The effects of automatic and manual door opening systems: A cross-sectional investigation of bus operators
Drucker, Christopher J.
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The occupational health of bus operators has been reviewed for the past several decades with results pertaining to either the physical (e.g. whole body vibrations, cabin ergonomics) or psychological (e.g. job strain, control, dissatisfaction) demands of the job. Although this field has been studied extensively, a research gap of how the door opening system affects the health of bus operators still remains unanswered. Modern buses incorporate two types of door opening systems - automatic and manual. The Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaires (NMQ) and the Job Content Questionnaire (JCQ) were used to cross-section the differences in musculoskeletal health between bus operators who use automatic and manual door opening systems. The NMQ provides a means of understanding the prevalence of reported shoulder, neck and low back trouble. Twelve-month prevalence responses were consistent between this study and of that reported in the literature. The prevalence and odds of reporting trouble in the shoulder was marginally greater for bus operators who operated a manual door opening system compared to those who operated an automatic door opening system. The prevalence of reporting trouble in the neck and low back was comparable between both groups, as expected. Other variables of interest, such as age and months driving, were seen to be significant factors that affected trouble with the musculoskeletal system. Binary logistic regression equations were developed to predict the probability of reporting musculoskeletal trouble for each anatomical region of interest. The responses to the psychosocial scales of the JCQ give way to the demand-control (D-C) model, which allows for an analysis of association with the reported musculoskeletal trouble. The use of self-reported JCQ items to determine the quadrants for the D-C model was unsuccessful in identifying participants at risk for reporting shoulder, neck or low back trouble. This study however, did suggest that bus operation is a mixture of high/low psychological job demand and high/low decision latitude, which supports findings of other studies. This study demonstrates that the active and low strain quadrants contained the most data points (40 and 47%, respectively). For both manual and automatic door users, the high strain quadrant contained the least amount of data points.