Edited by Janice Langan-Fox and Cary Cooper
Chapter 21: The Psychosocial Environment of Commercial Driving: Morbidities, Hazards, and Productivity of Truck and Bus Drivers
Yorghos Apostolopoulos, Andrew A. Peachey and Sevil Sönmez INTRODUCTION Commercial drivers, licensed truck and bus drivers operate in demanding work environments that require long periods of concentration in challenging physical conditions with potentially serious consequences to personal and public health. The work environment, characterized by high job demands and low control, influences the health of commercial drivers through complex pathways; individual behaviors and characteristics interact with fatigue and job strain to impair health. Job strain may increase the risk of mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression, and contribute to hypertension, cardiovascular disease and sleep disorders. Both mental and physical conditions contribute to increased medical claims, disabilities and loss of productivity. Furthermore, the psychosocial environment of commercial drivers remains a significant public safety issue because of increased risk of motor-vehicle incidents caused by fatigued commercial drivers involving other motorists and pedestrians. The chapter applies several theoretical perspectives of stress to explain how the psychosocial environment of commercial drivers may negatively impact their health. These perspectives include the Person–Environment Fit Model, the Effort–Reward Imbalance Model, and the Demand–Control Model. Application of these theoretical perspectives requires an exploration of the psychosocial environment determined, in part, by government policies and organizational procedures, and in part by individual characteristics. The resultant psychosocial problems are among the main causes of morbidity and mortality for commercial drivers. The epidemiology of mental health disorders, chronic diseases and occupational hazards for commercial drivers are presented in support of these perspectives. Psychosocial problems also...
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