Trucking industry has highest worker fatality rate, says BLS
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has determined what the most dangerous industries are in the U.S. based on fatality rate. Its ranking, which may surprise some residents of Georgia, is based on data from 2018. At the top is the truck transportation industry with a rate of 28 deaths per 100,000 full-time-equivalent workers, followed by:
• Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting (23)
• Mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction (14)
• Construction (9.5)
Of course, the margin of error for industries like logging and mining are much larger than those for trucking and construction because the former are not as numerous. In all, there are some 1.5 million people in the trucking industry as well as 3.6 million driver/sales workers and truck drivers. The latter make up 2.3% of the nation’s workforce and 18.4% of all worker fatalities. Of those 3.6 million, 1.8 million drive tractor-trailers.
Why the trucking industry is so dangerous
The BLS report makes it clear that it’s not just truckers who are put at risk. Around 80% of fatalities from accidents involving heavy-duty vehicles are individuals not in those vehicles. But the trucking industry is dangerous for several reasons, including the prevalence of drowsy truckers; the advanced age of many truckers, especially long-haul truckers (there’s no mandatory retirement age); and the lax enforcement of speed limits and seatbelt laws.
Having a lawyer locally represent you
As a truck driver who suffered workplace injuries, you might seek workers’ compensation benefits and, if all goes well, be reimbursed for all medical expenses in addition to a portion of lost wages. The filing process may not go smoothly, though, because employers have the right to deny payment. This is where legal representation could come in handy. A lawyer may also tell you the difference between liability and non-liability settlements if you choose to settle.