Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities

Burden, Need and Impact

Banner of workers in the transportation, warehousing and utlities industries

There were approximately 8 million workers in the Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities (TWU) sector in 2018. Although TWU is 5.9% of the workforce, it had 17.8% of the fatalities for U.S. workers. It also had approximately 103,600 occupational injuries and illnesses, 11.5% of the total.1 Injuries and illnesses are challenging to track and are frequently undercounted, but this is the best estimate available at this time.2

NIOSH strives to maximize its impact in occupational safety and health. The TWU Program identifies priorities to guide investments, and base those priorities on the evidence of burden, need and impact. Below are the priority areas for TWU.


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  2. BLS [2020] Data Tools, Workplace Injuries, Occupational Injuries and Illnesses and Fatal Injuries Profiles, 2019, Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/data/#injuriesexternal iconexternal icon
  3. International Federation of Robotics [2018]. Executive summary world robotics 2018 industrial robots, https://ifr.org/downloads/press2018/Executive_Summary_WR_2018_Industrial_Robots.pdfpdf iconexternal icon
  4. Lowe BD, Dick RB, Hudock S, Bobick T [2016]. Wearable exoskeletons to reduce physical load at work. NIOSH Science Blog, March 4, http://blogs.cdc.gov/niosh-science-blog/2016/03/04/exoskeletons/
  5. Murashov V, Hearl F, Howard J [2016]. Working safely with robot workers: Recommendations for the new workplace. J Occ Env Hyg 13(3): D61-71.
  6. NIH [1998]. Clinical guidelines on the identification, evaluation, and treatment of overweight and obesity in adults: the evidence report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, NIH Publication No. 98-408, https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/tools-resources/evidence-based-resource/clinical-guidelines-on-the-identification-evaluationexternal icon
  7. Thompson D, Edelsberg J, Colditz G, Bird AP, Oster G [1999]. Lifetime health and economic consequences of obesity. Arch Intern Med 159:2177-2183.
  8. Martin BC, Church TS, Bonnell R, Ben-Joseph R, Borgstadt T [2009]. The impact of overweight and obesity on the direct medical costs of truck drivers. J Occup Environ Med 51(2):180-184.
  9. Hruby A, Hu FB [2015]. The Epidemiology of Obesity: A Big Picture. Pharmacoeconomics 33(7):673-689.
  10. NIOSH [2013]. Health behavior charts: National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), 2004-2013. Unadjusted prevalence of obesity among workers by industry. Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, https://wwwn.cdc.gov/Niosh-whc/chart/nhis-behavior/behavior
Page last reviewed: December 12, 2019