An investigation of a cluster of cervical herniated discs among container truck drivers with occupational exposure to whole-body vibration

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Abstract

Objective: This study aimed to determine if occupational exposure to whole-body vibration is associated with cervical intervertebral disc herniation among container truck drivers. Methods: We conducted a walk-through survey among container truck drivers and unexposed workers. We also measured the vibration hazard of the container truck over the driver's back and seat when the driver was loading a container and driving the loaded truck. Results and Discussion: Among the 38 workers interviewed, 32 were container truck drivers. Four of them reported cervical herniated discs, and all of these individuals were container truck drivers with a job tenure of greater than 10 years. Self-reported cervical herniated disc, nuchal pain, nocturia, arm/forearm weakness, arm/forearm numbness, and finger numbness were significantly more prevalent as the driver's duration of exposure increased (all p values of test for trend < 0.05). The vibration of the truck during and after loading a container was considered the main cause of herniated disc. When a container truck was driven with a loaded container, both the vertical and horizontal vibrating acceleration over the seat and back sites exceeded the 8-hr exposure level based on the ISO 2631-1 criteria. The transient vibration dose values (VDVs) measured 2016during misaligned or unsmooth loading operations were usually greater than the upper bounds of the health guidance caution zone for the 8-hr VDV. Conclusions: Our investigation disclosed a cluster of cervical intervertebral disc herniation that was associated with the vibration hazard during long-term container truck driving under full load and possibly aggravated by misaligned loading operations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-127
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Occupational Health
Volume58
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jan 1

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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