Study Reveals Truck Drivers at Risk for Spinal Injuries

A recent study has revealed that truck drivers are among those occupations that are at a high risk for traumatic spinal injuries (TSIs),

The study into the causes and effects of work-related TSIs across NSW took 3 years to complete, found that the construction and transport industries were at the highest risk.

The study points to “inefficient systems approaches or ineffective prevention policies”.

The study was led by Dr Lisa Sharwood of the University of Sydney School of Medicine. The name of the study is The Epidemiology, Cost, and Occupational Context of Spinal Injuries Sustained While ‘Working for Income’ in NSW: A Record-Linkage Study.

The researchers evaluated 824 people who suffered work related spinal injuries between 2013 and 2016.

These injuries resulted in more than 13,302 care bed days and cost $19,500,000. The majority of the recipients were males aged around 46.6 years.

The study  found that truck drivers are most likely to sustain spinal injuries (23.6 per cent). Most of these injuries occurred in the ‘transport and storage’ industry.

Recently a Linfox-funded Monash University study found transport workers are up to five times more likely to be injured at work than any other Australian worker.

The study found that heavy transport vehicle crashes were the leading cause of transport-related spinal injuries,

“A heavy vehicle driving crash risk is known to be reduced by the consumption of caffeinated substances, however, increased with night shift driving, insufficient breaks, and lack of vehicle safety devices.

“Industry safety for heavy vehicle drivers has a long chain of responsibility that involves general practitioners in driver licensing, logistics managers, employers of various sizes, loading managers, goods consigners, and many others.

“Where multiple parties may be responsible at different stages in risk profiles, it is clear that all parties must work seamlessly together to reduce overall risk.”

Read more

Researchers say efforts would be helped by further research, helping to understand the factors that contribute to TSIs including risk profiles, job design, work environment, culture and leadership.

To avoid spinal injury caused by extended hours driving change your posture from time to time while driving and take regularly breaks. You can also look for car seat accessories that can improve your comfort while driving.