Work-Related Non-Crash Heavy Vehicle Driver Fatalities in Australia, 2000–9

The transport and storage industry has one of the highest fatality rates of all industries in Australia. Most, but not all, of these fatalities were due to road crashes. This study investigates the nature and mechanisms of work-related truck driver fatalities that were not related to the task of driving. The study used existing population-based mortality data from 2000-2009 on non-crash work-related fatalities among heavy vehicle drivers in Australia. A total of 47 cases of a driver being killed while performing a non-driving task were identified. The most frequent task was attending to cargo; most fatalities occurred when the driver was working alone. Crushing was the most common mechanism, particularly between the vehicle and another object. Brake issues were the most frequent contributing factor. In almost half of the cases, a common sequence of events involved parking on an incline, inappropriate brake operation or malfunctioning brakes, truck rolling and a crushing death. Available toxicology detected that six of 16 drivers had consumed alcohol or illegal drugs. Low-cost interventions, such as an incline parking alarm, should be considered to reduce this type of fatality.


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  • Accession Number: 01353989
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 10 2011 6:33PM