Musculoskeletal Disorders and Whole Body Vibration Exposure among Auto-Rickshaw (Three Wheelers) Drivers: A Case Study in Northern India
Journal Title:Ergonomics International Journal
Basic Background: The three-wheelers (auto rickshaw) are predominantly being used as a mean of transportation of goods in industries and local transportation in cities and suburban areas of northern India. This study aims to assess the whole body vibration exposure and prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders among auto rickshaw drivers. Procedure and Methods: The study included four models of auto rickshaws for assessment of whole body vibration exposure with different road conditions and the number of passengers boarded and its association with musculoskeletal complaints. Whole body vibration exposure was measured using SVAN 106 tri-axial accelerometer and SVANPC+ software. A comprehensive questionnaire was devised and used for the subjective assessment of musculoskeletal complaints. The data were analyzed using analysis of variance and Chi-Square test to check the variability and association of whole body vibration exposure and musculoskeletal disorders for all the models of auto rickshaws. Results: There is a significant dependency of the magnitude of whole body vibration exposure on the road conditions and a number of passengers. Also, there is a significant influence (‘p’ value < 0.05) of whole body vibration exposure due to driving experience and age of auto rickshaw drivers on musculoskeletal complaints, low back pain is found more prominent factor. Conclusions: The auto rickshaw drivers are working at high exposure to WBV and consequently at high risk of musculoskeletal disorders, therefore it is recommended that auto-rickshaw drivers must adjust the vehicle speed to suit the road conditions to avoid excessive bumping and jolting. In rough road conditions less number of passengers should be avoided.