Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities Program

What are our priorities?

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities (TWU) Program works with partners in industry, labor, government agencies, trade associations, professional organizations, and academia. The program focuses on reducing injury and illness among TWU workers, prioritizing areas related to:

  • Transportation and fatigue
  • Human-machine interaction
  • Work-related obesity and chronic disease.
What do we do?
  • Use surveillance data and stakeholder input to guide research and prevention efforts in the TWU sector.
  • Research and promote healthy behaviors and work organization factors to reduce fatigue, obesity, and chronic disease.
  • Conduct research and provide recommendations to manufacturers,
What have we accomplished?
  • Published a research article identifying the number and rate of workplace overdose fatalities by industry. Workplace overdose fatality rates were highest in the transportation industry (3.0/1 million full-time equivalent workers).
  • Published a fact sheet in collaboration with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration on preventing robberies and violence against taxi drivers.
  • Participated in working hours, sleep and fatigue forum to identify research gaps and needs in the TWU sector.
What’s next?
  • Publish a research article describing fatigue research gaps and needs in the TWU sector.
  • Publish a research article on the interrelationships between truck drivers’ delivery schedules, compliance with safety rules, and job satisfaction.
  • Contribute to a Department of Transportation report to Congress on the potential impacts of automated vehicle technologies on the workforce.
  • Analyze existing data to describe chronic diseases such as diabetes and metabolic syndrome among TWU workers.

Mention of any company or product does not constitute endorsement by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


The TWU Program provides leadership to eliminate occupational injuries, illnesses, and fatalities among the nearly 7 million workers in this sector. This snapshot shows recent accomplishments and upcoming work.

Traumatic injury fatality rate, per 100,000 full-time equivalents (FTE) workers
tramatic injury fatal rate, per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

The expected progress of vehicle automation (will impact transportation incidents & related injuries)
expected progress

Source: Adapted from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration graphic "Five Eras of Safety"

Percent of workers reporting chronic conditions, 19 states
percent of workers

Source: 2013-2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey. Note: BMI= body mass index

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August 2020

Page last reviewed: June 29, 2020