Truckies Have The Deadliest Job In Australia

Their risk of dying at work is 13 times higher compared to other jobs

What you need to know
  • Truckies are 13 times more likely to die at their job compared to other Australians
  • Dangers include musculoskeletal injuries, hearing loss as well as psychological stress

There are lots of dangerous jobs out there. Firefighters have to run into burning buildings. Police officers have to confront armed criminals. Prime Ministers have to deal with cabinet ministers trying to put a knife into their backs.

Despite the dangers that the people holding these occupations face, they still do not have the most dangerous job in Australia. That dubious honour goes to truck-drivers, who have been found to be 13 times more likely to die at work compared to other Australians, according to a recently published study by Monash University.

Not only does their job make them more likely to be involved in a fatal road accident, it also places them at great risk of suffering musculoskeletal injuries because of the long hours they have to endure vibrations and road bumps while driving, as well as hearing loss from prolonged exposure to a noisy working environment.

In addition to the physical dangers of the job, many drivers also reported that the job had adverse impacts on their mental health and caused psychological stress from having to meet extremely tight deadlines.

These injuries, amongst others, account for over 120,000 insurance claims between 2004-2015, according to the university’s 12-year study. Combined, the claims meant that over this period drivers lost approximately one million weeks of work.

The leader of the study, Professor Alex Collie from the Monash School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, told the Sydney Morning Herald that the job has “long working hours, lots of sitting, poor nutrition, social isolation, shift work, time pressure, low levels of job control, all in addition to the risk of road crashes.”

These factors do not bode well for the industry, nor the future of work compensation claims, which are expected to rise as the demand for road freight doubles over the coming years.

Though the study did not focus on how these risks could be reduced, monitoring of workers’ health and stricter regulation of drivers’ working hours seem to be critical.