Workplace accidents are always a tragedy, but they can be especially dangerous when they involve trucks. Many workplaces require employees to operate or work near trucks, and if safety measures are not adhered to scrupulously, dangerous trucking accidents can occur. Truck rollovers can easily occur when safety procedures are not followed, and employees can be involved in truck collisions or may be crushed by trucks. Like trucking accidents on the roads, trucking accidents at the work place can result in brain trauma, spinal cord injuries, fatalities, and other tragedies.
Technology in some places may help employees avoid trucking accidents on the job. For example, in municipalities across the country, some sanitation employees are driving more automated trucks rather than the traditional vehicles. These trucks allow sanitation workers to remain in the trucks, which reduces the risks of an employee being hit by a vehicle while getting in and out of the truck.
Many jobs requiring trucks have a high risk rate. For example, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2008, refuse collection has the sixth-highest death rate of jobs. In 2008, 31 refuse collection workers died on the job. In many cases, these accidents involved truck accidents or a worker being struck and killed by another vehicle when exiting the truck.
In addition to refuse collection, other jobs involving trucks also have a high risk rate. For example, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2008, loggers have the second-highest fatality rate on the job, second only to fishery workers. In 2008, 82 loggers died on the job. Transporting lumber – which can be an unstable cargo if not securely tied down – can be a danger for loggers. Farmers and ranchers had the fifth-leading number of fatalities on the job in 2008. That year, 317 ranchers and farmers were killed on the job. Accidents involving farming equipment as well as farm truck rollovers are a danger for these workers. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2008, truck drivers, sales workers, and drivers had the ninth deadliest job. In 2008, 815 drivers were killed on the job.
There are of course many things that employers can do to help prevent trucking accidents at the workplace. Ensuring that trucks are properly maintained is an important first step. Carefully screening and training employees who work with trucks is also important. In many cases, ensuring that trucks can be easily seen and heard helps prevent pedestrian accidents involving workplace trucks. Many workplaces now also review safety procedures regularly to ensure that all employees know how to stay safe.
Of course, employees also have a responsibility to remain safe. Employees should get the training they need for their job and take continuing education classes as needed to stay safe on the job. Employees who drive trucks as part of their work should get the correct licensing and should take care to not overexert or overtire themselves while driving. All employees should report safety issues immediately and should persist until any problems have been satisfactorily resolved.