Research Papers

Occupational health and safety risks in Canadian long-haul truck drivers

Version 1
Date added June 18, 2019
Downloaded 0 times/fois
Category 2019 CARSP XXIX Calgary
Tags Research and Evaluation, Session 5B
Author/Auteur Crizzle, Madani-Larijani, Malkin, Zello, Bigelow, Shubair, Thiffault
Stream/Volet Research and Evaluation

Slidedeck Presentation Only:



Background/Context: There are over 300,000 long-haul truck drivers (LHTD) in Canada despite a current driver shortage. One reason for the shortage is the poor health and wellness of LHTD, as well as the high rates of occupational injuries including the risk for motor vehicle collisions. For example approximately 20% of all crashes involved truck drivers in Canada. However, there is limited data on occupational injuries and safety in Canada as the majority of studies have been conducted in the USA.

Aims/Objectives: The objectives of this study were to profile occupational injury and safety in Canadian LHTD. Methods/Targets: Data was collected in 2018 from 232 long-haul truck drivers across 7 truck stops in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Data were collected on truck crashes, near misses, moving violations, work-related injuries, work environment, safety climate, driver training, job satisfaction, and driving behaviors.

Results/Activities: Results suggested that an estimated 3.1% % of LHTDs reported a truck crash in 2018, 28% reported at least one crash while working as an LHTD, 20% reported at least one near miss in the previous 7 days, 12% reported at least one moving violation ticket and 6% reported a non-crash injury involving days away from work in the previous 12 months. More than 50% of LHTDs perceived their delivery schedules to be unrealistically tight; 20% often continued driving despite fatigue, bad weather, or heavy traffic because they needed to deliver or pick up a load at a given time; 4% often drove 10 kilometers per hours or more over the speed limit; 5% never wore a seatbelt; 72% were often frustrated by other drivers on the road; 30% often had to wait for access to a loading dock; 37% reported being noncompliant with hours-of-service rules; 42% of LHTDs perceived their entry-level training inadequate; and 18% did not feel that safety of workers was a high priority with their management.

Discussion/Deliverables: This is the largest survey study conducted in Canadian LHTD described truck crashes, work-related injuries, work environments, safety climate, driver training, attitude, and behaviors. The findings suggest that LHTDs operate in a work environment with a number of potentially adverse factors, including long work hours, being paid by the mile, perceived unrealistically tight delivery schedules, being forced to wait for access to a loading dock, traffic congestion, and other factors. It is reasonable to hypothesize that the stressful work environment factors, frustrations, unsafe driving behaviors, and the high prevalence of truck crashes and injuries among LHTDs are interconnected.

Conclusions: The findings address a number of important safety issues for further research and interventions (e.g. high prevalence of truck crashes, injury underreporting, unrealistically tight delivery schedules, noncompliance with hours-of-service rules, and inadequate entry-level training).