Strains and Sprains:
The Most Costly Injuries in Trucking
Work-related strains and sprains are injuries to muscles, tendons and nerves that are referred to by doctors and researchers as musculoskeletal disorders or MSDs. Strains and sprains can have many causes and each additional risk factor increases the likelihood of injury. Risk factors for muscles, tendons and nerves include:
Repetitive use without adequate rest
Lifting heavy or awkward objects or boxes
Awkward postures such as reaching overhead for long periods of time
Gripping something tightly
Work-related strains and sprains include:
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)
Tennis elbow (epicondylitis)
Work-related strains and sprains are the most costly and most frequent injuries in the trucking industry.
Workers’ compensation costs
41% of compensable claims are the result of strains and sprains to the neck, back and upper extremity (shoulders, elbows, hands/wrists)
The average cost for a claim is over $26,000
Average of 184 time-loss days
Compared to other industries
Couriers have almost four times the rate of work-related strains and sprains claims of all industries combined. Waste Collection has three and a half times the rate and General Freight trucking is close with almost two and a half times the rate of work-related strains and sprains of all other industries combined.
Work-related strains and sprains also increase the cost of hiring and training, increase turnover and decrease productivity. Sometimes workers are unable to return to their full wage jobs after such an injury or require extensive life-altering surgeries or treatments to recover
Trucking Industry has Highest Workers’ Compensation Claim Rates in Washington State
The trucking industry has some of the highest workers’ compensation claim rates and costs in Washington State. Claims are so high that they have an initiative for preventing on the job injury, called the TIRES Initiative.
The TIRES research team is working with industry leaders, safety and health professionals, employers, drivers, warehouse and dock workers, and many others to develop educational materials that identify hazards and provide low-cost, simple solutions to prevent injuries in the trucking industry.
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Equip truck drivers and operators with the proper tools needed to help them avoid injury.
The OPNBar tool, for instance can help avoid some injuries by providing an ergonomic means of opening shipping containers, checking for low pressure tires, and aiding operators in releasing the tractor from the trailer.