Assessment of Health Risks Among Tractor Operators Due to Whole-Body Vibration

  • Kuljit SinghEmail author
  • Jagjit Singh RandhawaEmail author
  • Parveen Kalra
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes on Multidisciplinary Industrial Engineering book series (LNMUINEN)


Exposure of human operator to whole-body vibration generated from tractors has been associated with low back pain (LBP) and degeneration of intervertebral disc. Researchers related the ischial tuberosities with the theory of evenly distributed pressure and found that pressure at the ischials decreased when the seat is more comfortable. This paper concentrates on the assessment of prevalence of MSDs and related ill effects among tractor operators and non-tractor operators during driving. The study was carried out on 80 active operators, out of which 40 (50%) were tractor operators and 40 (50%) were nontractor operators. All the participants were aged between 20 and 50 years old and taken from the region of Punjab, India. The results revealed that tractor operators reported more health-related problems (LBP, neck pain and shoulder pain, etc.) in comparison to non-tractor operators. Work-related musculoskeletal symptoms,i.e. LBP in 70% of operator, neck pain in 60% of operator and shoulder pain in 43% of operator were greatest among tractor operators. It can be concluded that tractor operators are more prone to MSDs occurred due to WBV. Thus, providing a cushion on the seat during operation may cause operation more comfortable and the operator may experience less prevalence of LBP, neck pain and shoulder pain. Further, this paper concentrates on the assessment of ride comfort and related ill effect among tractor operators, those who use cushion and not use cushion on the seat. The second phase of study was done on 40 tractor operators, out of which 25 (62.5%) tractor operators use cushion on tractor seat and 15 tractor operators (37.5%) did not use cushion on the seat. Most of the tractor operators stated that cushion on the seat is more supportive and also give them more comfort. The result also indicated that the tractor operators, who used cushion on the seat, reported less health-related problems (LBP, neck pain and shoulder pain, etc.). Work-related musculoskeletal symptoms were greatest, i.e. LBP (87%), neck pain (87%) and upper back pain (33%) among those tractor operators who did not use cushion on the seat during driving. It was found that cushions made of any fabric material are better than cushionless driving seat. Thus, it can be concluded that tractor operators who used cushion on the seat during driving were more comfortable and experience less prevalence of LBP, neck pain and upper back pain.



Whole-Body Vibration


Low Back Pain


Musculoskeletal Disorder


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Production and Industrial EngineeringPunjab Engineering College (Deemed to be University)ChandigarhIndia

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