What are Common Truck Ergonomics?August 30, 2019
Truck drivers spend most of their workday behind the steering wheel inside the cab of their truck. Neck strain, back pain, and shoulder problems are common injuries sustained by workers in this profession. Thankfully, a new focus on ergonomics is helping to alleviate some of these truck driver injuries and problems.
Ergonomics refers to design innovations that can improve the effectiveness of the work environment. For truck drivers, ergonomics considers the physical traits of the human body and design the truck cab to provide comfort and protect the driver from work-related injuries. A truck driver spends continuous hours in one position while driving, which can lead to muscular, skeletal, and nerve damage. Blood clots can form in the legs when drivers are confined to tight spaces for prolonged periods of time. Poor visibility can also increase the risk of accidents.
With proper attention to posture and the physical positioning necessary for a truck driver to effectively and safely operate their vehicle, many physical injuries can be avoided. Adjustments in position can reduce the strain on neck, back, and shoulder areas and increase the driver’s visibility, as well as their access to the steering wheel, gas pedals, brake pedals, and onboard electronic system controls.
Common Types of Truck Ergonomics
Recent studies conducted by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute have led truck manufacturers and fleet companies to provide truck cabs that focus on driver comfort and increase driver efficiency. Some of the specific innovations that have been implemented as a result of these studies include:
- Larger windshields and windows
- Tilt and telescoping steering wheels
- Improved seat belt comfort
- Cup holders
- Accessible controls
- Air-ride, high-back seats
- Lumbar support
- Back cyclers
- Seat heaters and coolers
- Grab handles for entering and exiting the cab
- Ventilation systems
- Climate control systems
- Reflective coating on windshields
- Adjustable gas and brake pedals
By giving truck drivers more control to adjust their positioning and posture, many neck, back, shoulder, and eye strain injuries can be prevented.
Proactive Tips for Drivers
Truck drivers that are aware of the benefit of ergonomics can significantly reduce the strain and fatigue that are caused by positioning and postural problems. The following are tips to help truck drivers reduce injuries:
- Use a gel cushion to reduce pressure on the spine
- Adjust hand positions and loosen your grip on the wheel
- Change seat positions occasionally to distribute weight evenly
- Keep knee level below the hips
- Recline seat position to maintain a 110-degree angle between your back and legs
- Keep elbows relaxed and close to your sides
- Take occasional breaks and stretch taut muscles
- Stay hydrated by keeping a water bottle within reach of your seat
- Do not ignore signs of strain or injury
With a focus on proper posture and positioning, as well as utilizing all available ergonomic features, truck drivers can enjoy their ride while being efficient on the road.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Help Injured Truck Drivers Claim the Benefits They Deserve
If you are a truck driver that was injured on the job, contact the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton today. We will fight to obtain the benefits you deserve for your work injury. Call us at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Located in Baltimore, we serve clients throughout Maryland.