Proceedings of the

The 33rd European Safety and Reliability Conference (ESREL 2023)
3 – 8 September 2023, Southampton, UK

Occupational Health Exposure Risk Factors Related to Lower Back Pain Amongst Drivers/Operators of Articulated Vehicles and Non-Drivers of Articulated Vehicles at the Ngqura Container Terminal, in the Eastern Cape

Martha Chadyiwa and Themba, Kennedy, Zulu Madabane

Department of Environmental Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Johannesburg, Doornfontein Campus, Johannesburg, 2094, South Africa /EADDRESS/


Lower back pain remains one of the most common work-related complaints of the developed and developing countries. The objective of this study was to examine the prevalence of occupational health exposure risk factors associated with lower back pain in drivers/operators of articulated vehicles and non-drivers of articulated vehicles at the Ngqura Container Terminal, in the Eastern Cape. The study used a structured questionnaire and interview method to obtain primary data analysis. The crude odds ratios were calculated using SPSS program. The multivariate logistic regression was used to get the adjusted odds ratios to obtain occupational risk factors associated with lower back pain. Frequencies and percentages were identified using the descriptive statistical analysis. The majority of the 579 participants (60.4%) were Drivers of articulated vehicles, mostly Black African men. They had higher odds of being overweight or obese and working longer at the terminal than non-Drivers. No seat-related factors were significantly linked to lower back pain among Drivers. Several activities showed significant differences in difficulty between Drivers and non-Drivers. In this study race, gender, years of driving vehicles or operating the machines, income and obesity certainly played a large role in lower back pain. The risk factors for lower back pain are the males of coloured and the back race, working at Ngqura Container terminal for a period of 5 years to more than 10 years, earning between R15 000 to R30 000 and obese.

Keywords: Lower back pain, Body mass index, Prolonged driving, Driver's seat condition, DAVs, non-DAVs.

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