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Trucking Employer Survey

Safety & Health Assessment & Research for Prevention (SHARP) — Research for Safe Work

SHARP's Trucking Initiative identifies hazards and needs of employers

Injury data from Washington State show that General Freight Trucking and Specialized Freight Trucking both rank in the top five industries for lost-time injuries. The SHARP Trucking Injury Reduction Emphasis (TIRES) aims to help the industry identify root causes of the most frequent types of injuries, and develop effective intervention strategies to reduce risk and cost. This work is partially funded by a grant from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

We are identifying hazards by analyzing state workers' compensation data, administering statewide surveys of employers and employees, and conducting on-site observations. We will further characterize these hazards by conducting follow-up interviews with injured workers. Oversight of TIRES activities will be provided by a steering committee of industry representatives.

We will develop and distribute prevention strategies and educational materials to help the industry reduce its incidence of high frequency and high cost injuries.

Please call the SHARP program at 1‑888‑667‑4277 or e‑mail for information about the project or visit the Trucking Initiative Web page. You can also view information about the TIRES project and find links to other trucking topics from our stakeholders by visiting (

Findings from the employer survey

In 2005, we conducted a survey of Washington State trucking companies to identify what employers see as their biggest challenges and needs to reduce injuries. A total of 359 companies responded out of 690 mailed surveys.

The top two problem injury types identified by employers were:

  1. Sprains, strains and overexertions.
  2. Slips, trips and falls.

These two types of injuries also account for about two-thirds of workers' compensation costs. Employers identified manual material handling as the most common source of sprain and strain injuries. Work methods were described as the most frequent reason for slip, trip and fall injuries.

Companies identified common barriers to implementing controls to reduce injuries. The top challenges stated by the trucking employers were:

  1. Employee lack of risk awareness.
  2. Time and logistics required to train.
  3. Lack of ability to supervise and control environment.

We also found that companies that had a Keep on Salary (KOS) or light-duty job program had a lower rate of injury claims.

We are currently conducting a survey of truck drivers for comparison to the employer responses. The findings of these surveys, combined with on-going site visits and ride-alongs, will help the TIRES program to produce material that is both needed and helpful for the industry.

See the Reducing Injuries in the Trucking Industry (122 KB PDF) summary report for the 2005 Employer Survey Results.

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