Examining the risks North Carolina truck drivers face

Truck drivers get sick or injured at work at a rate higher than most other professions. In 2015, there were 307.5 incidents of injury or illness at work for every 10,000 workers in that industry. However, the injury rate actually fell when compared to 2014 when the incident was 365.5 per 10,000 truckers. Despite this drop in injuries, workers took a median of 20 days off in 2015, which was an increase from 2014.

Sprains and strains are the most common type of injury that a tractor-trailer driver will experience. They account for 43 percent of all injuries according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While injuries may cause truck drivers to take more time off in a given year, there are other reasons why this may be the case. For instance, the average age of a truck driver is 49 while the age of an average American worker is only 42.

In an effort to keep injuries to a minimum, many carriers are starting to implement health and wellness programs for their drivers. Furthermore, OSHA requires general and specialized freight companies with 20 or more employees to submit electronic accident and illness reports to the organization. Injury and illness data is scheduled to be published on OSHA's website in 2017.

Truck drivers who are injured on the job may be eligible to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits under their employer's insurance coverage. These benefits can include medical care as well as in some cases partial wage replacement. The filing process is subject to time requirements that an attorney can outline.

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