5274.0: Wednesday, November 15, 2000 - 5:30 PM

Abstract #952

Descriptive Analysis of Truck-related Occupational Fatalities on U.S. Highways, 1992-1997

Stephanie G. Pratt, MA and Stephen J. Strotmeyer, MPH. Division of Safety Research, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 1095 Willowdale Road, Mail Stop P-180, Morgantown, WV 26505, 304.285.5992, sgp2@cdc.gov

Analysis of Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries research files** indicates that occupational fatalities from highway incidents increased 20% from 1992-1997. Truck-related deaths (those in which a worker 16 or older was killed in a highway incident) contributed 55% of the 7,596 highway fatalities, increasing 42%. Tractor-trailers (49%) and pickup trucks (19%) were most often involved. The transportation, communications, and public utilities industry (TCPU) had the highest frequency and rate (2,016 deaths, 3.87), seven times the overall rate of 0.57 per 100,000 workers. The predominant events were highway collisions (40%), highway non-collisions (34%), and a truck striking a stationary object on the roadside (19%).

In general, industry was associated with truck type, which was in turn associated with event type. For example, tractor-trailer (74%) and dump truck (45%) fatalities were concentrated in TCPU. In contrast, deaths involving pickup and delivery trucks were more evenly distributed by industry. Additionally, for pickup trucks, the ratio of collisions to non-collisions and stationary object incidents was 1.9, while for tractor trailers and dump trucks combined, the same ratio was .48.

Comparison of fatality rates is useful for assessing risks among worker groups and suggesting where injury prevention programs might best be implemented. However, rates based on employment are limited by their inability to address differences in exposure to traffic. Future research should include development of fatality rates by vehicle miles traveled, or for long-haul trucking, by ton-miles traveled.

** Data source was CFOI research files prepared specifically for NIOSH, which exclude New York City.

Learning Objectives: Describe trends in occupational truck-related highway fatalities between 1992 and 1997. Identify the industry divisions with the highest frequencies and rates of truck-related occupational fatalities. Describe the over-representation of certain truck types and event types within specific industries. Explain the limitations of using employment-based denominators for calculating rates or assessing risk for occupational truck-related fatalities

Keywords: Work-Related Fatalities, Motor Vehicles

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA