Ergonomic Factors Associated with Lower Back Pain Amongst Load-Haul-Dump Truck Operators at Freda Rebecca Gold Mine, Bindura, Zimbabwe

Keywords: Load haul and drive;, whole body vibration;, lower back pain;


Background Lower back pain is broadly defined discomfort or pain within the lumbar region of the human spine and it is the leading cause of function limitation, resulting in significant losses in productivity and billions of dollars in medical costs yearly. Its prevalence is estimated to be associated with a lower socioeconomic status and lower education levels. The intention of this study was to analyse the ergonomic factors linked with lower back pain amongst load-haul-dump truck operators at Freda Rebecca Gold Mine. Methods A descriptive non-interventional cross-sectional study was used with the probit model and the chi-square used as the estimation techniques. The simple random sampling method was adopted in the survey with a total of 140 respondents who are all employees at Freda Rebecca Gold Mine, Zimbabwe. The Statistical Package Stata was used 12. Results The study indicated that 77.8% of the respondents suffered lower back pain at one time or the other. Results showed an association between lower back pain with demographic factors such as experience, gender and age, organisational factors such as type and duration of shift work, biomechanical factors such as lifting and handling protocols, postures, whole body vibrations exposure resulting from work related conditions such as road conditions, equipment conditions and design and other psychosocial factors. Conclusion Therefore, the study promoted the adoption of a broad approach to reduction and management of LBP, including equipment engineering solutions to manage whole body vibration exposure, operator education, equipment assistive technology, strong equipment maintenance regime. Further interventions include adoption of best practice systems and improved clinical treatment systems.