UP study says jeepney conditions put drivers at risk
Rosette Adel (Philstar.com) - January 18, 2016 - 8:37pm

MANILA, Philippines — A local study revealed that the working conditions of jeepney drivers threaten their health and safety.

The ergonomic study conducted by the College of Engineering of the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman identified hazards in the work of jeepney drivers by assessing randomly selected drivers within the UP-Diliman campus.

The researchers measured vehicle components while the drivers are maneuvering the vehicles. They also interviewed the drivers regarding their work experience.

The research showed inadequacies in current dimensions of jeepneys. For one, the average height of a driver's seat is 32.44 centimeters (cm), shorter than the average length of the usual lower leg of 45.27 cm.

The average back rest height of a driver's seat at 53.89 cm is also inadequate even with the head rest.

The researchers also noted that side mirrors cause unwarranted difficultign for drivers who need to constantly adjust them.  About 44 percent of the rear-view mirrors examined were fixed and unadjustable to suit the preference of the driver.

"Public jeepneys manufactured in the Philippines are produced at minimum cost; jeepneys do not undergo proper design planning procedures that other vehicles are subjected to, thus resulting to poorly designed workspace detrimental to the health of the drivers," the study said.

Jeepney drivers are prone to having discomforts and body pains since they spend an average of at least ten hours on the road. They are subjected to improper or awkward positions for a long period and vehicle measurements do not suit their needs.

The drivers involved in the study, however, said they were contented with the state of their workspaces despite confirming body aches after every working day.

"The drivers just choose to ignore these problems simply because there will be monetary costs in solving these problems and because they have grown accustomed to these conditions," the researchers explained.

The researchers then proposed the need for proper workspace measurements for jeepneys. The driver's seat, for one, must be properly contoured with furnished headrests.

They also recommended placing a distance between the steering wheel and the driver for them to seat comfortably and prevent body pains.

To eliminate the need for the driver to use the passenger's side when going in and out of their vehicle, the researchers also proposed that the spare tire must be relocated so the driver can readily access their workspace.

AVERAGE BODY COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING OF THE UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES DILIMAN DRIVER DRIVERS JEEPNEYS QUOT RESEARCHERS SEAT STUDY
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