Introduction Qatar is a rapidly developing high-income country in the Middle East with a rapidly growing expatriate worker population working on road and FIFA World Cup 2022 infrastructure projects. Heavy Vehicles (HVs) are a very common sight in Qatar but their effect/s on work-related road traffic injuries (WRTIs) in Qatar has not been reported previously. This study aims to analyze the work related injuries caused by HVs; it was conducted as part of a larger ‘A Unified Registry for Workplace Injury Prevention in Qatar’ grant [NPRP 7–1120–3–288] funded by the Qatar Foundation and designed to initiate and implement a targeted unified workplace injury registry to inform policies and programs to reduce the health burden, in terms of deaths and disabilities, and the healthcare costs from WRI’s in Qatar
Methods A free text search using heavy vehicle terms like ‘crane’, ‘truck’, ‘bulldozer’ etc. was carried out on the Trauma Registry of the national trauma center of Qatar. All WRTI patients, from 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2016, were included and their data analyzed according to road user type and key epidemiologic characteristics.
Results Forty percent (40%) of all WRTIs in Qatar involved heavy vehicles. 57% worked in the transportation industry, 83.8% were truck drivers and only 8% of them were restrained. The driver victims were involved in head-on collisions (32%) and fixed object crashes (22%). It was also found that pedestrians (20%) and falling object victims (4.6%) had more severe injuries when compared to other mechanisms.
Conclusion HV-WRTIs are underappreciated as a major cause of severe WRTI in Qatar. Occupational safety programs should focus on decreasing operating hours by HV drivers and increasing restraint use, pedestrian worksite environmental modifications and HV maintenance and repair standards. The limited available evidence necessitates more focused data capture and analysis in the future.