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Ergonomic Seat Standard from ISO Bolsters Bus Driver Health


New York, Nov 15, 2012

By Elizabeth Gasiorowski-Denis, originally published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee (TC) 22, Road vehicles, subcommittee (SC) 13, Ergonomics applicable to road vehicles, has released a revised International Standard, ISO 16121-1:2012, Road vehicles - Ergonomic requirements for the driver’s workplace in line-service buses - Part 1: General description, basic requirements, that sets down guidelines for the design of seats and workspaces for bus drivers. The standard is intended to reduce bus drivers’ elevated, job-associated risk of developing leg and lower-back pain by mandating bus designs that will emphasize comfort and ease of operation for drivers.

Under ISO 16121-1:2012, bus designers are tasked with developing a comprehensive ergonomic approach to each driver’s seat and associated work area, taking into consideration the driver’s access to control, displays, and storage compartments, as well as the size of driver’s workspace. Providing more comfortable and healthy seating options allows bus drivers to carry out their duties with less stress and to concentrate more effectively on their duties and the road ahead of them. The revised standard is part of ISO 16121, Road vehicles - Ergonomic requirements for the driver’s workplace in line-service buses, which also includes the following sections:

  • ISO 16121-2, Visibility
  • ISO 16121-3, Information devices and controls
  • ISO 16121-4, Cabin environment

Created in 1947, TC 22 focuses on standardization related to mopeds, trailers, and other road vehicles, as well as their associated equipment. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) holds the Secretariat of TC 22’s SC 13, which ANSI has delegated to SAE International. John Shutko, technical specialist, Ford Motor Company, currently serves as the subcommittee’s chairperson. The ANSI-accredited U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to TC 22 is administered by SAE International.

ISO 16121-1:2012 is available from the ANSI eStandards Store. For more information about all U.S. ISO activities, contact Karen Hughes, ANSI program manager, ISO P membership (isot@ansi.org).

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