Objectives:

This study aimed to examine the safety and health hazards of motorized couriers and investigate working conditions and driving behavior possibly associated with involvement in road accidents while driving motorcycles or cars. In light of the outbreak of COVID-19, the study was aimed to explore factors that affect the couriers’ behaviors related to decreasing the risk of contracting an infectious disease.


Methods:

A sample of 237 Israeli couriers, about half who drove a two-wheeled vehicles and the others who drove cars, answered an online survey questionnaire. The questionnaire examined organizational, occupational, and personal factors regarding their working conditions, behavior on the road, musculoskeletal disorders, road accidents, and perceptions of and compliance with regulations regarding COVID-19. The data were analyzed by multiple regression in SPSS 25, structural equation modeling and mediation tests in R 3.6.2.


Results:

According to the couriers’ self-report, 37% reported musculoskeletal pains at least once a day, 13% of them were involved in work-related road accidents and 10% reported feeling stress at least once a week. More than 60% of the couriers reported increased stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Weekly working hours, shift duration and stress were related to involvement in accidents through the mediation of driving while feeling unwell. Reported stress and the weight of parcels were related to musculoskeletal pains.


Conclusions:

The findings suggest that stress and attributes of work overloads experienced by couriers are associated with reduced safety and impaired health. Organizational, individual, and societal factors were correlated with the degree to which the couriers adhered to COVID-19 regulations. The increased prevalence of new modes of employment relationships in the field highlights the importance of research on employment conditions and safety and health aspects related to this occupation.


Keywords:

Accident; COVID-19; Couriers; Health; Musculoskeletal; Safety.

Source