Year of Publication



Public Health

Date Available


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)

Committee Chair

Terry Bunn, PhD

Committee Member

Svetla Slavova, PhD

Committee Member

T. Scott Prince, MD, MSPH



Problem: Trucking transportation remains one of the most dangerous industries in the US. The aims of the current study were to (1) identify and characterize differences in injury types between workers in short-haul and long-haul trucking; (2) analyze and code narrative text to identify and characterize the on-the-job activities associated with injuries within each trucking industry group; and (3) identify areas for targeted improvement of safety interventions. Method: Quantitative and narrative analyses of 2012 Kentucky short-haul and long-haul truck transportation workers’ compensation first reports of injury and narrative text data were performed. Chi-square tests assessed differences in demographics, injuries, award disposition, and award characteristics between short-haul and long-haul trucking industries. The top injury scenarios in short-haul and long-haul trucking were to illustrate primary work-related activities that resulted in injuries. Results: Primary injury activity scenarios in both short-haul and long- haul trucking involved (1) moving freight; (2) tarping the trailer; and (3) handling the trailer door. A higher proportion of long-haul drivers suffered injuries due to tarping, trailer door handling, and slipping while entering or exiting the cab compared to short-haul truck drivers. In contrast, a higher proportion of short-haul drivers suffered injuries due to the vehicle leaving the roadway and being rear-ended by other vehicles.

Practical Applications: Both trucking groups may benefit from increased access to freight moving equipment and engineering control measures such as access to ladders, scaffolding and harness systems for tarping at shipping locations. Long-haul truckers specifically could benefit from the use of portable tarping systems to prevent injury. Additional injury control measures include the use of slip-resistant step covers and footwear, and the use of three points of contact to prevent falls while entering or exiting the cab.

Included in

Public Health Commons