Truckers head list of lost-worktime injuries

| 4/17/2002

While the overall number of workplace injuries dipped slightly in 2000, truckdrivers account for more serious illnesses and injuries than any other occupation, the Labor Department said last week. Sprains, strains and tears were the most common lost-worktime injuries, accounting for about 44 percent of the total.

Statistics from the Labor Department show there were 1.66 million injuries and illnesses serious enough to result in more than one day of missed work in 2000, a 2.3 percent drop from 1999. But the 2000 decline was less than average annual drops of 3.6 percent from 1992 to 2000, during which these injuries and illnesses fell by a total of 28.6 percent.

Truckdrivers accounted for more serious illnesses and injuries than any other occupation, with more than 136,000 in 2000, down from 141,000 in 1999, the bureau said. The job with the second most common workplace injuries is nursing aides with 87,000.

Labor Secretary Elaine Chao lamented the high injury and illness levels of truckers, laborers and nursing aides, which accounted for about 18 percent of total injuries and illnesses. "Their safety and health is important to all of us, and we must continue to find ways to reduce hazards and improve their working conditions," Chao said in a released statement.