A truck driver on her trip across Canada started feeling discomfort in her low back. She continued driving and made a few stops as possible because she wanted to reach her destination. She was use to long drives because she had been doing this route and similar routes for eight years. Her discomfort became worse throughout her trip but she tried to ignore it since it went away in the past. However, as her trip continues her back became more painful. Once she reached her trip, she had trouble walking and was not able to get a restful sleep due to her back pain. Her return trip early morning was long due to the ongoing throbbing pain. The driver missed one day of work and had to attend therapy to treat her back. Her worker’s compensation 
claim cost $4,500.

Person driving a truck

 

Recommended practices

For the driver:

  1. Adjust the seat into a position that is comfortable and allows for full access to the controls. 
  2. Adjust the lumbar support throughout the shift.
  3. Adjust the mirrors to ensure good visibility while maintaining neutral neck postures.
  4. Adjust steering wheel to allow for comfortable arm positions.
  5. If fitted, adjust the air suspension on the seat.
  6. Take a short break every hour to get out of your seat and move around. 

For the employer:

  1. When purchasing trucks, focus on good and user-friendly cab design – ensure controls and displays are designed considering human needs and that the seats are easily adjustable.
  2. Maintain trucks.
  3. For driving within the city, automatic transmission is preferable.
  4. Purchase trucks with climate control so driver may stay comfortable during summer and winter weather.