Friday, September 23, 2011
[IWS] NIOSH: IMPROVED SAFETY FOR TRUCK DRIVERS: DESIGNING SAFER CABS BASED ON DRIVER BODY DIMENSIONS [August 2011]
IWS Documented News Service
Institute for Workplace Studies----------------- Professor Samuel B. Bacharach
School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies
16 East 34th Street, 4th floor---------------------- Stuart Basefsky
New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau
Improved Safety for Truck Drivers: Designing Safer Cabs Based on Driver Body Dimensions [August 2011]
[full-text, 2 pages]
[This item was noted by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work on 22 September 2011
also mentioned is a site "Know more with EU-OSHA resources on road transport"
Approximately 1.5 million U.S. workers were employed as drivers of heavy trucks and tractor-trailers in 2009. Truck drivers spend long hours behind the wheel, working an average of 41.5 hours per week. Therefore, a well-designed truck cab can make a significant difference in the working conditions for a truck driver.
Truck manufacturers consider the body dimensions of truck drivers as they design truck cabs. However, until recently the most current body measurement data for truck drivers dated from the early 1980s. The composition of the trucker workforce has changed dramatically in the past 30 years, with an increase in the diversity of ethnic groups and the percentage of women working in this profession. In 2006, researchers at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) began a 4-year study to measure the body dimensions of the current truck driver workforce. With the active support of multiple trucking industry partners, researchers were able to recruit a diverse group of nearly 2,000 truck drivers nationwide and record their weight, height, and 33 other body measurements. These measurements showed significant differences between the current truck driver workforce and truck drivers 30 years ago.
This information has been shared with the trucking industry, and is being widely used to update and improve truck cab design. Four truck manufacturers and 3 parts suppliers have utilized the data to create truck cabs with increased visibility, better fitting seat belts, and easier entry. The design software RAMSIS is being updated with the new measurement information for use in truck cab design across the industry. In addition, the Society of Automotive Engineers has affirmed its plan to update multiple truck cab standards based on the new data. Each of these changes provides an important contribution to the safety and health of the nation's truck driver workforce.
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