Date of Award

Fall 2007

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Occupational Safety and Health Engineering - (M.S.)

Department

Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

First Advisor

Arijit K. Sengupta

Second Advisor

Athanassios K. Bladikas

Third Advisor

George W. Olsen

Abstract

In recent time, the health of truck drivers has become a concern for regulatory agencies and safety professionals all over the world. Fatal and non-fatal injury rates for truck drivers are among the highest of all occupations. Truck driving is an important and tedious job. Driving for long hours, drivers are confined to a small space, sit with static lower and upper extremities posture, mentally focus and absorb vibrations.

This thesis provides an in-depth review of the literature related to the problems of long distance truck drivers and commercial motor vehicle operators. The Literature suggests that continuous exposure of truck drivers to risk factors has led to such illnesses as musculoskeletal disorders, obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, stroke, sleep disorders and psychological distress.

Prolonged sitting, whole-body vibration, physical and psychological fatigues were found to be the main risk factors that are related to the occupational health problems of truck drivers. These occupational risk factors were analyzed in detail to understand the physiological pathways that cause the risk factors to affect truck drivers' health. Based on these analyses, a set of suggestions on continuous improvement was made in areas of rest break, physical exercise, health monitoring, and psychological well being.

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