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How is a major labor shortage affecting the trucking industry?

The trucking industry is facing a significant labor shortage around the country. Recruiters are desperately attempting to attract new workers with low job requirements and high wages, however, new hires are barely putting a dent in the widening hole of the labor force. Not only is the industry having a hard time recruiting new workers, it cannot hold onto existing ones. There is a 94 percent turnover in the trucking industry.

The industry is having a hard time finding new workers while holding onto existing ones because being a trucker can be lonely and dangerous. Most truckers must spend long stretches away from their families. Worse yet, truckers have some of the most dangerous jobs in America. They are vulnerable to serious motor vehicle accidents. According to the U.S. Labor Department, more than 1,000 truckers died in accidents in 2016. This means that being a commercial truck driver is eight times deadlier than being a police officer.

A labor shortage might lead to more injuries

Employers are feeling the heat. As demands for shipments in a click-to-buy age increases, filled trucker positions decrease. This growing labor shortage may mean more injuries to truckers working in the industry. A lack of workers means that employers will put more pressure on truckers to complete an increasing demand for shipments. Truckers may work longer hours, leading to a higher likelihood for injuries.

Not only do truckers face possibility of road accidents, but they are often injured due to the nature of the job. Truck drivers are stuck in small spaces with hard beds. They sit for long hours and most truck stops only serve unhealthy food. Obesity and heart problems are common side effects, while injuries caused by overexertion and falling happen as well. Many truck drivers develop repetitive injuries from lifting and back injuries from long-term sitting. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, truck drivers' rate of non-fatal injuries and illnesses requiring days away from work is almost three times the rate for all other private industry jobs.

Injured truckers have resources

Truckers can receive workers' compensation for on-the-job injuries. Many workers rush to get back to work after getting hurt, but this can lead to further injury. Workers' compensation can cover the cost of medical bills, lost wages and time off work to recover. Workers' compensation can even cover the cost of repetitive stress injuries, such as chronic back pain.

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