Truckers most prone to workplace injuries in Florida

| Thursday, July 17, 2003

A Florida state study says truckers are most prone to workplace injuries in the state. Drivers suffered from 6,536 injuries or illnesses in 2001. That's 8.4 percent of all 77,758 injuries and illnesses recorded in Florida during the year.

Truckers suffered from 50 percent more injuries and illnesses than the next leading worker category – stock handlers and baggers – who reported 4,342 injuries or illnesses in 2001.

The data was released by the Florida Department of Financial Services. Back injuries were the most common complaint, with 19,241 workers, or 24.7 percent of the total, reporting back problems. Most workers, 22 percent, blamed overextension in lifting as the principal cause for their injuries. Another 21.1 percent said they were injured from a fall, while 14.4 percent said they were struck by an object. Illinois implements law targeting reckless drivers

Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed legislation July 11 allowing prosecutors to charge drivers who kill someone by driving too fast through highway construction zones with reckless homicide.

Under the new law, which took effect immediately, the offense would be a felony carrying a prison term of three to 14 years – six to 28 years if two or more people are killed.

Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Collinsville, who sponsored HB3215, told Ottawa’s Daily News 74 people died in construction zones in 2000 and 2001 because of reckless driving – often speeding.

Previous law didn’t recognize speeding alone as evidence of recklessness that would warrant a homicide charge, Hoffman said.

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