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Truck drivers at top for on-the-job injuries

Louisiana heavy truck drivers are probably highly aware how dangerous their job is. However, they might be surprised to learn that the occupation is the highest when it comes to workers who become sick or injured on the job. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2015, truck drivers miss about 20 days of work each year because of non-fatal injuries and illnesses stemming from their job, which, next to steamfitters, pipefitters and plumbers, is more than any other occupation in the country. On average, the yearly incident rate for non-fatal workplace illnesses and injuries is 104 for every 10,000 U.S. employees, but for truck drivers, it averages 307.5 per 10,000 people annually.

The type of injuries most commonly experienced by semi-trailer and heavy truck drivers are tears, strains and sprains, which accounts for about 40 percent of all illnesses and injuries, according to the BLS. These high rates are mainly because of the demanding nature of the occupation.

To address the issue of these workplace injuries and illnesses, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration passed regulations in August 2016 that require certain specialized and general freight trucking companies to submit work-related illness and injury reports electronically. The rule affects some high-risk companies and those that have at least 250 employees or more.

According to workers' compensation laws, employees who are injured or suffer an illness that is directly linked to their occupation may be entitled to certain kinds of benefits. To obtain them, ill or injured employees should immediately file the claim, which may pay them a portion of their income and medical expenses while they are recuperating. Employees who believe they did not receive the full amount of compensation they deserve could contact a local attorney to review their claim and offer advice.

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