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Safer Healthier Workers

Selected Category: Transportation

One Size Does Not Fit All

Categories: Emergency Response/Public Sector, Personal Protective Equipment, Transportation


When your safety and your life depends on it, you need your equipment to fit properly. This is especially true in the workplace. Improper fit may prevent workers from performing their job duties safely and effectively. If your respirator does not seal properly to your face, if your gloves are too big, if your seatbelt cannot buckle with your safety gear on . . . you get the picture.

Anthropometry is the science of defining human body dimensions and physical characteristics. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducts anthropometric research to prevent work-related injuries and deaths by studying how work spaces and equipment fit today’s diverse worker population. This includes the fit of machines, vehicles, and personal protective equipment (PPE). Much of the available data were collected in the 1950s and 1970s from military personnel and the general population from that era. These decades-old data do not represent, on average and collectively, the sizes and body types of today’s workers, who are much more diverse in age, gender, and ethnicity. NIOSH research has shown workers have unique shapes and sizes for specific occupations.

Long-Haul Truck Driver Health Survey Results

Categories: Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease, Smoking, Transportation


The most recent issue of CDC Vital Signs highlights a few of the safety risks faced by truck drivers. Truck drivers also face health risks that can affect their livelihood. Limited illness and injury data for long-haul truck drivers prompted the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to conduct the National Survey of Long-Haul Truck Driver Health and Injury. Results were published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.

Long-haul truck drivers (LHTD) drive heavy and tractor-trailer trucks with freight delivery routes requiring them to sleep away from home most nights. In 2010, NIOSH researchers collected data from 1,670 long-haul truck drivers at 32 truck stops across the 48 contiguous United States. The survey asked questions about self-reported health conditions and health and safety risk factors.

Thank You Truck Drivers!

Categories: Total Worker Health, Transportation

truck3When you eat lettuce from California or purchase a new couch, consider how these goods got to your local grocery store or home. Nearly 2 million heavy or tractor-trailer truck drivers cross the nation every year to bring us the goods we are used to finding on our store shelves or to deliver our online purchases [BLS 2012]. In honor of Truck Driver Appreciation Week (September 14-20), we want to thank all truck drivers for their hard work and dedication.

Occupations with High Obesity Prevalence in Washington State

Categories: Construction, Emergency Response/Public Sector, Safety and Health Data, Smoking, Total Worker Health, Transportation

If work and the workplace contribute to poor health behaviors, should employers attempt to improve those behaviors?  It likely is in the employer’s best interest to do so.

Poor health behaviors can lead to chronic disease.  Workers with chronic disease may be at higher risk for workplace injury, have more absenteeism, and diminished productivity at work. Once injured, workers with chronic diseases take a longer time to return to work.  So the best strategy would be for employers to promote healthy behaviors to prevent the occurrence of these chronic diseases.

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