This site provides information about preventing occupational illness and injury in the trucking industry through links to summaries, training presentations, publications and other resources. It also offers a one-stop location to find applicable Department of Transportation (DOT) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) compliance requirements related to worker protection.
OSHA regulations govern the safety and health of the workers and the responsibilities of employers to ensure their safety at the warehouse, dock, construction site, and in other places truckers go to deliver and pick up loads throughout the country. While OSHA does not regulate self-employed truckers, it does regulate workplaces to which the truckers deliver goods and the workers which receive those goods.
The trucking industry is addressed in specific standards for recordkeeping and the general industry.
This section highlights OSHA standards, directives (instructions for compliance officers), standard interpretations (official letters of interpretation of the standards), and whistleblower protection may be applicable to a trucker depending on the location, activity, type of material handled and industry.
Note: Twenty-five states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have OSHA-approved State Plans and have adopted their own standards and enforcement policies. For the most part, these States adopt standards that are identical to Federal OSHA. However, some States have adopted different standards applicable to this topic or may have different enforcement policies.
Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illness (29 CFR 1904) [related topic page]
- 1904.2, Partial exemption for establishments in certain industries
- 1904.7, General recording criteria
- 1904.29, Forms
General Industry (29 CFR 1910)
- 1910 Subpart D, Walking-working surfaces [related topic page]
- 1910.23, Guarding floor and wall openings and holes
- 1910 Subpart E, Means of Egress
- 1910.37, Maintenance, safeguards, and operational features for exit routes
- 1910 Subpart H, Hazardous materials [related topic page]
- 1910 Subpart I, Personal protective equipment
- 1910 Subpart J, General environmental controls
- 1910 Subpart K, Medical and first aid
- 1910 Subpart L, Fire Protection [related topic page]
- 1910 Subpart N, Materials handling and storage
- 1910 Subpart R, Special Industries
- 1910 Subpart S, Electrical
- 1910 Subpart Z, Toxic and hazardous substances
OSHA is preempted by Section 4(b)1 of the OSH Act from enforcing its regulations if a working condition is regulated by another Federal agency.
- While traveling on public highways, the Department of Transportation (DOT) has jurisdiction. However, while loading
and unloading trucks, OSHA regulations govern the safety and health of the workers and the responsibilities of employers to
ensure their safety at the warehouse, at the dock, at the rig, at the construction site, at the airport terminal and in all
places truckers go to deliver and pick up loads.
- While operating at an airport, if there is an operational plan negotiated between the carrier and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that covers a working condition, then the FAA has jurisdiction.
- Due to the DOT brake regulation, OSHA does not cite for failure to chock trailer wheels if the vehicle is otherwise adequately secured. DOT's regulation preempts enforcement and DOT has jurisdiction. However, if the vehicle is an intrastate truck, OSHA has jurisdiction. Only another Federal agency may preempt OSHA's jurisdiction
- The Control of Hazardous Energy – Enforcement Policy and Inspection Procedures. CPL 02-00-147, (2008, February 11). Cancels OSHA Instruction, STD 01-05-019 [STD 1-7.3],
29 CFR 1910.147, The Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout) -- Inspection Procedures and Interpretive Guidance, September 11, 1990; and its interpretations.
- Inspection Procedures for 29 CFR 1910.120 and 1926.65, Paragraph (q): Emergency Response to Hazardous Substance Releases. CPL 02-02-073, (2007, August 27). Also available as a 444 KB PDF, 119 pages. Updates enforcement procedures for compliance officers who need to conduct inspections of emergency response operations. It defines additional terms and expands on training requirements for emergency responders and other groups such as skilled support personnel. This OSHA instruction revises CPL 02-02-059, issued April 24, 1998.
- Compliance Assistance for the Powered Industrial Truck Operator Training Standards. CPL 02-02-028 [CPL 2-1.28A], (2000, November 30). Provides compliance assistance for the revised powered industrial truck operator training standard.
- Chocking of Tractor Trailer under the Powered Industrial Truck Standard. CPL 02-01-030 [CPL 2-1.30], (1999, October 20). Establishes policy to ensure proper enforcement of 29 CFR 1910.178(k)(1) and 1910.178(m)(7).
- Inspection Procedures for the Hazard Communication Standard. CPL 02-02-038 [CPL 2-2.38D], (1998, March 20). Additional information is provided in an 87 KB PPT*, 31 slides.
- 29 CFR 1910.178(k)(1) and (m)(7): Mechanical Means to Secure Trucks or Trailers to a Loading Dock. STD 01-11-007 [STD 1-11.7], (1981, August 5). Allows the use of a mechanical means to secure trucks or trailers to a loading dock in situations in which they provide the equivalent protection of wheel chocks.
- Search all available directives.
- Review of Policy on Section 4(b)(1) of the Act. (1989, July 10). Discusses the scope of Section 4(b)1; that is, if the other agency's regulation (or the lack of one) does not cover the hazard in question, then the OSH Act's requirements are not preempted. The terms "working conditions" and "gap theory," are discussed. For example, if the Office of Motor Carrier Safety (OMCS) has a regulation addressing a certain working condition (or hazard), then OSHA would be preempted from applying its standards to that hazard.
- Cross-view back-up mirrors on delivery trucks. (1997, January 24). OSHA has no specific regulations requiring the installation of "cross-view" mirrors on delivery vehicles. At present, OSHA has no specific standards that address motor vehicle safety in general industry workplaces, including the installation of safety devices on motor vehicles. OSHA's jurisdiction over motor vehicles is limited to vehicles operated in the workplace and not over public roads.
- DOT has jurisdiction of the trucking industry. (1992, January 13). Establishes that the Department of Transportation (DOT) has the authority and responsibility for promulgating and enforcing regulations related to the trucking industry.
- Motor vehicle accidents are not within OSHA's jurisdiction. (1992, January 13). Determines that motor vehicle accidents at railroad crossings do not fall within OSHA's jurisdiction; rather, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has jurisdiction in this matter.
- Safety requirements applicable to lunch and rest breaks during an employee's workday. (1986, January 24). Requires that those employed in driving commercial vehicles involved in interstate commerce follow Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations on
Hours of Service Regulations Final Rule (December 2011). A new Hours-of-Service (HOS) Final Rule was issued on December 22, 2011. The effective date of the Final Rule is February 27, 2012, and the compliance date of selected provisions is July 1, 2013.
Loading and Unloading
- Host employers may require site-specific forklift training of visiting workers. (1999, October 28). Determines that employers are entitled to require that employees who operate power pallet jacks have a training beyond that required by the regulation and that they be trained specifically in the equipment and conditions at its worksite.
- Applicability of the HCS to diesel exhaust emissions and diesel fuel. (1998, December 22). Indicates that diesel exhaust emissions are not covered by the HCS. Diesel fuel however is covered by the HCS and any known hazards associated with this fuel must be reported on the material safety data sheet, including the hazards associated with the combustion of the fuel. Vehicle operators would not be covered while operating a motor vehicle, however operators would be covered while performing terminal operations.
- Letter concerning OSHA Instruction STD 1-11.7. (1981, September 3). Determines that trucks and trailers may be secured to the dock in lieu of chocks or blocks during loading or
unloading operations when using powered industrial trucks.
- Wire rope were used as a bull wire. (1976, August 20). Discusses Rigging Equipment for Material Handling, Wire Rope, 29 CFR 1926.251(c)(3), which states that: "Wire rope shall not be secured by knots, except on haul back lines on scrapers." In addition, if this wire rope is used as a bull wire, then 29 CFR 1926.251(c)(4)(iii) requires that the eyes in bull wires shall not be formed by knots or wire rope clips. The above standards recognize the hazard of tying knots in wire ropes used for hoisting, lowering, or pulling loads.
Transporting Hazardous Material
- Clarification of systems for electronic access to MSDSs. (1999, February 18). Provides an explanation of the Hazard Communication Standard related to MSDSs. The mobile worksite provision allows employees who travel between worksites during the work shift to phone-in for hazard information. In this situation, employees have access to the MSDSs prior to leaving the worksite and upon returning. The telephone system, therefore, is seen as an emergency arrangement.
- Vehicle operations on hazardous waste sites. (1992, April 2). Indicates that most of the responsibility for regulation of over-the-road vehicle operations belongs to the Department of Transportation. However, if the employer gives the truck driver responsibility to respond to emergency spills of hazardous substances or directs the driver to drive onto hazardous waste sites, then the driver is covered by OSHA's Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response standard.
- Emergency response in the trucking industry. (1991, April 3). Determines that each container of hazardous chemicals must be labeled, tagged or marked with the identity of the hazardous chemical, an appropriate hazard warning, and the name and address of the chemical manufacturer, importer, or other responsible party.
- Training requirements for drivers hauling hazardous waste. (1991, June 7). Indicates that the training under 29 CFR 1910.120(q)(6) depends on the duties and functions to be performed by the truck driver. If the truck driver is expected to stop dangerous leaks and clean up the spills, then training at the hazardous materials technician or hazardous materials specialist level is appropriate.
- Search all available standard interpretations.
Section 405 of the
Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) provides protection from reprisal by employers for truckers and certain other employees in the trucking industry involved in activity related to interstate commercial motor vehicle safety and health. Secretary of Labor's Order No. 9-83 (48 FR 35736, August 5, 1983) delegated authority to the Assistant Secretary of OSH to investigate and issue findings and preliminary orders under Section 405. The Office of Investigative Assistance has a Whistleblower Program.
Employees who believe they have been discriminated against for exercising their rights under Section 405 can file a complaint
with OSHA within 180 days of the incident. The Secretary will investigate the complaint and, within 60 days after it was filed,
issue findings as to whether there is a reason to believe Section 405 has been violated.
If the Secretary finds that a complaint has merit, he/she also will issue an order requiring, where appropriate, abatement of the
violation, reinstatement with back pay and related compensation, payment of compensatory damages, and the payment of the employee's expenses in bringing the complaint. Either the employee or employer may object to the findings. If no objection is filed
within 30 days, the finding and order are final. If a timely filed objection is made, however, the objecting party is entitled to a hearing on the objection before an Administrative Law Judge of the Department of Labor.
Within 120 days of the hearing, the Secretary will issue a final order. A party aggrieved by the final order may seek judicial review in a court of appeals within 60 days of the final order.
The following activities that may be performed by truckers and certain employees involved in inter-state commercial motor vehicle
operation are protected under Section 405:
- Filing of safety or health complaints with OSHA or another regulatory agency relating to a violation of a commercial motor vehicle safety rule, regulation, standard, or order.
- Instituting or causing to be instituted any proceedings relating to a violation of a commercial motor vehicle safety
rule, regulation, standard, or order.
- Testifying in any such proceedings relating to the above items.
- Refusing to operate a vehicle when such operation constitutes a violation of any Federal rules, regulations, standards or orders applicable to commercial motor vehicle safety or health; or because of the employee's reasonable apprehension of serious injury to himself or the public due to the unsafe condition of the equipment.
- Complaints under Section 405 are filed in the same manner as complaints under
11(c). The filing period for Section 405 is 180 days from the alleged discrimination, rather than 30 days as under Section
Other Federal Agencies
OSHA has jurisdiction over off-highway loading and unloading, such as warehouses, plants, grain handling facilities, retail locations, marine terminals, wharves, piers, and shipyards. The Department of Transportation (DOT) has jurisdiction over interstate highway driving, Commercial Driving Licensing (CDL), the hours of service and roadworthiness of the vehicles. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has jurisdiction over the natural environment and pollution prevention programs. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulates flight crews and some other aspects of the safety of ground crews. OSHA covers most of the working conditions of ground crews and baggage handlers. OSHA has jurisdiction unless preempted by another Federal agency such as DOT, EPA or FAA, but OSHA can only be preempted in a specified activity or task. OSHA has the ultimate responsibility for the safety and health of all employees.
These pages are part of OSHA and industry's commitment to provide employers and trucking workers with information and assistance to
help in complying with OSHA and other Federal standards to ensure a safe workplace.
The following is an overview of the regulations, training requirements, and other resources from other federal agencies:
When another Federal agency has regulated a working condition, OSHA is preempted by Section 4(b)1 from enforcing its regulations. For example:
- The Department of Transportation (DOT) regulates driving over public highways, the health and safety of drivers involving their use of drugs and alcohol, hours of service, and use of seat belts. DOT also regulates the road worthiness of trucks and trailers and has specific requirements for the safe operation of trucks.
- DOT has jurisdiction over interstate commerce while OSHA has jurisdiction over intrastate commerce except when handling hazardous materials. DOT has issued regulations regarding the shipping, packaging, and handling of these materials. However, if a truck driver becomes an emergency responder in the event of a spill or other disaster, then OSHA has jurisdiction.
- The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulates flight crews and some other aspects of the safety of ground crews. If there is a clause that covers a working condition in an operational plan negotiated between the carrier and the FAA, the FAA has jurisdiction over that working condition. Otherwise, OSHA covers most of the working conditions of ground crews and baggage handlers.
- Due to the DOT brake regulation, OSHA does not cite for failure to chock trailer wheels if a vehicle is otherwise adequately secured. DOT's regulation preempts enforcement and DOT has jurisdiction. However, if the vehicle is an intrastate truck, OSHA has jurisdiction. Only another Federal agency may preempt OSHA's jurisdiction.
Department of Transportation (DOT)
- US Department of Transportation. Oversees the formulation of national transportation policy and promotes intermodal transportation. Its agencies include: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Maritime Administration (MARAD), and the US Coast Guard (USCG). The newly created Transport Security Administration (TSA) was initially part of DOT and is now part of the US Department of Homeland Security.
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
- Federal Highway Administration. Coordinates highway transportation programs in cooperation with states and other partners to enhance the country's safety, economic vitality, quality of life, and the environment. Major program areas include the Federal-Aid
Highway Program, which provides Federal financial assistance to the states to construct and improve the National Highway System, urban and rural roads, bridges, and the Federal Lands Highway Program, which provides access to and within national forests, national parks, Indian reservations and other public lands. The FHWA also manages a comprehensive research, development, and technology program.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA)
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Prevents commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries. On its website, it has links to its regulations and Regulatory Guidance, a series of frequently asked questions that offer detailed answers for specific situations. A self-employed independent owner-operator is covered under the FMCSRs, and defined as an "employee" unlike
in OSHA Regulations where a self-employed person is not covered by the OSHA Act and is not considered an "employee".
The following is an overview of the major sections of the regulations related to driver safety and health:
- 49 CFR 325, Compliance with interstate motor carrier noise emission standards
- 49 CFR 350, Commercial motor carrier safety assistance program
- 49 CFR 382, Controlled substances and alcohol use and testing
- 49 CFR 383, Commercial driver's license standards; requirements and penalties
- 49 CFR 385, Safety fitness procedures
- 49 CFR 386, Rules of practice for motor carrier safety and hazardous materials proceedings
- 49 CFR 390, Federal motor carrier safety regulations; general
- 49 CFR 391, Qualifications of Drivers and longer combination vehicle (LCV) driver instructions
- 391.1, Scope of the rules in this part; additional qualifications; duties of carrier drivers
- 49 CFR 392, Driving of Commercial Motor Vehicles. Every motor carrier, its officers, agents, representatives, and employees responsible for the management, maintenance, operation, or driving of commercial motor vehicles, or the hiring, supervising, training, assigning, or dispatching of drivers, shall be instructed in and comply with the rules in this part.
- 392.3, Ill or fatigued operator
- 392.4, Drugs and other substances
- 392.5, Alcohol prohibition
- 392.9, Inspection of cargo, cargo securement devices and systems
- 392.10, Railroad grade crossings; stopping required
- 392.11, Railroad grade crossing; slowing down required
- 392.14, Hazardous conditions; extreme caution
- 392.16, Use of seat belts
- 392.22, Emergency signals; stopped commercial motor vehicles
- 392.24, Emergency signals; flame-producing
- 392.33, Obscured lamps or reflective devices/material
- 392.50, Ignition of fuel; prevention
- 392.60, Unauthorized persons not to be transported
- 392.62, Safe operation, buses
- 392.63, Towing or pushing loaded buses
- 392.64, Riding within closed commercial motor vehicles without proper exits
- 392.66, Carbon monoxide; use of commercial motor vehicle when detected
- 392.67, Heater, flame-producing; on commercial motor vehicle in motion
- 49 CFR 393, Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation. Every employer and employee shall comply and be conversant with the requirements and specifications of this part. No employer shall operate a commercial motor vehicle, or cause or permit it to be operated, unless it is equipped in accordance with the requirements and specifications of this part.
- 393.9, Lamps operable, prohibition of obstructions of lamps and reflectors
- 393.11, Lamps and reflective devices
- 393.19, Hazard warning signals
- 393.30, Battery installation
- 393.40, Required brake systems
- 393.41, Parking brake system
- 393.42, Brakes required on all wheels
- 393.43, Breakaway and emergency braking
- 393.51, Warning signals, air pressure and vacuum gauges
- 393.65, All fuel systems
- 393.67, Liquid fuel tanks
- 393.69, Liquefied petroleum gas systems
- 393.100, Which types of commercial motor vehicles are subject to the cargo securement standards of this subpart, and what general requirements apply?
- 393.102, What are the minimum performance criteria for cargo securement devices and systems?
- 393.104, What standards must cargo securement devices and systems meet in order to satisfy the requirements of this subpart?
- 393.205, Wheels
- 49 CFR 395, Hours of Service of Drivers
- 395.1, Scope of rules in this part
- 395.3, Maximum driving time for property-carrying vehicles
- 49 CFR 396, Inspection, Repair, and Maintenance. Every motor carrier, its officers, drivers, agents, representatives, and employees directly concerned with the inspection or maintenance of motor vehicles shall comply and be conversant with the rules of this part.
- 49 CFR 399, Employee Safety and Health Standards. Prescribes step, handhold, and deck requirements on commercial motor vehicles. These requirements are intended to enhance the safety of
motor carrier employees.
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
Aviation Administration. Oversees the safety of civil aviation. It also regulates a program to protect the security of civil aviation, and enforces regulations under the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act for shipments by air.
- Part 139 Airport Certification. In 2004, FAA issued a final rule that revised the Federal airport certification regulation 14 CFR Part 139 and established certification requirements for airports serving scheduled air carrier operations in aircraft designed for more than 9 passenger seats but less than 31 passenger seats. In addition, this final rule amended a section of an air carrier operation regulation 14 CFR Part 121 so it would conform with changes to airport certification requirements. The revised Federal airport certification requirements went into effect on June 9, 2004.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Environmental Protection Agency. Protects human health and safeguards the natural environment - air, water, and land
- upon which life depends. The EPA also works with industries and all levels of government in a variety of voluntary pollution
prevention programs and energy conservation efforts.
- Environmental Screening Checklist and Workbook for the Trucking Industry [655 KB PDF, 103 pages]. (2000, August). Includes a checklist and workbook which may be used to evaluate a facility’s compliance with Federal environmental regulations applicable to the trucking industry. The term "facility" refers to, but is not limited to, trucking terminals, truck maintenance shops, etc., that are overseen by owners/operators, managers, field personnel, etc., who engage in trucking operations.
- Profile of the Ground Transportation Industry: Railroad, Trucking, and Pipeline [1 MB PDF, 134 pages]. Office of Compliance Sector Notebook Project, (1997, September). Presents comprehensive, common sense environmental protection measures for the trucking industry. For the purposes of this project, the key elements included are: general industry information (economic and geographic); a description of industrial processes; pollution outputs; pollution prevention opportunities; Federal statutory and regulatory framework; compliance history; and a description of partnerships that have been formed between regulatory agencies, the regulated community and the public.
The trucking industry includes establishments engaged in motor freight transportation and warehousing. This includes local and long-distance trucking or transfer services, and establishments engaged in the storage of farm products, furniture, and other household goods, or commercial goods of any kind. For the purpose of this notebook, the trucking industry also includes the operation of terminal facilities for handling freight, both those with and without maintenance facilities. The trucking SIC sectors covered in this notebook are shown in the following table.
| SIC 42 - MOTOR FREIGHT TRANSPORTATION & WAREHOUSING
||Local Trucking Without Storage
||Trucking, Except Local
||Local Trucking With Storage
||Courier Services, Except by Air
||Farm Product Warehousing & Storage
||Refrigerated Warehousing & Storage
||General Warehousing & Storage
|| Special Warehousing & Storage, NEC (Not Elsewhere Classified)
|| Terminal & Joint Terminal Maintenance Facilities for Motor Freight Transportation
Workers in the trucking industry experienced the the most
fatalities of all occupations, accounting for 12 percent of all worker deaths.
About two-thirds of fatally injured truckers were involved in highway crashes.
Truck drivers also had more nonfatal injuries than workers in any other
occupation. Half of the nonfatal injuries were serious sprains and strains; this
may be attributed to the fact that many truck drivers must unload the goods they
Specific OSHA, Department of Transportation (DOT), and Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) regulations, training requirements, hazard references and illness
and injury statistics that apply to the major trucking activities of employers
and their employees are included in the following pages:
Related Safety and Health Info
Roughly 475,000 large trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds are involved in crashes which result in approximately 5,360 fatalities and 142,000 injuries each year. Of the fatalities, about 74 percent were occupants of other vehicles (usually passenger cars), 3 percent were pedestrians, and 23 percent were occupants of large trucks. The unsafe actions of automobile drivers are a contributing factor in about 70 percent of the fatal crashes involving trucks. More public awareness of how to share the road safely with large trucks is needed. Safe speeds save lives. Exceeding the speed limit was a factor in 22 percent of the fatal crashes. Greater speed enforcement is needed.
The following information is related to safety and health in the trucking industry:
Trucker Illnesses and Injuries
Common Trucker Injuries
- Strains and sprains (50 percent)
- Cuts and lacerations
- Soreness and pain
- Multiple traumatic injuries
Events or Exposures Leading
- Contact with object
- Being struck by an object
- Falling (on the same level)
- Transportation accidents
Fatality and Injury
- Large Truck Crash Facts 2000 [248 KB PDF, 61 pages]. Analysis Division of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA), (2002, March). Reports that over the past 20 years (1980 to 2000), there has been a 39 percent increase in registered large trucks and a 90 percent increase in miles traveled by large trucks. Over the same time period, the number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes each year has declined by 8 percent, and the vehicle involvement rate for large trucks in fatal crashes has declined by 52 percent.
- Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day: October 10. American Society of Civil Engineers. Indicates that according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) early projections, the number of traffic fatalities fell three percent between 2009 and 2010, from 33,808 to 32,788. Since 2005, fatalities have dropped 25 percent, from a total of 43,510 fatalities in 2005. The same estimates also project that the fatality rate will be the lowest recorded since 1949, with 1.09 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, down from the 1.13 fatality rate for 2009. The decrease in fatalities for 2010 occurred despite an estimated increase of nearly 21 billion miles in national vehicle miles traveled.
- Fatalities and Injuries Among Truck and Taxicab Drivers [36 KB PDF, 7 pages]. Knestaut, A. Compensation and Working Conditions,
(1997, Fall). Identifies truck driving (From 1992 to 1995) as having the most fatalities of all occupations, accounting for 12 percent of all worker deaths. About two-thirds of the fatally injured truckers were involved in highway crashes. Truck drivers also had more nonfatal injuries (over 151,000) than workers in any other occupation in 1995. Half of the nonfatal injuries were serious sprains and strains; this may be attributed to the fact that many truck drivers must unload the goods they transport.
- Occupational Outlook Handbook. US Department of Labor (DOL), Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Serious Violations Cited 1997-2002
- Improper guarding of grinding machinery
- Lack of eyewashes and showers
- Unsafe forklifts
- Grounding of electrical equipment
- Lack of personal protective equipment
- No guardrails on platforms or loading docks
General Trucking Safety
Over the past 20 years (1983 to 2003), there has been a 44-percent increase in registered large trucks and an 86-percent increase in large truck miles traveled. Many workers are at high risk of injury and death from traffic-related motor vehicle crashes. About three workers die from these crashes each day.
- Large Trucks [315 KB PDF, 6 pages]. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), National Center for Statistics and Analysis. Reports that in 2004, 416,000 large trucks (gross vehicle weight rating greater than 10,000
pounds) were involved in traffic crashes in the United States; 4,862 were involved in fatal crashes. A total of 5,190 people died (12% of all the traffic fatalities reported in 2004) and an additional 116,000 were injured in those crashes. In 2003, large trucks accounted for 3 percent of all registered vehicles and 7 percent of total vehicle miles traveled (2004 registered vehicle and vehicle miles traveled data not available). In 2004, large trucks accounted for 8 percent of all vehicles involved in fatal
crashes and 4 percent of all vehicles involved in injury and property-damage-only crashes. One out of eight traffic fatalities in 2004 resulted from a collision involving a large truck.
- Commercial Driver's License Program (CDL/CDLIS). Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Identifies the goal of the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 (which was signed into law on October 27, 1986) as improvement of highway safety by ensuring that drivers of large trucks and buses are qualified to operate those vehicles and to remove unsafe and unqualified drivers from the highways. The Act retained the state's right to issue a driver's license, but established minimum national standards that states must meet when licensing CMV drivers.
- Work-Related Roadway Crashes: Challenges and Opportunities for Prevention. US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 2003-119, (2003, September). Provides a comprehensive overview of crash data, the regulatory environment, and risk factors that contribute to workplace crashes. Identifies the groups of workers at greatest risk of traffic crashes, summarizes key issues that contribute to work-related roadway crashes, and recommends preventive measures for employers and other stakeholders.
- US Department of Transportation (DOT). The information below provides links to the primary safety sites within the DOT. Truckers are an integral part of the movement of materials between air, land, and sea.
- Safety. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Develops and implements improved tools and processes to facilitate more effective use of safety data, both inside and outside the agency, to help improve aviation safety.
- Reducing Highway Fatalities. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Reports nationally, in 2011, 32,885 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in the United States – the lowest number of deaths since 1949 (30,246 fatalities in 1949). In addition, 2010 saw the lowest fatality and injury rates ever recorded: 1.10 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2010, compared to 1.13 deaths for 2009. The number of people injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2010 declined for a 11th straight year in a row, falling an estimated 2.9 percent from 2009.
- Driving Safety. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Provides information on distracted driving, driver education, and occupant protection among other topics.
- Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Office of Safety Analysis. Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). Makes available railroad safety information including accidents and incidents, inspections and highway-rail crossing data. Users can run dynamic queries,
download a variety of safety database files, publications and forms, and view current statistical information on railroad safety.
- Marine Safety Center. US Coast Guard (USCG). Works directly with the marine industry, the Commandant, and Coast Guard field units in the evaluation and approval of commercial vessel and systems designs, development of safety standards and policies, response to maritime casualties and oversight of delegated third parties in support of the Coast Guard's marine safety and environmental protection programs. The US Coast Guard in now part of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
- Stress Factors Experienced by Female Commercial Drivers in the Transportation Industry. Electronic Library of Construction Occupational Health & Safety (elcosh). Reports that according to 1998 occupational injury and illness data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), truck drivers, as compared to other occupations, experienced the largest number of injuries and illnesses with time away from work over the latest five years for which data is available (1992-1996). During this time, the number of injuries and illnesses declined for all occupations by about 20 percent, but the number increased by nearly five percent (up to 151,300) for truck drivers, with women accounting for 17.6 percent.
- A Summary - Improving Safety. US Department of Transportation (DOT). Summarizes the Driver and Vehicle Safety Programs authorized by TEA-21, the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, including the alcohol programs, seat belt and occupant protection programs, state and community grants, state highway safety data Improvement Incentive Grants, Highway Safety Research and Development, National Driver Register, Automobile Safety and Information, and for Railway-Highway Crossings-Operation Lifesaver, Motor Carrier Safety programs, as well as other infrastructure programs.
- U.S. Transportation Secretary Mineta Announces FMCSA Rule Permitting Performance
Brake Testing Technology. US Department of Transportation (DOT), (2002, August). Allows motor carriers and federal, state, and local enforcement officials to use performance-based brake tests to determine whether a truck or bus complies with brake performance safety standards. PBBTs are expected to save time and their use could increase the number of CMVs that can be inspected in a given time. The new rule applies to all CMVs and CMV combinations weighing over 10,000 pounds, and is effective on February 5, 2003. The docket number for the final rule is FHWA-1999-6266.
OSHA Slide Presentations and Handouts
- Health and Safety of Truckers within the United States [852 KB
PPT*, 21 slides]. OSHA Slide Presentation, (2002, May 31). Describes OSHA's role in worker protection, common trucker injuries and OSHA violations, OSHA and DOT jurisdiction, and how OSHA addresses trucker hazards. Presented at the OSHA North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Land Transport Conference.
- Health and Safety of Truckers within the United States Handout [76 KB PDF*, 2 pages]. OSHA. Includes links to OSHA, BLS, DOT, CDC/NIOSH, DOT and FMCSA.
Emergency and Disaster Response Links
Unforeseen emergencies and disasters can threaten your employees, customers, or the public; they
can disrupt or shut down operations or cause major physical or environmental damage. Trucking employers need to plan for
Some useful related links are:
- DisasterAssistance. Supports a multitude of Federal Agency missions including FEMA’s mission to reduce the loss of life and property and protect our institutions from all hazards. The partnerships established will support the Federal mission to provide the nation a comprehensive, risk-based emergency management program of mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.
- Emergency Preparedness and Response. OSHA Safety and Health Topics Page.
- Evacuation Plans and Procedures. OSHA eTool. Assists small businesses implement an emergency action plan, and comply with OSHA's emergency standards.
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). US Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Leads the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program.
- General Services Administration (GSA). Serves as online gateway to GSA, the federal government’s premier acquisition agency.
- National Hurricane Center. National Weather Service. Informs the public about the hurricane hazards and provide knowledge which can be used to take action. This information
can be used to save lives at work, home, while on the road, or on the water.
- Natural Hazards Center. The University of Colorado at Boulder. Serves as a national and international clearinghouse of knowledge concerning the social science and policy aspects of disasters. The Center collects and shares research and experience related to preparedness for, response to, recovery from, and mitigation of disasters, emphasizing the link between hazards mitigation and sustainability to both producers and users of research and knowledge on extreme events.
- Road Transportation. Transport Canada. Includes links to safety pages, to information for drivers and motor carriers, to infrastructure and to the transport of dangerous goods.
- Office of Hazardous Materials Safety. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). Formulates, issues and revises Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) under the Federal Hazardous Materials Transportation Law. The HMR cover hazardous materials definitions and classifications, hazard communications, shipper and carrier operations, training and security requirements, and packaging and container specifications.
- For specific training requirements, see the following:
Departments of Motor Vehicle (DMV) and Departments of Transportation (DOT)
State websites provide information on road conditions, weather, construction, weights and measures,
and commercial vehicle enforcement. Also, many state DOT offices offer safety training programs. Live cameras provide
on-line views of current road conditions.
The following are links to major state department websites related to transportation:
Many of the following educational institutions have institutes dedicated to transportation studies:
Accessibility Assistance: Contact the OSHA Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management at (202) 693-2300 for assistance accessing PDF and PPT materials.
*These files are provided for downloading.