For many years, truck driving has been on the top-10 list for most dangerous jobs.
The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries today announced that, in the state of Washington, truck drivers have the highest rate of workplace injuries. According to their statistics, one in every 13 truck drivers is involved in a work-rleated serious injury that results in the driver missing work for a period of time.
“Injury rates in trucking are far above the state average for all other industries combined,” said Caroline Smith, an epidemiologist for SHARP and the lead researcher on the study. “In an industry that continues to be plagued by a shortage of qualified drivers, it’s vital that we keep the ones we have safe and working.”
The Department of Labor and Industries report states the most common workplace injuries are sprains, strains, and overexertion. Falls were the leading cause of workplace injuries to truck drivers in Washington.
Truck drivers account for 70% of the state’s reported workplace injuries. In total, the injuries cost approximately $107 million per year and result in approximately 576,000 lost-work days.
From Washington State Department of Labor and Industries:
Key points from the report include:
- There were 52 fatalities among trucking industry employees between 2006 and 2012; most of them were vehicle related. All but one were men.
- Among Washington truck drivers, one in 13 was injured seriously enough that they were unable to work and were compensated for lost-work days, in addition to the costs of medical treatment.
- There were 1.5 million lost-work days for all injuries in Washington’s trucking industry during the report’s time period.
- For the 33,000 workers employed in the trucking industry each year from 2006 through 2012, there were nearly 7,000 lost-work claims.
- Despite increased regulations on hours of service and other monitoring, trucking continues to be one of the most hazardous industries in the country.
SHARP continues to work with trucking industry leaders, safety and health professionals and drivers to identify workplace hazards and low-cost, simple solutions. For example:
- An interactive tool helps drivers prepare for winter travel and remember to be safe when chaining up.
- Workers can test their skill at preventing slips, trips and falls while wearing different kinds of shoes on a variety of surfaces.
- Drivers can learn about health issues common to truck drivers, such as stress and sleep apnea, and get wellness tips on how to fit in exercise and healthy snacks when on the road.
Washington State Department of Labor and Industries