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The influence of heavy truck egress tactics on ground reaction force

In: Research and Practice for Fall Injury Control in the Workplace: Proceedings of the 2010 International Conference on Fall Prevention and Protection, pp. 192-195

Authors: Matthew P. Reed, Suzanne G. Hoffman, Sheila M. Ebert-Hamilton.

Slips and falls during cab egress are an important cause of injuries to truck drivers. Previous work has shown that the egress tactics may influence risk. Inward-facing tactics (driver faces the truck) are universally recommended, but biomechanical evidence supporting this recommendation is sparse. As part of a laboratory study of truck driver ingress and egress behavior, the ground reaction forces during first contact with the ground on egress were recorded for both inward and outward facing egress tactics using either interior or exterior hand holds and four step configurations. Twenty-five male and five female truck drivers with a wide range of body size participated. Peak vertical ground reaction force (PVGRF) averaged 1.44 times body weight for the inward-facing tactic and 1.85 times body weight for the outward-facing tactic. Handle position (interior vs. exterior) and step configuration did not affect PVGRF. Drivers with high body mass index choose inward-facing tactics more frequently than other drivers. The average 28-percent increase in peak ground reaction force with the outward-facing tactic may indicate an increased risk of both cumulative and acute injury.

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