Truck drivers and wrist injuries, they are frequent. It is also difficult (but not impossible) to keep that truck driver on the job while they are recovering. Trucking is a very physically demanding job. But just because it is, don't assume that you need to play the waiting game for this injured worker to fully recover for them to return to work. Sometimes all it takes is a Black & Decker drill to get a work release.
The 5 primary Job tasks:
- Shifting gears (right hand/arm) is typical for most vehicles used for deliveries.
- Loading and unloading trailer is not required by this position.
- Employee must secure load by straps or chains. Straps or chains would have to be thrown over the load (up to 50 pounds) and ratcheted by hand to secure load. Forceful exertion is made by hand/arm/shoulder to ratcheted straps/chains.
- Employee must hook up all associated hoses to trailer which requires employee to climb on to truck and use hands to connect hoses. Ladders are available to access this part of cab.
- Occasional use of hand, arm, elbow and shoulder with forceful exertions is required in clock and counter clockwise motion to raise or lower trailer
Hindering Factors Keeping This Injured Worker Out of Work
- Need to be able to drive manual transmission and shift gears
- Steer vehicle and operate controls (turn signals etc.)
- Reach overhead and pull body weight to get into cab.
- Climb on back of cab to hook-up hoses to trailer.
- Needs to be able to secure load by straps or chains, sometimes throwing straps or chains over the load that weigh up to 50lbs.
- Perform forceful exertion by hand/arm/shoulder to ratcheted straps/chains.
- Be able to occasionally use a hand, arm, elbow and shoulder with forceful exertions to raise or lower trailer.
How we got The Work Release and got this trucker back to work:
- Modify steering wheel (clip on) to make one handed steering safer.
- Use a longer handle for tightening straps to reduce overall force.
- Utilize a drill and large allen key to wrap straps in order to reduce the physical demands. Click the video to see how.