Bus drivers in better health thanks to revised ISO Standard

intercity nz aswetravel

Issue 45 – December 2012

Bus drivers are at high risk of developing lower back pain and pain in the neck, knees, and ankles due to their prolonged sitting position. The revised ISO 16121-1:2012 Road vehicles – Ergonomic requirements for the driver's workplace in line-service buses – Part 1: General description, basic requirements will improve the ease of operation, ergonomics, and comfort for bus drivers.

ISO 16121-1 will help the designers of buses to develop an overall ergonomic concept for the driver's workplace. It provides basic requirements for an ergonomic and comfortable seating position, which is essential to keep drivers in a good state of health. The complete driver's workplace is taken into account: the size of the driver's workplace, the reach and access to controls and displays in the driver's workplace, and access to stowage compartments.

The recommended requirements in this Standard are based on the scientific conclusions of the research project, 'Driver's workplace in the line-service bus', conducted in Germany and on ergonomic studies related to the design of an enhanced driver workplace conducted in the USA, Canada, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

Ase Lindstrom, leader of the task force that developed the revised Standard, comments: 'A well designed bus driver's workplace helps to eliminate ergonomic defects and reduces physical and psychological stress for the driver. For designers, implementing the Standard for the conception of the workplace will also avoid cost-intensive specific development.'

It is also essential that the designer refers to the specifications and requirements of all parts of ISO 16121, before completing the design of a driver's workplace. ISO 16121 consists of the following parts:

  • Part 1: General description, basic requirements
  • Part 2: Visibility
  • Part 3: Information devices and controls
  • Part 4: Cabin environment.

Summarised from an ISO media release, 13 November 2012.

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Published in consumer and occupational safety.

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