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Research looks at ways to reduce trucker shoulder injuries

Truck drivers in Georgia who are vulnerable to shoulder injuries may face substantial risks during cranking. This is a relatively common task that involves raising and lowering landing gears. According to researchers from North Carolina State University and the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries, how the driver stands when cranking a trailer can affect how much strain is placed on shoulder muscles.

Researchers observed 12 male truck drivers. After measuring their shoulder muscle activity and scapular range of motion, they determined that the safest way to crank a trailer up was to stand parallel to it. This is called sagittal cranking, and it allows workers to use their full body strength instead of putting most of the strain on the shoulder. Lowering the trailer involves less resistance, so the best position in this case was to face the trailer and turn the handle in a way that was perpendicular to the rotation.

The research appeared in the journal Applied Ergonomics on Oct. 3. Truck drivers are not the only workers who are vulnerable to shoulder injuries on the job. The Bureau of Labor received more than 70,000 reports of work-related shoulder injuries in 2016.

A person who suffers a shoulder or other workplace injury may be unable to return to work until the damage has healed. While recovering from an injury, workers' compensation can provide vital support. However, getting workers' compensation is not always straightforward for employees. Employers may offer incomplete information about how to apply for compensation or may even try to stop a worker from filing. Someone who is injured on the job might want to contact an attorney for assistance in filing a claim. An attorney may also be able to assist with an appeal if a claim is rejected.

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