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Whole-body vibration exposure in metropolitan bus drivers.

Lewis-CA; Johnson-PW
Occup Med 2012 Oct; 62(7):519-524
BACKGROUND: Back injuries are common in transit drivers, and can result in substantial direct and indirect cost to the employer and employee. Whole-body vibration (WBV) is one risk factor for drivers. Standards have been adopted (ISO 2631-1) to guide researchers in measuring and analysing WBV levels. Lately, a new standard has been added (ISO 2631-5) that takes impulsive exposures into account. AIMS: The aims of this study were to determine the levels of vibration for bus drivers using both ISO 2631-1 and 2631-5 standards, and whether there are differences in vibration levels and seat transmissibility between different road types. METHODS: Thirteen bus drivers drove a 7-year-old bus, instrumented to measure WBV in the seat and floor. The 52 km long test route included freeway, city streets and speed humps. Additionally, for comparison, a subset of five drivers also drove a car over the same route. RESULTS: Road type had a significant effect on all the vibration parameters. Based on exposure limit values in the standards, the continuous z-A (w)(8) exposures exceeded the limit value on freeways, and the impulsive z-VDV(8) and S (ed) exposures were above limit values in city streets and speed humps. Bus WBV exposures were about twice as high relative to the car and the bus seat amplified rather than attenuated WBV exposures. CONCLUSIONS: Bus drivers are potentially being exposed to daily vibration levels higher than recommended especially on certain road types. The current seat in this study does not attenuate the vibration.
Back-injuries; Drivers; Humans; Men; Women; Motor-vehicles; Equipment-design; Vibration; Vibration-exposure; Exposure-levels; Risk-factors; Bus-drivers; Etiology; Questionnaires; Posture; Epidemiology; Author Keywords: Bus drivers; ergonomics; whole-body vibration
C. A. Lewis, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98105
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R01-OH-008777; Grant-Number-T42-OH-008433
Issue of Publication
Priority Area
Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities
Source Name
Occupational Medicine
Performing Organization
University of Washington
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division