WINNIPEG, MB- According to a new report from the U.S. Department of Labor and Industries (L&I), one in 13 truck drivers has a work-related injury serious enough to miss work every year. And the Manitoba Trucking Association (MTA) wants to put a stop to that.
The association wants to establish an industry‐based safety program to provide relevant safety and health services targeted to the needs of our work environment.
“An industry based program would make it easier for employers and workers to engage in positive safety and health practices to ensure employees are safe and workplaces are productive,” the MTA claims.
The MTA proposes a program that would offer training and safety program support customized to the trucking industry and information and resources, which will enable companies with effective safety programs to become certified and eligible for discounts on Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) premiums.
“Every year, approximately 1,100 people are injured in our industry,” the MTA states. “In addition to the very real and potentially tragic human cost to our workers, there are direct and indirect costs to our industry that are estimated to exceed $90 million annually.”
The industry‐led program would be overseen by the MTA Board of Directors and guided by a Safety Council that includes representatives from MTA members, companies that are not members, workers, representatives from SAFE Work Manitoba, and MPI.
The program would be funded through a levy on the Inter‐jurisdictional Trucking and Cartage Trucking rate codes. Each employer in these rate codes would pay a levy over and above their WCB premium, currently estimated at seven percent. Once a company achieves safety certification, it would be eligible for a discount that is currently estimated at 10 percent, providing a net savings.
“Reducing from the average [WCB premium] to the lowest rate in the industry provides an opportunity for savings on WCB premiums of between 42‐44 percent,” the association claims.
Online safety resources
L&I has aSafety and Health Assessment and Research for Prevention (SHARP) program, which produces tip sheets, training and educational tools and the Keep Trucking Safe website and blog to help prevent trucking-industry injuries.
In their report, they found that sprains, strains and overexertion accounted for the most trucking-related injuries, with costs exceeding $107 million and resulting in 576,000 lost-work days. About 70 percent of these injuries were to drivers. Many of the injuries occurred while connecting or disconnecting a trailer to the truck or opening stuck trailer doors.
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