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Work-related non-crash heavy vehicle driver fatalities in Australia, 2000–9

Abstract

The objective of this study was to describe the nature and mechanisms of a case series of Australian work-related non-crash heavy vehicle driver fatalities. The study used existing population-based mortality data on non-crash work-related heavy vehicle (gross vehicle mass >4.5 t) driver fatalities reported to Australian coroners between 2000 and 2009. There were 47 fatalities with a mean age of 46.5 years. Available toxicology detected that six of 16 drivers consumed illegal drugs or alcohol. The most frequent task was attending to cargo (n=22, 47%); 31 (66%) fatalities occurred when the driver was working alone. Brake issues (n=21, 45%) were the most frequent contributing factor, and crushing the most common mechanism (n=33, 70%), particularly between the vehicle and another object (n=22, 47%). Fatalities occurred in most jurisdictions averaging 4.7 per year overall. A large number of truck drivers die performing non-driving tasks. Crushing following vehicle rolling accounts for almost 50% of fatalities. Considering this pathway may provide prevention opportunities.

  • Crush
  • death
  • driver
  • non-crash
  • occupational
  • roll
  • surveillance
  • truck driver

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