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NORA Symposium 2006 Sector Workshops

NOTE: This page is archived for historical purposes and is no longer being maintained or updated.

 Workshop Index 

Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities

The Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities Sector Workshop took place on April 20 at NORA Symposium 2006. Eighteen people participated. Following opening remarks that included a presentation of the top issues that had been submitted to the NORA Docket, participants suggested important topics for future work in the sector. Fourteen participated in the voting; each received 10 votes to distribute among the topics.

The Table presents a summary of all topics recommended as a high priority prior to the workshop as well as new topics recommended at the workshop. The votes cast by workshop participants for each topic are listed in the last column.

Table. Summary of priorities recommended by one or more stakeholders and votes received from workshop participants (N denotes new input received at the workshop).

New Input Topic Votes at Workshop

Across the sector

  Stretching and flexibility exercises to prevent sprains and strains 3
  Identify successful interventions, identify barriers to implementation 8
  Exposure to chemicals/exhaust/diesel 0
  Stress at work 1
N Linkages between psychosocial stress and chemical exposures 1
  Back injury studies/surveillance 3
  Essential function screening prior to start of job – study injury rates in those who did/ did not pass 0
  Adapt hearing loss prevention programs from construction 0
   Improved training and studies of training effectiveness 2

All modes of transportation

N Human vibration studies, including hand-transmitted vibrations and whole-body vibration in truckers 4
  Surveillance of PPE use and relationship of injuries to use 0
N Intraorganizational communication of health and safety information 3
  Health effects of asbestos 0
  Inhalation exposure to particulate 1
  Exposure to EMFs 1
  CO as contributor to hearing loss 0
  Health effects of nanoparticles 0
  ID hazards of occupational and take-home exposures related to nanotechnology 0
  ID effective controls/interventions to prevent nanoparticulate exposure 0
  Use worker-based participatory research 2

Air transportation

  Exposure of flight attendants to partly-combusted and aerosolized engine oil 0
N MSDs of back and shoulders among baggage handlers, flight attendants 3
N Exposure to ground current 1
N Exposure to solar radiation 0

Roadway transportation

  Occupational driving – general  
  Driver training: Effectiveness, and methods to ensure driver compliance with company policy 6
  Driver distraction studies 5
N Transfer best practices from larger to smaller firms 5
N Evaluate different techniques for reducing crashes 4
N Transportation: Involvement in global road safety initiative (occupational perspective) 3
N Creating comprehensive knowledge base and arrange working networks (perhaps include mentoring) 3
N Effects of prescription, non-prescription drugs 2
N Driver Safety:
  • Minimizing vs. eliminating fatalities and injuries Use of technology
N Behavioral psychology/risk awareness related to crashes 2
N Cross-sector slant to occupational driving 2
N Contractor/subcontractor relationships: relationship to safety/safety programs 2
N Survey effort of businesses: (esp. transportation)
  • Driving Safety Programs
  • Robust Safety Training
  Truck transportation  
  Rollover prevention 1
  Increase belt use and develop more comfortable restraint systems 2
  Anthropometric studies of truck drivers 2
  Evaluate self-management interventions and technological monitoring systems 3
  Data from CDL medical exams for surveillance 2
  Evaluate DOT hours-of-service regulations 5
  Epi assessments of sleep apnea and sleep disorders in truck and school bus drivers 2
  Data on characteristics of individual drivers 4
  Occupational disease and chronic conditions: CVD, hypertension, diabetes, MSDs, obesity, smoking, cancer 3
  Poor dietary choices on the road (study truck stops, rest areas), sedentary work, rotating shift work 1
  Recruiting and retaining drivers in health promotion programs 3
  Determine if a healthy driver = a safe driver 1
N Develop risk profile for owner operators 1
  Job-related stress: Lack of autonomy, electronic monitoring, waiting time, etc. 5
  Psychosocial stress: Social isolation, threats to personal safety, time away from family 4
N Customer Interaction: (freight, passenger environments)
  • Verbal abuse, stress, etc.
N Violence against truckers 1
  Noise exposure: Truck and dock workers 1
  Diesel exhaust / chemicals 0
N Use BLS data to identify health and safety problems among truckers & conduct interventions 0
  Transit systems  
N Urban transit workers (subway, local transit workers, et al.)
  • Explore risk
  • Complex social environments
  • Work settings of operators
N Cardiovascular disease: increased risk among transit operators 2

Rail transportation

  Occupational exposures to hazardous materials 0
  Occupational illnesses, e.g., asthma, dermatitis, liver disease, cancer 3
  Hazardous substances that leak or drip onto tracks 0

Water transportation

  Develop better estimates of workers at risk, non-fatal injuries 1
  Stress/ injuries/ health problems related to 24/7 operations, moving work environment, heat, diet/exercise, etc. 2
  Traumatic vs. repetitive injuries related to strenuous work 0
  Impact of multinational crews: safety training, exposure to infectious disease 0
  Exposure of dock workers to chemicals, diesel exhaust, noise 0


  Lack of federal oversight of forklift training and use programs 0
N Warehouse safety audit programs
  • Chemical safety, falls, material handling equipment
  Injury of forklift drivers and pedestrians in the warehouse 4
  CO exposure 0
N Ergonomics 1
N Warehousing: Loading dock operators 1
N Noise from conveyor systems 0
N Workplace violence 0


  EMFs: Guidelines, operational definitions, dosimetry models/ assumptions, safety factors 1
  Update meta-analyses of adult leukemia and brain tumor studies, and of cohorts of exposed workers 1
  ALS and electric shock and magnetic fields 1
  Studies of workers exposed to RF, esp. neurodegenative disease 1
N Injuries associated with trenching, lifting devices, and aerial lifts 3
N Asthma and diabetes associated with exposures to high frequencies 1
N Exposure to current in ground 1