Bus driver injuries down, but hazards remain: report


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Washington – More than 5,000 state and local government bus drivers missed work in 2013 because of occupational injuries and illnesses, according to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Although injuries and illnesses among local transit and intercity bus drivers have decreased in recent years, officials say more needs to be done to protect these drivers as they confront traffic, difficult weather conditions, repetitive motion tasks, violence and other issues. Injured and ill drivers spent a median of 18 days away from work in 2013.

BLS listed six main causes for nonfatal injuries and illnesses among bus drivers:

  • Transportation incidents: 42 percent
  • Overexertion and bodily reaction: 22 percent
  • Slips, trips and falls: 14 percent
  • Contact with objects and equipment: 12 percent
  • Violence and other injuries by persons or animals: 5 percent
  • Exposure to harmful substances or environments: 4 percent

The issue affects members of the public as well as bus drivers, said report author Gina Dowdell, an economist in the Office of Safety, Health and Working Conditions at BLS.

“For example, if a bus driver is injured while operating a vehicle, every passenger on that vehicle may be endangered,” Dowdell wrote in the report’s summary. “Mass transit systems should continue to monitor safety benchmarks and protect employees from workplace hazards.”