BMC Public Health (Sep 2022)

Pre-injury health status of truck drivers with a workers’ compensation claim

  • Angela Batson,
  • Janneke Berecki-Gisolf,
  • Sharon Newnam,
  • Voula Stathakis

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 22, no. 1
pp. 1 – 12


Read online

Abstract Truck drivers are a vulnerable population due to the high number of workplace injuries and fatalities predominant in their occupation. In Australia, the road freight transportation industry has been identified as a national priority area in terms of creating preventative measures to improve the health and safety of its workers. With an environment conducive to poor nutritional food choices and unhealthy lifestyle behaviours, many barriers exist to creating a safe and healthy workforce. Thus, the current study aimed to describe the pre-injury hospital-recorded health conditions and health service use of truck drivers with a worker’s injury compensation claim/s when compared to workers in other industries. Data was obtained from a compensation claims database and linked with hospital admissions data recorded five years prior to the injury claim. Health and lifestyle behaviour data for the occupational code of truck drivers was compared to other occupational drivers, as well as to all other occupations. Analysis was conducted via logistic regression. The results found that when compared to other occupational drivers, truck drivers were significantly more likely to have a hospital-recorded diagnosis of diabetes and/or hypertension, as well as being significantly more likely to have a hospital record of tobacco use and/or alcohol misuse/abuse. The findings show that there is a need to review and revise existing health strategies to promote the health and wellbeing of truck drivers, especially given their challenging work environment.