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The diagnostics and epidemiology of vibration disease and hearing Impairment in motor sawyers.

Rafalski H; Bernacki K; Switoniak T
NIOSH 1977 Apr; :84-88
Within the framework of a joint Polish-American agreement (No. 05- continuous examination of 207 motor sawyers and 97 controls and a cross-sectional examination of 1236 motor sawyers and 313 controls were conducted. All the motor sawyers and control subjects underwent a detailed medico-employment interview and specialist examinations: general medical, radiological, audiometric, laboratory, and functional efficiency. Moreover, the working conditions of the examined persons were investigated. Analysis of the results from studies of working conditions showed that the average motor sawyer suffered noise exposure equivalent to 100.6 to 104.5 decibels (A) and vibration of 22 to 280 meters per second per second for each 2.52 plus or minus 1.28 hours daily; worked 273 plus or minus 19.7 days in the forest annually, of which 129 plus or minus 47 were days involving use of a motor saw; produced 4395 cubic meters of timber yearly and 32,080 cubic meters in the course of his entire employment; and expended on the average of 1737 net kilocalories during an 8-hour working day. Results from the examinations revealed that vibration disease occurred in 26.9% of the motor sawyers studied. The frequency of occurrence of vibration disease showed significant dependence on age, number of employment- years using a motor saw, as well as amount of timber produced and saw fuel used during those years. Hearing impairment was confirmed in 60.9% of the motor sawyers examined; 1.7% of them attained the level of occupational disability. Frequency and extent of hearing impairment were significantly dependent on age, employment-years using a motor saw, and volume of timber produced.
Lumber-industry-workers; Woodcutters; Saws; Power-tools; Chain-saws; Logging-workers; Forestry; Hazards; Epidemiology; Environment; Time-dose-relationship; Age-factors; Hearing-disorders; Circulatory-system-disorders
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Fiscal Year
Priority Area
Special Populations; Work Environment and Workforce
Source Name
Proceedings of the International Occupational Hand-Arm Vibration Conference, NIOSH (Paper presented at Cincinnati, Ohio, October 28-31, 1975), Cincinnati, Ohio, DHEW (NIOSH) Publication No. 77-170
Page last reviewed: January 28, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division