Three quarters of bus drivers report MSD pain, finds survey

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Three quarters of bus drivers say their job causes them musculoskeletal (MSD) disorders such as back, neck and shoulder pain.

That’s according to a survey carried out by bus workers union, RMT, which found that 78 per cent of 400 of bus worker members it surveyed reported issues.

Nearly one quarter (23 per cent) said they had taken time off in the previous year due to pain.

However, nearly all (94 per cent) said adjustable seating, steering columns and driver dashboards would help.

Nearly one quarter of bus drivers surveyed said they had taken time off in the previous year due to pain. Photograph: iStock 

And 95 per cent said the bus driver's cabin could be designed more ergonomically, with many feeling they were not being given equal treatment to office workers who ask for workplace adjustments.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: "It is unacceptable that bus workers are having to take time off for injuries sustained at work when there is technology available that can easily assist them ergonomically.”

HSE guidance says employers must consult with their workers or elected representatives on health and safety issues, including MSD issues.

“[Your workers] will know what they find difficult and often know how to improve things,” says the regulator. “Talking to them.. will make it easier to agree changes. Workers will be more likely to follow procedures they have helped design.”

Employers should also enable workers to report any injuries and use tools like HSE’s body mapping PDF to identify clusters of problems that may need to be investigated further.

“People with MSDs usually recover completely if the problem is recognised early and treated appropriately,” says HSE.

Transport and logistics had the most reported incidents of MSDs last year, along with agriculture, construction and health and social care.

Overall, in the UK, nearly half a million workers (473,000) suffered from work-related MSDs (new and long-standing) in 2022/23. And 6.6 million working days were lost in the same year up to March 2023 due to MSDs.

Work-related musculoskeletal disorders statistics in Great Britain 2023 here 


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