STEPPING UP SAFETY: A step like this to allow access to the rear of the truck could stop a fall and prevent injury.
STEPPING UP SAFETY: A step like this to allow access to the rear of the truck could stop a fall and prevent injury. Carly Morrissey

5,000 serious injury claims each year in trucking

ABOUT 5000 serious injury claims are made by truck drivers on the job in Australia each year.

Safe Work Australia data shows that over the five years to 2014-15, there were 27,759 serious claims from truck drivers.

Muscular stress while handling objects, including lifting, carrying or putting them down accounted for over a third (9415 claims or 33.9%) of serious claims made by truck drivers during the five-year period.

This was followed by falls on the same level (3955 claims or 14.2% of claims by truck drivers), falls from a height (3610 claims or 13% of claims by truck drivers) and vehicle accidents (2220 claims or 8% of claims by truck drivers).

Overall, for the five year period from 2010-11 to 2014-15, the median time lost for serious claims made by truck drivers was seven weeks.

Vehicle accidents accounted for the highest median time lost over the period with a total of 13 weeks, followed by falls from a height (nine weeks) and low muscle loading repetitive movement (nine weeks).

Road freight transport is a priority industry and the focus of national prevention efforts to help reduce the high number of fatalities and injuries.

A Safe Work Australia spokesperson said there were many programs around the country running to help minimise these types of injuries.

One particular focus is a campaign to prevent workers falling from trucks.

Frasers Livestock Transport has designed a custom free-standing cross-loading module that uses a series of elevated platforms to help reduce the number of falls.

Other business have introduced truck stands, simpler approaches involve better access in and out of trucks including handles, foot grips on stairs and more.

To find out more about how other businesses are minimising workplace risks or preventing workplace accidents, get in touch with your state's Safe Work website.

Find the details at www.safeworkaustralia

.gov.au and click on the contact button at the top of the page.

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