Top Work-Related Injury Causes
In February we will spotlight the 5th top most work-related injury cause, transportation incidents. There were over 25,800 worker injuries due to transportation incidents in 2020. However, there were over 1,253 deaths related to transportation incidents in 2021, making it the #1 work-related way to die in 2021.
The transportation incidents category includes injuries to vehicle occupants occurring on public highways, streets, or roads normally used for travel, as well as the shoulder and surrounding areas, like telephone poles, bridge abutments, and trees alongside the roadway. The back is the #1 body part injured, affecting almost 25% of all workers injured in transportation incidents.
The type of job you do and the amount of time driving/traveling on roadways impacts your exposure to transportation incidents. In general, males made up 68% of nonfatal injuries and 91.1% of fatal injuries in 2020. In addition, those in the 45-54 age range had the highest injury rate and mortality rate in 2020 from transportation incidents. If you think working in government helps, don't be fooled. Grouping transportation incidents by industry revealed that government workers accounted for 98 of the 1,253 transportation related deaths (8%) and the 5th most in 2021.
At Urbandale we take driving seriously. A large number of employees rely on driving for their job every day. We conduct driving record checks on all new candidates and check driving records annually for a large number of positions. We have a motor vehicle policy and it can be found in the employee handbook on page # 58 (Employee Handbook). In addition, the City's cell phone policy (page # 72) prohibits distracted driving and follows the State of Iowa law on cell phone use and driving. Furthermore, departments that regularly require employees to be on the roadways for extended periods of time or in dangerous situations have additional policies and practices to reduce the likeliness of a transportation incident occurring.
Even with those policies and practices in place, in 2023 Urbandale had 7 work injuries related to transportation incidents. Additionally, we had 21 transportation incidents between employees and the public, totaling over $280,800 in damages.