The transportation industry is one of the essential sectors of every country’s economy. It’s the sector that manages the movement of people and products across various locations. The transportation industry includes airlines, logistics firms, marine, rails and road transport companies, etc. This sector is also among the riskiest ones — numerous transport workers seek help from work comp attorneys now and again.
According to the 2019 U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the transportation and material moving occupational group recorded the highest workplace fatalities in North Carolina. The report also recorded that transportation incidents resulted in 74 fatal work injuries in North Carolina in the same year. So, if you’re a transport worker, it’s essential to understand the risks that you face in your industry. You must also learn the remedies available to you if you sustain any work-related injuries.
In this article, you’ll learn all you need to know about transportation industry hazards and workers’ compensation for transport employees.
Common Occupational Hazards for Charlotte, NC, Transportation Workers
Transportation workers in North Carolina face numerous occupational hazards in the industry. They include the following:
Traffic crashes are among the most common workplace hazards for road transport and logistics workers in North Carolina. Transportation company drivers may become crash victims due to someone else’s negligence. In some other cases, they may have caused the accident.
Drivers in the transportation industry are at high risk of causing traffic crashes due to over-exertion and fatigue. These workers are typically under time pressures and may speed to meet with strict schedules.
Slips and Falls
Transportation workers are susceptible to slip and fall accidents, especially during bad weather. Slips and falls can also result from fatigue and other human factors.
Chemical Hazards and Toxic Materials
Transporters who move hazardous cargo expose themselves to toxic chemicals. Contact with such chemicals can cause devastating skin reactions. Again, some substances are highly flammable and can cause a fire accident.
Ergonomic hazards are physical and environmental work conditions that will likely cause musculoskeletal damages. Common musculoskeletal injuries include carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff injuries, trigger finger, etc.
Drivers and other transport employees who work for extended periods may develop muscle and joint injuries. Loading and unloading heavy products may also cause musculoskeletal injuries.
What Injuries Are Charlotte, NC, Transportation Workers Susceptible To?
Depending on the type of hazard, North Carolina transport workers can sustain the following injuries:
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are common consequences of road accidents and slips and falls.
Repetitive Stress/Strain Injuries (RSIs)
Repetitive activities can cause the gradual buildup of damage to specific body parts. RSIs typically affect the muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Strains and Sprains
Sprains and strains are injuries to the ligaments and tendons. Slips and falls, over-exertion, and lifting heavy objects can cause these injuries for transportation employees.
Broken bones or fractures are common in road accidents and slips and falls. Fractures require emergency medical treatment.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are some of the most devastating damages transport workers may suffer. They’re typically catastrophic and can cause paralysis.
How About Compensation for Charlotte Maritime and Railroad Workers?
While many transportation workers in North Carolina are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, some others are not. For example, North Carolina’s work comp laws expressly exclude specific railroad workers from getting work comp benefits. However, this doesn’t mean they can’t get compensation for their work-related injuries.
While workers’ compensation benefits don’t avail railroad employees, they can get settlements under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA). Generally, FELA offers better coverage than workers’ compensation in most cases.
Maritime workers also have special laws that regulate their on-the-job injuries. Seamen have the option of suing their employers under the Jones Act or the owner of the vessel under the Federal Maritime Doctrine of Unseaworthiness. They may also receive “Maintenance and Cure” benefits from their employers. Other maritime workers can receive their benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.
Get Help From Experienced Workers’ Comp Lawyers in Charlotte, NC, Now!
While transportation employees do tremendous and commendable work, they also face the most dangerous occupational hazards ever. Fortunately, as an injured transport employee, you may be entitled to compensation for your on-the-job injuries. Your North Carolina workers’ compensation attorney will let you know your options.
Our workers’ compensation lawyers in Charlotte, NC, are the best legal professionals for your case. We’ll assess your case and ensure that you get the best compensation benefits possible. Give us a ring immediately.