Measurement of whole-body vibration in taxi drivers.J Occup Health. 2004 Mar; 46(2):119-24.JO
In a previous epidemiological study we reported that the prevalence (45.8%) of low-back pain (LBP) and the two-year incidence (25.9%) of LBP in 284 male taxi drivers in Japan was comparable with rates reported for other occupational drivers in which LBP frequently occurs. LBP was significantly related with the level of uncomfortable road vibrations, and, importantly, increased with total mileage. The aim of this study was to measure whole-body vibration (WBV) on the driver's seat pan of 12 taxis operating under actual working conditions. The results were evaluated according to the health guidelines in International Standard ISO 2631-1:1997. Finally, the relation between total mileage and WBV was investigated. The majority of the frequency-weighted r.m.s. accelerations of the taxis fell into the "potential health risks" zone, under ISO 2631-1:1997. It was clear that the taxi drivers were exposed to serious WBV magnitudes. Therefore, occupational health and safety management should be carried out to help prevent adverse health effects in taxi drivers. In particular, reduction of WBV in taxis and shortening of driving time to reduce duration of WBV exposure should be considered. Moreover, because many taxi drivers work 18 h every other day, the shortening of working hours and taking of rest breaks while working should be considered. Frequency-weighted r.m.s. accelerations of taxis had a tendency to decrease as total mileage increased. The relation between total mileage and WBV should be investigated by taking measurements on the floor and the back rest in addition to the seat pan.