How do lorry drivers develop RSI?Find out more about the risks associated with this job
How do lorry drivers develop RSI?
Long-distance lorry drivers are at particular risk of developing RSI due to the nature of their work – the risk comes not only from the driving, but also from tasks associated with it. Day-to-day duties include loading and unloading goods, and ensuring loads are secured correctly. Back, neck and shoulder problems are most common, with some studies claiming that more than half of drivers suffer from pain.
What does the job involve?
One of the main causes of RSI in HGV drivers is the long working hours – a 42-hour week is normal, and overtime is often available. Although there are strict laws regarding the number of breaks which must be taken, many drivers still work for long periods of time without rest. Stress levels are also high, as drivers cope with poor weather conditions and time deadlines.
Driving also involves many repetitive actions, with the arms kept in the same position for extended periods of time, and the hands tightly gripping the steering wheel and gear lever. This causes the muscles in the shoulder, neck and forearms, particularly those that connect the arm to the hands and fingers, to tighten.
Another factor that increases the risk of drivers developing RSI is vibration, something that HGV drivers experience on a daily basis – after all, a road is never completely flat. Even without forward motion, the truck will vibrate, however imperceptibly, and these two factors mean that ‘whole-body vibration’ is continually transferred through the seat and the driver’s feet. If the road surface is particularly bad, jolts and shocks can also cause injury.
Other factors which make RSI a real risk for HGV drivers include the kind of cold temperatures often experienced when driving at night or when using air conditioning for a long period of time. Cold temperatures are widely believed to make the symptoms of RSI worse. Many drivers also have poor posture which is known to contribute to back pain.
What can I do about it?
If you or a loved one is working as a lorry driver and experiencing symptoms of RSI, you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation. If you’d like to speak to a member of our team, please call 0800 122 313. Alternatively you can request a call back at a time convenient for you here.
Claiming For Repetitive Strain Injuries
No Obligation Help
If you are unsure if you have a claim for your repetitive strain injury, then call our team for free, no obligation advice on making a claim. They will ask you some simple questions about your exposure and will be able to tell you if you have a claim or not. Call 24/7 0800 028 2060.
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