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Vibration and its relation to occupational health and safety.
Wasserman DE; Badger DW
Bull N Y Acad Med 1973 Oct; 49(10):887-894
Industrial vibration as a stressor occurs in work situations as an inherent operational factor of machines such as jack-hammers and chain saws and as the incidental by-product of many other mechanisms. Vibrational stress may be "whole body" as in tractor operation or "segmental" as in the use of hand tools. Segmental vibration exposure in workers using electrical grinders and chain saws has been associated with traumatic vasospastic syndrome, changes in bone, muscular weakness, and degenerative alterations in associated nerves. Whole-body vibrational stress correlates with degenerative changes in the vertebrae, hypoglycemia, hypocholesteremia, and gastro-intestinal changes, according to several studies. Visual acuity is severely impaired at lower Hertz ranges associated with whole-body vibrational stress, although pattern recognition, reaction time, and monitoring appear resistant. NIOSH has evolved a four phase plan to develop health and safety standards for exposure to industrial vibration in a wide variety of work situations. Phase I seeks to identify those industries and workers exposed to industrial vibration in the United States through a literature search, factory visitations, and accumulation of morbidity statistics. Phase II will establish a vibration laboratory. Phase III will consist of laboratory and industrial field studies, the development of monitoring equipment, and controlled animal studies. Phase IV will establish criteria for permissible exposure limits, based upon information acquired in Phases I, II, and III.
NIOSH-Author; Physiology; Stress; Vibration-disease; Physical-stress; Psychological-stress; Research
Issue of Publication
Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine
Page last reviewed: December 11, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division