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Risk factors contributing to truck drivers’ non-driving occupational accidents

Arto Reiman (Industrial Engineering and Management Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland)
Mikael Forsman (Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Stockholms läns landsting, Stockholm, Sweden)
Ingela Målqvist (Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Stockholms läns landsting, Stockholm, Sweden)
Marianne Parmsund (Stockholms läns landsting, Stockholm, Sweden)
Annika Lindahl Norberg (Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Stockholms läns landsting, Stockholm, Sweden)

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management

ISSN: 0960-0035

Article publication date: 2 February 2018

Issue publication date: 28 February 2018

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify various individual factors and combinations thereof that can contribute to truck drivers’ occupational accidents, particularly connected to work performed outside the cab in various work environments.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 74 accidents were analysed through in-depth interviews with truck drivers. These interviews were conducted employing the critical incident technique, and analysed utilising a qualitative content analysis approach.

Findings

The contributing factors identified were categorised into 14 categories. In all, 13 of these were grouped into four sections reflecting the drivers’ work outside the cab: “Goods and equipment”, “Loading/unloading area”, “Loading/unloading tasks”, and “Organisation”. A single risk factor was associated with 40 accidents while the other 34 involved combinations of factors.

Research limitations/implications

Although the tasks performed by truck drivers in different countries are probably similar, one limitation might be that all the accidents characterised occurred in one country: Sweden.

Practical implications

The findings reveal that complex combinations of risk factors often contribute to accidents. In addition to the transportation company itself, other stakeholders, such as clients, and designers and manufacturers of technology, may influence the occupational safety of truck drivers. Different stakeholders who could contribute to managerial decision making that is designed to prevent accidents are identified and discussed.

Originality/value

This investigation contributes to an in-depth understanding of the causes of accidents in the transportation industry. The findings are discussed from the perspective of the stakeholders and safety management in an attempt to identify key stakeholders who can improve accident prevention.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This study was supported financially by AFA Insurance (Grant Number 140,229). The authors are grateful to Professor Emeritus Tore J. Larsson from KTH Royal Institute of Technology for his support in the selection of the drivers who were invited to be interviewed.

Citation

Reiman, A., Forsman, M., Målqvist, I., Parmsund, M. and Lindahl Norberg, A. (2018), "Risk factors contributing to truck drivers’ non-driving occupational accidents", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 48 No. 2, pp. 183-199. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPDLM-06-2017-0216

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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