Trucking Industry has Highest
Workers’ Compensation Claim Rates
in Washington State
The trucking industry has some of the highest workers’ compensation claim rates and costs in Washington State. Claims are so high that they have an initiative for preventing on the job injury and promoting safety, called the TIRES Initiative.
Th e TIRES research team is working with industry leaders, safety and health professionals, employers, drivers, warehouse and dock workers, and many others to develop educational materials that identify hazards, promote safety, and provide low-cost, simple solutions to prevent injuries in the trucking industry.
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Types of Workers Comp Injuries
Truck drivers have a disproportionate number of musculoskeletal injuries compared to workers in other workforces.
Due to the nature of their work, involving many hours of sitting, followed by brief periods of strenuous labor, loading/unloading the truck, drivers are more prone to injury than those in other occupations.
Unfortunately, many truck drivers fit the stereotype of overweight men who get little physical exercise and are in poor overall condition.
Most drivers are paid by the mile, therefore, their working hours vary, resulting in constantly changing schedules and irregular sleep habits.
These poor lifestyle habits directly impact the period of time the employee remains off work following an on-the-job injury.
The most common situations where injuries occur include:
Carpal tunnel injury
Strained wrists from opening hard to open containers
Strains and back injuries from lifting and moving items or releasing 5th wheel to remove tractor from trailer
Slip and falls climbing in or out of the cap or trailer
Accidents while loading or unloading trailer
Slip and falls on docks
Crush injuries where part of load falls on driver
Equip truck drivers and operators with the proper tools needed and promote safety to help them avoid injury.
The OPNBar tool, for instance can help avoid some injuries by providing an ergonomic means of opening shipping containers, checking for low pressure tires, and aiding operators in releasing the tractor from the trailer.