THE UNITE union has called for urgent reforms into how the deaths of workers and members of the public killed and injured in road accidents involving lorries are recorded, after research found a 50% increase in lorry driver deaths.
Following a Freedom of Information request, Unite has discovered that the number of lorry drivers killed in road accidents increased from 14 in 2016 to 21 in 2017. The total number of all fatalities involving HGVs in 2017 was 263 compared to 267 in 2016.
Despite the drivers being at work when the fatal accidents occur, they are not considered to be workplace accidents and are only investigated as road traffic accidents. Issues such as long hours, working conditions and long term medical conditions, which could have contributed to an accident and would usually be investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following other workplace deaths, are unlikely to be investigated, says Unite.