In 2018, workplace injuries cost U.S. businesses $60 billion in direct workers’ compensation costs and 104 million days of missed work, according to Liberty Mutual’s workplace safety index. To help prevent some of these injuries, a new company has released a technology platform focused on employee training.
Truck Drivers Have Dangerous Jobs
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that truck drivers have one of the top ten most dangerous jobs in the country. Millions of workers are injured in vehicle crashes each year. However, traffic accidents are not the only risk that truck drivers face. There are many other hazards of the job, which can cause workers to sustain injuries including:
Musculoskeletal disorders – Lifting heavy objects can be dangerous if done incorrectly. Truck drivers are often required to move heavy objects when delivering or picking up orders and are therefore at risk of developing a musculoskeletal injury, particularly to the arm, back, and neck.
Repetitive stress injuries – Performing the same motions over and over or maintaining awkward positions for a long period of time can cause repetitive strain injuries. Truck drivers sit in the same position and perform many of the same motions such as turning the steering wheel (and their necks) for several hours a day.
Struck-by object injuries – Equipment and other heavy objects may strike truck drivers, causing them to suffer head injuries such as concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBI). This type of accident commonly occurs when a truck driver is loading/unloading a truck or lifting hitched trailers.
Fall injuries – This is a common type of injury among truck drivers. Most commercial trucks are over 13 feet tall, therefore workers may become injured while climbing in or getting out.
New Technology to Reduce Truck Driver Injuries
The Silicon Valley-based company has already seen success with its product. The technology platform has already reduced musculoskeletal injuries in companies that use it by over 55 percent, according to the company’s CEO. Online training coupled with targeted learning modules help workers develop the habits that will prevent them from becoming injured at work.
According to the company, 53 percent of injuries occur due to poor human movement patterns – therefore, most injuries are preventable. The CEO explains that in order for habits to develop, workers must consistently repeat the behavior for at least 30 days. The program provides each worker with the training they need to develop good safety habits through training modules which are delivered each week.
The training focuses on teaching workers how to move correctly and includes specific courses such as how to properly exit a truck, unhook the king pin, and crank the landing gear. The program also includes prompts for workers to perform in-person exercises with other workers to practice the skills that they were taught in the online training. The CEO hopes that this technology will continue to help reduce truck driver injuries and reduce associated company costs.