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Risk for workplace violence in long-haul truckers.

Anderson D
Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, R01-OH-007931, 2006 Dec; :1-123
The purpose of this study was to investigate the incidence and distribution of workplace violence among female and male long-haul truck drivers and the effects of violence on their mental and physical health. The specific aims were to: 1) Identify the types of violence that women and men experience while working as long-haul truck drivers; 2) Identify risk factors that contribute to violence against truckers and between truckers; 3) Differentiate the risks of work-related stress among distinct socio-demographic groups of truckers as they relate to specific exposures experienced by long-haul truck drivers; 4) Determine the prevalence of domestic violence experienced by long-haul truck drivers when their driving partner is also their intimate partner; and 5) Identify work environment factors that place truck drivers' safety at risk. The aims of this project were consistent with the Healthy People 2010 objectives that address the reduction of work-related homicides (Objective 20-5) and work-related assaults (Objective 20-6), and with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Objectives. It also addressed types of violence identified by the Iowa Report to the Nation on Workplace Violence (2001). The project specifically focused on risk factors related to workplace violence in the long-haul trucking profession. A cross- sectional non-intervention design using both quantitative and qualitative methods were used to collect data. A quantitative survey was conducted with a non- probability sample (N = 987) recruited at truck shows and truck stops across the U.S. Data was collected on violence-related variables (e.g. harassment, weapons, assault, rape, robbery, worksite security, fatigue, psychological strain, and substance abuse). The findings will assist in the development of interventions to decrease the risk of exposure to violence in the long haul trucking industry. A sequential and staged approach to the analysis of the data is being pursued. Descriptive statistics have been compiled as appropriate for the level of measurement of the variables. Dependent on the specific aim, bivariate relationships, logistic regression, discriminant analysis, Cronbach's alpha, and ANCOVA will be used in additional analysis of the data. As data is analyzed, information will be submitted to NIOSH. The participants (N = 987) had been long-haul truckers an average of 14 years; 1) 64% were married; 2) 38% had children under the age of 18 (of those, 37% had children who traveled with them); 3) 87% had a high school education; 4) 46% attended college; 5) 91% were Caucasian; 6) 12% (n = 119) did not have a residence outside of their truck; 7) mean BMI for male truckers (j = 797) was 31.6; 8) mean BMI for female truckers (n = 174) was 31.2; 9) 34% of male truckers were overweight and 52% were obese; 10) 26% of female truckers were overweight and 49% were obese; 11) 73% of truckers feared for their personal safety at work; 12) 88% had had their safety threatened while driving; and 13) 44% carry weapons (24% carry guns and 57% carry knives). The Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) was used to evaluate predictive models for falling asleep at the wheel within 30 days and 12 months. Five predictor variables were retained in the final models: ESS>10; driving more than six hours at night; sleeping less than six hours per night; use of medication to stay awake. The ESS performed well in the current sample and should be considered for use in studies of workers in other naturalistic settings. Intimate partner violence (IPV), included in this study as domestic violence, and has been identified as one of 4 categories of workplace violence. Although some women truckers drive solo, the majority of women truckers tend to drive with partners. There is an increase in the number of couple drivers, thus IPV is an important piece of information in the development of training programs and interventions. The mean age of the female participants was 45.5. Of the 180 female participants, 40.2% reported at least one type of violence by her intimate partner. Using a tool such as the worksite harassment tool will provide data that identifies the prevalence of IPV at the workplace thus setting into motion the development of interventions, such as treatment and counseling services that may result in a decrease of domestic violence at the worksite. In addition to safety related to violence on the job, truckers are also at risk for industry related injuries. As indicated in the findings the vast majority of truckers are overweight or obese, contributing to unintentional injuries and cardiovascular disease (R01 submitted). Finally, at least 12% of truckers surveyed do not have a residence outside of their truck leading us to question their access to health care and their ability to maintain healthy habits. The results of this study will be distributed to both the scientific community and to the trucking industry, including popular radio programs listened to by truckers.
Demographic-characteristics; Mathematical-models; Mental-health; Occupational-hazards; Physical-stress; Physiological-effects; Physiological-factors; Physiological-fatigue; Physiological-stress; Quantitative-analysis; Questionnaires; Risk-factors; Sleep-deprivation; Sleep-disorders; Standards; Statistical-analysis; Stress; Truck-drivers; Trucking; Work-environment; Workplace-studies
Debra Anderson , Associate Professor, College of Nursing, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40536-0232
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
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University of Kentucky
Page last reviewed: October 22, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division