Online Program

Bus operator health: Best practices for protection and promotion

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Robin Gillespie, PhD, Transportation Learning Center, Silver Spring, MD
Xinge Wang, MS, Transportation Learning Center, Silver Spring, MD
Tia Brown, MIS, Transportation Learning Center, Silver Spring, MD
Deborah L. McLellan, PhD, MHS, Center for Community-Based Research, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA
June Fisher, MD, Trauma Foundation, San Francisco General Hospital, San Francisco, CA
George W. Koutsouras, MPH, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, SUNY Downstate Medical Center School of Public Health, Brooklyn, NY
Paul Landsbergis, PhD, MPH, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, SUNY-Downstate School of Public Health, Brooklyn, NY
The NIOSH Total Worker Health model emphasizes the need for attending to population, job, and worksite characteristics, however industry-specific worksite health protection and promotion (WHPP) approaches have been lacking. In the face of a high prevalence of metabolic disorders and other health problems in bus operators, the Transportation Cooperative Research Program F-17 (Improving Transit Bus Operator Health, Wellness, and Retention) evaluated the state of practice in US and Canadian transit agencies and developed best practice guidelines. Transportation agencies and unions were surveyed and interviewed about their WHPP needs, practices, and plans. Practical experts from agencies and unions supported the development of best practices, based on intervention research and grey literature from around the world combined with the experience of transit agency wellness, HR and operations staff, bus operators and union representatives. Preliminary analysis strongly demonstrates the need to integrate occupational safety and health concerns in transit WHPP practice, and especially to modify conventional approaches to address the specific challenges of transit work, including the prevalence of multifactorial health problems, schedule pressure and work stress, and the mobile work environment. Although few agencies have adopted an integrated WHPP, most recognized the impact of operational demands, both on health and on program implementation. The process of collecting data has already both raised expectations and influenced current practice in informant organizations. The implementation of these proposed practices by transit organizations provides an opportunity to assess the impact of a collaborative transit-specific WHPP program that integrates individual, organizational, work organization and work environment concerns.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Occupational health and safety
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe 4 characteristics of effective health protection and promotion in public transportation work Discuss stakeholder roles in collaborative integrated worksite health promotion and prevention for the transit industry

Keyword(s): Occupational Health, Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an Associate Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at the SUNY-Downstate School of Public Health, Brooklyn, NY. I have conducted research, taught and published on occupational health and safety for 30 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.