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TRANSPORTATION, WAREHOUSING AND UTILITIES

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Program Description

The mission of the NIOSH research program for the Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities Sector is to eliminate occupational injuries, illnesses, and fatalities among workers in these industries through a focused program of research and prevention. The program strives to fulfill its mission through the following methods:

  • High Quality Research: NIOSH will continually strive for high quality research and prevention activities that will lead to reductions in occupational injuries and illnesses among workers in the Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities industries.
  • Practical Solutions: The NIOSH program for the Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities Sector is committed to the development of practical solutions to the complex problems that cause occupational injuries, illnesses, and fatalities among workers in these industries.
  • Partnerships: Collaborative efforts in partnership with labor, industry, government, and other stakeholders are usually the best means of achieving successful outcomes. Fostering these partnerships is a cornerstone of the NIOSH program for the Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities Sector.
  • Research to Practice (r2p): NIOSH research is truly valuable only when put into practice. Every research project within the NIOSH program for the Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities Sector formulates a strategy to promote the transfer and translation of research findings into prevention practices and products that will be adopted in the workplace.

Spotlights

Obesity and Other Risk Factors: The National Survey of U.S. Long-Haul Truck Driver Health and Injury

American Journal of Industrial Medicine DOI 10.1002/ajim.22293 (January 4, 2014)

In 2010, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), in partnership with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) of the Department of Transportation, initiated a survey to collect data about long-haul truck drivers' health and safety. This effort recognized a need for current, national estimates on work-related health and safety conditions in transportation workers, Data were collected during personal interviews with 1,265 long-haul drivers stopping at 32 different truck stops. The prevalence of selected health conditions and risk factors was determined and compared to national estimates from the 2010 U.S. adult working population of the 2010 National Health Interview Survey. Some findings of concern for long-haul truck drivers were:

  • 69% of long-haul drivers were obese (BMI >= 30 kg/m2) compared to 31% of all U.S. adult workers.
  • 51% of long-haul drivers were current cigarette smokers compared to 19% of all U.S. adult workers.
  • 14% of long-haul truck drivers reported being told of having diabetes, compared to 7% of all adult U.S. workers.
  • 9% of long-haul truck drivers reported at least one of the three risk factors: hypertension, smoking, or obesity; 9% reported all three.
  • 38% of drivers were not covered by health insurance or a health care plan, compared to 17% of all adult U.S. workers.

Other News

Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities Advancing Priorities Through Research and Partnerships
In 2014 the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), updated it's NORA Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities Advancing priorities through research and partnerships fact sheet. This fact sheet describes occupational safety and health issues within the NORA TWU sector as well as the NORA TWU occupational safety and health research agenda.

National Health Interview Survey Occupational Health Supplement
In 2010, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), recognizing a growing need for current, national estimates on work-related health and safety conditions, sponsored an occupational health supplement (OHS) to the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). Industry and occupation profiles summarize the 2010 NHIS-OHS for the Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities (TWU) sector.
Industry Profile
Occupation Profile

Risk Factors, Health Behaviors, and Injury Among Adults Employed in the Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities Super Sector [PDF - 156 KB]
American Journal of Industrial Medicine (December 2012)
This report details employee self-reported personal risk factors, health behaviors and habits, disease and chronic conditions, and employer-reported nonfatal injury experiences of workers in the TWU super sector as reported in theNational Health Interview Survey and the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses.

U.S. Department of Transportation Takes Action to Ensure Truck Driver Rest Time and Improve Safety Behind the Wheel
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced a final rule by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to revises the hours-of-service (HOS) safety requirements for commercial truck drivers. The rule is available on FMCSA's Web site. FMCSA's new HOS final rule limits a driver's work week to 70 hours, a reduction of 12 hours, although the final rule retains the current 11-hour daily driving limit. In addition to the reduction, truck drivers must take a break of at least 30 minutes after working eight hours. The rule's "34-hour restart" provision allows drivers to restart the clock on their work week by taking at least 34 consecutive hours off-duty and requires truck drivers who maximize their weekly work hours to take at least two nights' rest between 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. The final rule allows drivers to use the restart provision only once during a seven-day period. Trucking companies that allow drivers to exceed the 11-hour driving limit by 3 or more hours could be fined $11,000 per offense, and the drivers themselves could face civil penalties of up to $2,750 for each offense. Commercial truck drivers and companies must comply with the HOS final rule by July 1, 2013.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces Federal Ban on Texting for Commercial Truck Drivers
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced federal guidance to expressly prohibit texting by drivers of commercial vehicles such as large trucks and buses. The prohibition is effective immediately and is the latest in a series of actions taken by the Department to combat distracted driving since the Secretary convened a national summit on the issue last September. The prohibition applies to drivers of interstate buses and trucks over 10,000 pounds. Truck and bus drivers who text while driving commercial vehicles may be subject to civil or criminal penalties of up to $2,750.

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