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Identifying Equipment Factors Associated with Snowplow Operator Fatigue

Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Safety 2019, 5(3), 62;
Received: 18 July 2019 / Revised: 20 August 2019 / Accepted: 24 August 2019 / Published: 1 September 2019
A recent body of research in fatigue management indicates that other factors, including in-cab and external equipment, contribute to operator fatigue. The goal of this project was to identify winter road maintenance equipment (in-cab and external) that may increase or mitigate snowplow operator fatigue. To accomplish this goal, questionnaires from 2011 snowplow operators were collected from 23 states in the U.S. Results confirmed previous research that fatigue is prevalent in winter road maintenance operations. Winter road maintenance equipment that produced excessive vibrations, noise, reduced visibility, and complex task demands were found to increase snowplow operators’ self-reported fatigue. Similarly, equipment that reduced vibrations and external noise, improved visibility, and limited secondary tasks were found to reduce snowplow operator’s self-reported fatigue. Based on the questionnaire responses and the feasibility of implementation, the following equipment may help to mitigate or prevent snowplow operator fatigue: dimmable interior lighting, LED bulbs for exterior lighting, dimmable warning lights, a CD player or satellite radio in each vehicle, heated windshield, snow deflectors, narrow-beam auxiliary lighting, and more ergonomically designed seats with vibration dampening/air-ride technology. View Full-Text
Keywords: winter road maintenance operations; drowsiness; snowplow; fatigue; visibility; vibration; noise winter road maintenance operations; drowsiness; snowplow; fatigue; visibility; vibration; noise
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Camden, M.C.; Hickman, J.S.; Soccolich, S.A.; Hanowski, R.J. Identifying Equipment Factors Associated with Snowplow Operator Fatigue. Safety 2019, 5, 62.

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