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Truckers still lose more time to injuries

WHISTLER, B.C. - Nobody said it was an easy job, but truckers are more likely than average to lose time to injuries, and will likely have to take more time off the job when they happen."Which industry...


WHISTLER, B.C. – Nobody said it was an easy job, but truckers are more likely than average to lose time to injuries, and will likely have to take more time off the job when they happen.

“Which industry had the most injuries last year? Health care,” admits Terry Bogyo, director of corporate development at B.C.’s Worker’s Compensation Board. “But you’re Number 5.”

The trucking industry saw 3,041 injuries lead to lost time last year, “and that’s a lot,” he told the annual conference of the British Columbia Trucking Association.

On average, 4.1 B.C. workers are expected to be injured out of every 100 person years of work. That compares to the trucking industry at 10.

While fewer cuts and bruises are being reported, the severity of injuries is increasing – possibly because of Canada’s aging truckers, he said.

On average, the number of days a B.C. worker will lose to an injury is equal to the number of years they’ve been alive, Bogyo said. “Add five days to the age for people in your industry.”

Overall, fewer injuries were recorded in the trucking industry during 1999 – but not in every category. Injuries caused by falls from elevations increased from 505 to 560 between 1998 and 1999.

Bogyo also attempted to dispel myths about the system. Of the 34,000 workplace inspections conducted last year, only 0.6 per cent led to penalties, he said.

And only 11 per cent of claims last longer than 12 weeks, he added, trying to debunk the idea that injured workers want to milk the system and don’t want to return to their jobs. n


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