Outcomes of the introduction of a standardized fitness-for-duty evaluation of commercial truck drivers on the incidence of low back injuries and workers' compensation costs

OBJECTIVE: To determine the incidence of low back injuries and associated workers' compensation costs before and after the introduction of a standardized fitness-for-duty evaluation of commercial truck drivers who present for their comprehensive Department of Transportation (DOT) physical examination. METHODS: Trained physical therapists administered questionnaires and performed functional testing of commercial truck drivers scheduled for their DOT examination. The results were communicated to providers performing DOT examinations. Incidence rates of low back injury and associated workers' compensation costs 3 years before and 3 years after the intervention (1999 to 2006) were determined. RESULTS: There was a 54% reduction in the low back pain incidence rate and an associated 45% reduction in workers' compensation costs from 1999 to 2006. CONCLUSIONS: This intervention was associated with a reduced incidence of low back injuries and reduced associated workers' compensation costs in this population.

Source: Berestnev KV, Moffitt GL, Vancil DS, McKenzie J. J. Occup. Environ. Med. 2014.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0000000000000122

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