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Truckers miss more work days due to illness, injury

In August 2016, an Occupational Health and Safety Administration regulation went into effect that requires certain employers to submit on-the-job injury and illness information electronically. Although it generally applies to employers who have at least 250 employees, companies in specific high-risk industries that employ a minimum of 20 workers are also affected by the ruling. Residents of Oklahoma and other states across the nation may be interested in knowing that certain general and freight trucking companies fall within the group of high-risk industries that must comply with the requirements of the regulation.

The reason appears obvious when data that has been previously gathered by the agency is taken into consideration. A report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that tractor-trailer and heavy-truck drivers suffer more job-related injuries which require them to miss days at work than do workers in most other industries in this country. Statistics indicate that truck drivers fall ill more often while at work than do workers who are otherwise employed.

BLS statistics also show that the most common on-the-job injuries among this sector include strains, tears and sprains. The vice president of public affairs for the American Trucking Association suggests that the more advanced average age of these truckers as compared to the average age of the general workforce might contribute to members of this group missing more days of work than workers in other industries miss following an injury of any type.

OHSA will begin publishing the electronic data in 2017, and companies have already begun to implement driver health and wellness programs in order to potentially improve the situation. Regardless, truckers who suffer workplace injuries and are concerned that they might be denied just compensation may find it beneficial to seek legal help from an attorney who is familiar with the complexities of workers' compensation law.

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