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What are the Most Common Work-Related Transportation Industry Accidents, Injuries, & Fatalities in North Carolina?

At Waple & Houk, PLLC, our Charlotte workers’ compensation attorneys know, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the transportation industry has the highest number of workplace fatalities in the U.S. Last year, 1,982 of the 5,190 fatal work injuries nationwide were transportation workers — accounting for 38% of all workplace fatalities. In addition, there were 54,750 nonfatal work-related transportation incidents over the same period.

Here, our North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyers discuss other common accidents and injuries in the transportation industry in North Carolina.

Workplace Injuries in Transportation?

What are the Most Common Workplace Injuries in Transportation?

Workers in the transportation industry face a variety of occupational hazards due to the nature of their work and the unique challenges associated with transportation-related activities.

Some common occupational hazards faced by workers in the transportation industry may include, but are not limited to:

  • Motor Vehicle Accidents

Workers who operate vehicles, like truck and delivery drivers, are at risk of motor vehicle accidents. These accidents can result in injuries or fatalities, and factors like long hours and fatigue can contribute to the risk.

Last year alone, there were 7,520 pedestrian-vehicle incidents, accounting for 13.7% of all work-related transportation incidents involving days away from work.

  • Heavy Equipment Operation

Heavy equipment operators, including forklifts, cranes, and loaders, face the risk of accidents, including overturns, collisions, or being struck by moving objects.

  • Loading and Unloading Hazards

Workers loading and unloading cargo, whether on ships, trucks, or planes, face hazards like falling objects, slips, trips, and falls.

  • Exposure to Hazardous Materials

Workers transporting hazardous materials face the risk of exposure to dangerous substances. This includes chemicals, gases, or other materials that can pose health risks if improperly handled.

  • Repetitive Motion Injuries

Workers in transportation may engage in repetitive tasks, like lifting, carrying, or sorting packages, which can lead to musculoskeletal injuries over time.

  • Ergonomic Hazards

Poor ergonomics in vehicle design or workspace setups can contribute to musculoskeletal issues, like back pain or carpal tunnel syndrome, for drivers and other transportation workers.

  • Weather-Related Hazards

Workers operating vehicles or handling cargo outdoors are exposed to weather-related hazards, including extreme temperatures, storms, and, although not common in North Carolina, icy or slippery conditions.

  • Fatigue and Sleep Deprivation

Long hours, irregular schedules, and the need for continuous attention while driving contribute to fatigue and sleep deprivation among transportation workers, increasing the risk of accidents.

  • Noise Exposure

Workers in the transportation industry, especially those operating large vehicles, may be exposed to high noise levels, leading to hearing loss over time.

  • Slips, Trips, and Falls

Workers in transportation hubs, like airports, train stations, and bus terminals, are at risk of slips, trips, and falls due to crowded conditions, uneven surfaces, or inadequate signage.

  • Vibration Exposure

Workers operating heavy equipment or vehicles may be exposed to whole-body vibrations, contributing to health issues, including back pain and musculoskeletal disorders.

  • Struck by and Caught-between Incidents

Workers near moving vehicles or machinery risk being struck by or caught between objects, leading to severe injuries.

  • Inadequate Training

Insufficient training on vehicle operation, safety protocols, and emergency procedures can contribute to accidents and injuries in the transportation industry.

Addressing these hazards requires a comprehensive approach that includes proper training, adherence to safety regulations, regular equipment maintenance, and the implementation of safety measures in workplaces.

Employers in the transportation industry should prioritize the well-being of their workers and create environments that promote safety and minimize occupational risks. When they do not, and North Carolina workers are injured, our attorneys help them pursue their employers’ workers’ compensation insurance coverage for the benefits they deserve.

Contact Our Experienced Workers’ Compensation in North Carolina Today

If you have been hurt while working in the transportation industry in North Carolina, contact our dedicated workers’ compensation attorneys in Charlotte today by phone at (704)-954-8697 or schedule a free consultation online to learn more about how we can help you pursue the best outcome for your claim.