Electrodiagnostic Functional Assessment: Technology That’s Changing the Trucking Industry

Safety, Technology and Innovation

When it comes to safety, there’s no length a trucking company shouldn’t go. Whether it’s the safety of trucks and trailers, the safety of a customer’s freight, or the safety of drivers themselves, it should be a priority to every carrier.

But what exactly does it mean to help ensure the safety of drivers? It’s more than providing sufficient training and in-cab technology. It’s ensuring if someone does get hurt on the job, they’re able to make a full recovery before returning, preventing the injury from becoming worse.

One way to do that is through implementing a new piece of next-generation technology that’s helping change the trucking industry: Electrodiagnostic Functional Assessments (EFA).

What is EFA?
The Electrodiagnostic Functional Assessment (EFA) is a non-invasive diagnostic tool used to record muscle function.

What is the purpose of the assessment?
The purpose of the assessment is to determine baseline strength. If a driver is ever hurt on the job, a carrier can use the baseline measurements to help determine both the best course of treatment and the most appropriate time for the driver to return to work.

Why should carriers use EFA?
This new technology allows a third-party partner to record drivers’ muscle function at rest and during simple movements without requiring them to potentially risk injury by physically lifting anything. In the event the driver later experiences a work-related strain or muscle injury, the EFA can show the location and extent of the injury, as well as help determine proper treatment.

How can EFA help drivers?
In the case of a work-related injury, comparisons can be made to a driver’s EFA baseline to help determine what soft tissue/muscles are involved, and aid in identifying the most appropriate treatment. For their safety and to help prevent further injury, drivers should never be asked to return to work after an injury until they are able to match their original baseline measurements.

What does the assessment consist of?
The 30 to 45-minute non-invasive assessment is simple. Drivers are hooked up to sensors, much like an EKG at the doctor’s office. They are then asked to perform simple tasks like lifting their arms, turning their neck, etc. There should be no pain or discomfort during the test. This is what the assessment looks like.

“With the rollout of EFA, we’re looking at the physical nature of driving a truck and working on freight-handling lanes in a new way,” said U.S. Xpress Vice President of Safety Greg McQuagge. “We’re excited to see the benefits come in, both for our drivers and the company.”

A trucking company is nothing without its drivers. They’re the heart and soul of the services carriers provide, and their safety is paramount whether they’re on the road, at a customer location, or even at home. If investing in EFA technology is one way to protect them there’s only one question: why wouldn’t you start implementing it?

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