Fatal work-related injuries to commercial truck drivers last year reached their highest level in six years, per a summary of preliminary results from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries for 2014 just released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
BLS said that “transportation and material moving occupations” accounted for the largest share (28%) of fatal occupational injuries of any group of workers last year.
Fatal work injuries in this group climbed 3 percent to 1,289 incidents in 2014, marking the highest total since 2008 (see BLS chart above).
Heavy-truck and tractor-trailer drivers incurred their highest total since 2008-- with 725 fatalities recorded in 2014.
Truck drivers and drivers/sales workers accounted for nearly two out of every three fatal injuries in the overall group (835 of the 1,289 fatal injuries in 2014). Fatal injuries to drivers/sales workers jumped 74 percent to 54 in 2014.
Breaking down the data by incident type, BLS found that in 2014, fatal work injuries related to transportation were up slightly higher, from 1,865 in 2013 to 1,891. Overall, transportation incidents accounted for 40 percent of fatal workplace injuries in 2014.
Within the “transportation event,” category, BLS said that roadway incidents made up 57 percent of 2014’s fatal work injury total.
The second largest number of transportation fatalities in 2014 involved pedestrian-vehicular incidents, accounting for 17 percent. Fatalities resulting from pedestrian vehicular incidents were up 6 percent.
However, the agency noted that the roadway incident counts are expected to rise once updated 2014 data are released in the late spring of 2016.
The report also noted that among contracted workers who were employed outside of construction and oil-and-gas extraction occupations, the largest number of fatal occupational injuries was incurred by heavy-truck and tractor-trailer drivers (76 workers).
As for the overall national numbers, BLS recorded a preliminary total of 4,679 fatal work injuries last year. That equates to an increase of 2% over the revised count of 4,585 fatal work injuries the agency reported for 2013.
For detailed information on fatal injuries, refer to the tables in the 2014 data section at www.bls.gov/iif/oshcfoi1.htm.