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Musculoskeletal disorders and whole-body vibration exposure among professional drivers of all-terrain vehicles
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational Medicine.
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Musculoskeletal disorders are common among professional driver groups. Ergonomic risk factors at work are often suggested as causative, aggravating or preserving. The general aim with this thesis is to investigate the association between musculoskeletal disorders and physical exposure with special with special focus on whole-body vibration (WBV), among professional drivers of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). Drivers of ATVs are expsosed to high magnitudes of WBV and shock. This thesis included drivers of forest machines, snowgroomers and snowmobiles. A cross-sectional study revealed that ATV drivers had an increased risk of musculoskeletal symptoms in the neck-shoulder and thoracic regions, even after adjusting for age, smoking habits and psychosocial stress. Prevalence rates were in the range of 1.5-2.9 (CI:1.2-5.2) compared to an age-matched group from the general population. No group of ATV drivers had a significantly increased risk of low back pain. Trend analysis showed no association between symptoms and exposure time. A clinical investigation of a subgroup found that it was for ATV drivers with neck pain to have assymetrical and focal neuropathies, pure or in mix with a nociceptive disorder, in the neck and upper extremities (47-79%), which was in contrast to referents with neck pain who had more nociceptive disorders (27% prevalence of neuropathy). Two studies measured characteristics of seated WBV exposure in forest machines (forwarders), snowgroomers and snowmobiles. The magnitudes of WBV in ATVs, measured and analyzed according to ISO 2631-1, were between 0.5-3.5 m/s2 (frequency weighted vector sum), which was considered high compared to limits suggested by the international standard ISO 2631-1 and the physical agent directive from the Euoropean Union (0.5 m/s2, rms). Drivers of ATVs were exposed to horizontally directed WBV and shocks. Non-neutral neck postures are ergonomic risk factors that occured infrequently and with short duration. The magnitude of seated WBV in forwarder vehicles varied substantiálly depending on model, terrain condition and driver. This may result in different conclusions regarding health risk assessments. The main conclusion from this thesis is that musculoskeletal symptoms and disorders in the neck and upper extremities, among drivers of ATVs, may be a result of long-time exposure to shock-type and horisozontally oriented seated WBV.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. , 85 p.
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 852
Keyword [en]
Medicine, Whole-body vibration, Shock, Ergonomics, Epidemiology, Musculoskeletal, Driver
Keyword [sv]
Medicin
National Category
Dermatology and Venereal Diseases
Research subject
Medicine
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-216ISBN: 91-7305-517-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-216DiVA: diva2:142690
Public defence
2004-04-16, Stora Föresläsningssalen, Arbetslivsinstitutet, Campus, Umeå, 13:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2004-03-24 Created: 2004-03-24 Last updated: 2010-08-11Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Musculoskeletal symptoms among drivers of all-terrain vehicles
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Musculoskeletal symptoms among drivers of all-terrain vehicles
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2002 (English)In: Journal of Sound and Vibration, ISSN 0022-460X, E-ISSN 1095-8568, Vol. 253, no 1, 21-29 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this cross-sectional study was to characterize the risk of experiencing musculoskeletal symptoms in the region of the neck, shoulders and upper and lower back for professional drivers of various categories of all-terrain vehicles and to assess the association between symptoms and duration of exposure to whole-body vibration (WBV) and shock from driving all-terrain vehicles. The study group consisted of 215 drivers of forest machines, 137 drivers of snowmobiles and 79 drivers of snowgroomers and a control group of 167 men randomly selected from the general population. The subjects were all from one of the four most northern counties in Sweden and they were all men. Musculoskeletal symptoms were assessed by use of a standardized questionnaire. In addition, the questionnaire held items about the driving time with all-terrain vehicles and a subjective estimation of exposure to unpleasant movements (shock, jolt, irregular sway). The job strain was measured according to Karasek's demands/control model. The prevalence ratios were adjusted for age, smoking and job strain. Among drivers, significantly increased prevalence ratios within the range of 1∂5–2·9 were revealed for symptoms from the neck–shoulder and thoracic regions during the previous year. None of the driver categories had a statistically significantly increased risk of low back pain. Forest vehicles were those most reported to cause unpleasant movements. In conclusion, drivers of all-terrain vehicles exhibit an increased risk of symptoms of musculoskeletal disorders in the neck–shoulder and thoracic regions. The increased risk is suggested to be related to physical factors such as exposure to whole-body vibration (WBV) and shock, static overload or extreme body postures. However, since symptoms of low back pain were not significantly increased, it appears that factors other than WBV would explain the occurrence of symptoms in the group of all-terrain drivers.

National Category
Environmental Health and Occupational Health
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-3809 (URN)10.1006/jsvi.2001.4247 (DOI)
Available from: 2004-03-24 Created: 2004-03-24 Last updated: 2011-09-20Bibliographically approved
2. Whole-body vibration exposure and non-neutral neck postures during occupational use of all-terrain vehicles.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Whole-body vibration exposure and non-neutral neck postures during occupational use of all-terrain vehicles.
2005 (English)In: Annals of Occupational Hygiene, ISSN 0003-4878, E-ISSN 1475-3162, Vol. 49, no 3, 267-275 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to characterize whole-body vibration (WBV) exposure from various all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) like snowgroomers, snowmobiles and forwarders, and to investigate how frequently the drivers' cervical spine is positioned in a non-neutral rotational position during operation. METHODS: Field measurements of WBV were measured according to the international standard ISO 2631-1 in 19 ATVs. Simultaneous recordings of frequency and duration of rotational neck movements exceeding 15 degrees were achieved through an observational method, PEOflex. RESULTS: The sum of the vectors of frequency-weighted r.m.s. acceleration varied between 0.5 and 3.5 m s(-2), which meant that for most vehicles they exceeded the action value stated by the European Union (0.5 m s(r.m.s.)(-2)). In general, snowmobiles achieved the highest vibration total value. The dominant vibration direction for the snowmobile was the x-axis but the z-axis also had relatively high vibration dose values and maximal transient vibration values. The z-axis was the dominant vibration direction for the snowgroomer and the y-axis for the forwarder. Frequency and duration of non-neutral rotational neck postures were relatively low for all driver categories. CONCLUSIONS: Vibration magnitudes in ATVs are considerably high than the EU's action value and the health guidance caution zones in ISO 2631-1. The dominant vibration direction varies depending on the machine type. Duration and frequency of non-neutral rotational positions do not seem to constitute single ergonomic risk factors for musculoskeletal symptoms in the neck among professional drivers of ATVs. However, synergistic effects with other factors are conceivable.

Keyword
Analysis of Variance, Humans, Neck/*physiology, Occupational Exposure/*analysis, Off-Road Motor Vehicles, Posture/physiology, Risk Assessment/methods, Rotation, Vibration
National Category
Environmental Health and Occupational Health
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-6003 (URN)10.1093/annhyg/meh077 (DOI)15591073 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2007-12-06 Created: 2007-12-06 Last updated: 2011-09-15Bibliographically approved
3. Neuromusculoskeletal disorders in the neck and upper extremities among drivers of all-terrain vehicles - a case series.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Neuromusculoskeletal disorders in the neck and upper extremities among drivers of all-terrain vehicles - a case series.
2004 (English)In: BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, ISSN 1471-2474, E-ISSN 1471-2474, Vol. 5, no 1Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to investigate whether professional drivers of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) with neck pain have a different array of neuromusculoskeletal disorders in the neck and upper extremities than a referent group with neck pain from the general population. It is hypothesized that exposure to shock-type vibration and unfavorable working postures in ATVs have the capacity to cause peripheral nervous lesions. METHODS: This study was based on a case series analyzed according to a case-case comparison design. The study population consisted of 60 male subjects, including professional drivers of forest machines (n = 15), snowmobiles (n = 15), snowgroomers (n = 15) and referents from the general population (n = 15) all of whom had reported neck pain in a questionnaire and underwent an extensive physical examination of the neck and upper extremities. Based on symptom history, symptoms and signs, and in some cases chemical, electroneurographical and radiological findings, subjects were classified as having a nociceptive or neuropathic disorder or a mix of these types. RESULTS: The occurrence of asymmetrical and focal neuropathies (peripheral nervous lesion), pure or in a mix with a nociceptive disorder was common among cases in the ATV driver groups (47%-79%). This contrasted with the referents that were less often classified as having asymmetrical and focal neuropathy (27%), but instead had more nociceptive disorders. The difference was most pronounced among drivers of snowgroomers, while drivers of forest machines were more frequently classified as having a nociceptive disorder originating in the muscles. CONCLUSION: This study found a high prevalence of assymetrical and focal neuropathies among drivers with pain in the neck, operating various ATVs. It seems as if exposure to shock-type whole-body vibration (WBV) and appurtenant unfavorable postures in ATVs may be associated to peripheral nervous lesions.

National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-18797 (URN)10.1186/1471-2474-5-1 (DOI)14718063 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2009-02-25 Created: 2009-02-25 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
4. Variation in exposure to whole-body vibration for operators of forwarder vehicles - aspects on measurement strategies and prevention
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Variation in exposure to whole-body vibration for operators of forwarder vehicles - aspects on measurement strategies and prevention
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2005 (English)In: International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, ISSN 0169-8141, E-ISSN 1872-8219, Vol. 35, no 9, 831-842 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Exposure to whole-body vibration (WBV) may cause health problems, e.g. lumbago. The risk will depend on intensity and duration. Exposure to WBV in vehicles varies due to several factors as the vehicle type, the terrain condition, the driver, the speed etc. To estimate the health risk, the measurement strategy has to consider this variation. Furthermore, to understand the importance of different preventive strategies, the cause of the variation has to be known. The objective of this study was to describe variation in exposure to seated WBV during occupational operation of forwarder vehicles and to investigate sources for variation. WBV was measured in 10 various terrain types for seven forwarders operated by 11 drivers. For each driver there were between four and 35 measurements. The measurement periods varied between 0.2 and 34 min. The vibration total value (av) and total vibration dose value (VDVt) were determined. Results showed that WBV exposure varied considerably and that this variation could result in different conclusions regarding health risk assessments. The highest magnitudes were achieved during travelling activities. During travelling empty, variations in av were significantly dependent upon forwarder model and terrain type. No significant predictor for variation in VDVt was however found for travelling empty. During travelling loaded the forwarder model and operator were the most important predictors for variation in av. Variation in VDVt was also dependent on the forwarder model during travelling loaded.

Keyword
Whole-body vibration, Ergonomics, Risk assessment, Prevention, Musculoskeletal, Operator, Terrain
National Category
Environmental Health and Occupational Health
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-3812 (URN)10.1016/j.ergon.2005.03.001 (DOI)
Available from: 2004-03-24 Created: 2004-03-24 Last updated: 2011-09-15Bibliographically approved

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