work as well. Damage to the joints can limit a person’s range of motion and their ability to operate a vehicle safely.
Receiving appropriate care can help limit this damage and protect truck drivers’ careers. Thankfully, workers’ compensation benefits can offset the cost of medical care and provide additional support as truckers take time away from work to heal.