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Predictors of severe trunk postures among short-haul truck drivers during non-driving tasks: An exploratory investigation involving video-assessment and driver behavioural self-monitoring

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Short-haul truck (lorry) drivers are particularly vulnerable to back pain and injury due to exposure to whole body vibration, prolonged sitting and demanding material handling tasks. The current project reports the results of video-based assessments (711 stops) and driver behavioural self-monitoring (BSM) (385 stops) of injury hazards during non-driving work. Participants (n = 3) worked in a trailer fitted with a camera system during baseline and BSM phases. Descriptive analyses showed that challenging customer environments and non-standard ingress/egress were prevalent. Statistical modelling of video-assessment results showed that each instance of manual material handling increased the predicted mean for severe trunk postures by 7%, while customer use of a forklift, moving standard pallets and moving non-standard pallets decreased predicted means by 12%, 20% and 22% respectively. Video and BSM comparisons showed that drivers were accurate at self-monitoring frequent environmental conditions, but less accurate at monitoring trunk postures and rare work events. The current study identified four predictors of severe trunk postures that can be modified to reduce risk of injury among truck drivers and showed that workers can produce reliable self-assessment data with BSM methods for frequent and easily discriminated events environmental.
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Keywords: musculoskeletal disorders; self-assessment; self-monitoring; truck drivers; trunk postures

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Center for Research on Occupational & Environmental Toxicology, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, USA 2: Psychology Department, Portland State University, Portland, OR, USA

Publication date: June 1, 2009

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