That’s a big screaming headline, I know — it comes verbatim from a blog post by folks at the Bureau of Labor Statistics within the U.S. Department of Labor, who crunched their workplace death numbers to make several observations about truckers’ workplace fatalities and injuries. In addition to the stat in the headline, they also included this:
In 2014 alone, 761 tractor-trailer truck drivers were killed while working, which also marks the fifth year in a row that the number of truck driver fatalities has increased.
Most of these deaths occur as a result of crashes — and I know you don’t exactly need reminding of the danger associated with sharing the road these days. We’ve followed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s statistics year to year in this area, too. Compared to high fatality numbers in the decade and more prior to the 2009 recession, recent-year truck-occupant fatality numbers have generally been on a downward trend, certainly a good thing (though as I wrote before, as a percentage of all highway fatalities the long-term trend looks a good bit different).
The increases of fatalities the DOL’s post notes, by that logic, must be coming from somewhere other than crashes. Also from the post:
Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers also have the highest number of nonfatal injuries and illnesses that require days off from work across all occupations (a total of 55,710 in 2014).
It all reminds me of what Las Vegas-based owner-operator Pete Zimmer had to say earlier this year and tarping safety in particular, and loading/unloading by extension, and what all parties to the freight movement can do to help in this arena. If you missed that piece, it’s worth revisiting:
Dream gear? Uptime, pure and simple
Comment of the week here on OverdriveOnline.com, at least from my perspective, might well have come from the erudite keyboard tapping of none other than MW33, in response to my Saturday post about various ideas from the thinker-tinkerers among the owner-operator set, those with the vision to imagine solutions to particular problems and see them through to fruition. MW took a bit of a different approach in answering the “What’s your dream gear?” question, though:
“This is easy! My dream gear is a truck that will go more than a week without breaking down!”