A recent study published by Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) economists revealed that trucking is an inherently hazardous occupation.
BLS economists Sean Smith and Patrick Harris reported that one in six workers killed on the job is a trucker. Further, the authors said that truck workers are three times more likely to suffer from nonfatal injuries and illnesses that require days off work, pegged at one in 20 cases. It is ranked sixth in this category of injuries. Police work is said to have the most risk of nonfatal injuries, followed by firefighting.
However, truckers ranked first in terms of volume of injuries, with more than 55,000 reported in 2014. Slips, trips, falls, and overexertion were the top injuries reported.
Muscle and bone injuries were also said to be common among truckers as the occupation involves repeated hauling and prolonged sitting, among others.
The report likewise revealed that truckers took longer to recover from their injuries, with 50% needing at least 20 days off work to recuperate, while more than 40% took more than a month of days off work to improve. On the average across other industries, majority took only nine days before getting back to work after sustaining an injury.
Meanwhile, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), through its nonprofit research arm OOIDA Foundation, said the numbers were surprising considering its members put in 100,000 miles each year hauling load across the country.
“What is truly amazing is that those numbers are not higher,” the Foundation stated.