Studies of Health Outcomes in Transit Operators: Policy Implications of the Current Scientific Database

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Abstract

Urban transit operators' medical symptoms and conditions exceed other occupational groups, resulting partly from working conditions. Medical outcomes among operators have an impact on the transit system, including on performance, work attendance, and medical costs. This is exacerbated by external economic and political pressures in which expected service often exceeds the system's capacity in a congested, chaotic urban environment. A vicious cycle of poor working environment, reduced health and well-being among operators, and lowered efficiency and increased costs often results. Operator-health policies focusing solely on individuals are not sufficient to address these problems. A broader approach is needed, acknowledging the relationship between health of the system and health of employees, including redesigning the interface between transit systems and the urban environment and organizational change within companies. This comprehensive approach recognizes the dynamic reciprocity among the transit operators, the transit system, and the larger community.

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