The Strong Arm Strap, developed by a Brisbane Company, Fit For Life Consulting in close consultation with the transport industry to reduce workplace injuries.
Fit for Life Consulting, which specialises in workplace injury management, developed the Strong Arm Strap to make it easier for drivers and transport workers to pull heavy tautliner truck curtains (side curtains) open and shut, and to reduce the risk of injury to the back, shoulder, upper limb, and neck.
The transport industry has a much higher rate of injuries than many other occupations, and statistics show the average cost of a lost-time work injury in transport and storage is $11,000 (Q-Comp 07/08 Statistics Report).
Occupational Therapist and director of Fit for Life Consulting, Tim Elvery said the inexpensive product was developed through necessity and aimed to reduce back and shoulder injuries.
“Our team of occupational therapists and physiotherapists has seen the damage truck drivers can do to their bodies by pulling tautliner curtains that are sticking, worn or just heavy,” he said.
“We were helping people who had already injured themselves and we thought: Wouldn’t it be great if we could stop some of those injuries from occurring in the first place.
“When you look at the cause of these injuries, a lot of the problem revolves around how someone stands and the way they reach and pull. It’s easy to overstretch if you don’t get your position and movement right.
“The simple device we developed, the Strong Arm Strap, uses a handle, strap and hook to enable workers to pull truck curtains open or shut much more easily.”
The strap hooks into the curtain buckle (saving fingers and hands from possible injury) and allows workers to keep their arms close to their body as they pull, thus using their core strength and reducing the risk of over-stretching (saving back and shoulder injuries).
“We’ve developed the Strong Arm Strap with the help of trucking industry experts and it’s been trialled by workers who are already appreciating the benefits,” Mr Elvery said.
Workplace-related injuries and illnesses cost the Australian economy about $60 billion each year.
The Strong Arm Strap retails for $39.95 (Inc GST).
For information or orders call 07 3630 4940 or visit www.strongarmstrap.com
Transport workers have told us that just using the strap means they automatically use a better posture and are not inclined to overreach which is where the risk of injury is the greatest.
“A number of our businesses have tested and now incorporated this tool into their operations, as it has been seen to contribute to reducing the risk of injury and recovery from injury to our workers.” (Group OHS Manager, Toll Group)
“We introduced the Strong Arm Strap into our operations following 2 recent shoulder injuries from pulling curtains. This was initiated by senior management, and supervisors/team leaders support this as a standard risk management process within our Townsville operation. The straps are now being used by all of our handlers and drivers.” (NQX Townsville)