Workers who operate heavy vehicles on the job face the prospect of serious injury. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 1,600 fatalities occur each year as a result of occupational transportation incidents. Transportation-related accidents account for approximately 38 percent of all occupational fatalities annually.
In 2010, there was a slight drop in the number of workers killed in transportation-related workplace accidents from the previous year. However, two out of five fatal work injuries involved people who were operating motor vehicles at the time.
In 2009, nearly 3.6 million workers in the United States were classified as motor vehicle operators. Nearly 43 percent were truck drivers. The numbers included drivers who were employed by companies, not independent commercial vehicle operators.
Heavy vehicle operators frequently work in the construction, agriculture, forestry and fishing industries. Other industries with a high risk of accidents involving transportation equipment are health care and social assistance, manufacturing, mining, oil and gas extraction, public safety, services, transportation and wholesale retail trade.
In 2010, the farming, forestry and fishing industries alone accounted for approximately 120 workplace transportation fatalities. In the construction sector that year, 174 workers were killed in transportation-related incidents.
Michael Parsons is an Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer, representing injured workers in the metro Atlanta region and helping them recover the workers’ compensation benefits that they have earned.