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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-83-349-1901, Weyerhaeuser Corporation, Longview, Washington.

Wilcox T; Doyle TE; Tubbs RL; Allen K; Dunn DE
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 83-349-1901, 1988 May; :1-33
In response to a request from Local 3-536 of the International Woodworkers of America, a study was made of whole body vibration exposure in heavy equipment operators working in the wood sorting yard at the Weyerhaeuser Company (SIC-2421), Longview, Washington. Log stackers were used to offload, sort logs by size and type, and stack before and after processing. Medical evaluation of 20 log stacker operators and 13 log truck drivers was conducted by interview or questionnaire. A triaxial accelerometer disc mounted on the seats of seven different log stackers and trucks was used to collect data on vibration. Low back pain was reported by 14 of 20 log stacker drivers, and 12 of 13 truck drivers. Work associated musculoskeletal symptoms in the neck, shoulder or arm area were also reported. The International Standard Organization (ISO) 8 hour "fatigue decreased proficiency" limits for whole body vibration were exceeded in one or more axes for all the machines; some machines would have exceeded the ISO "exposure limit" for 8 hours. The authors conclude that a potential health hazard existed at the time of the survey. The authors recommend that improvements be made in vehicle seats to offer more vibration isolation, work practices be modified to limit vibration exposure, work rotation be used to reduce vibration exposure during the work shift, and the wood yard be graded frequently to maintain as smooth an operating surface as possible.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-83-349-1901; Region-10; Hazard-Confirmed; Truck-drivers; Equipment-operators; Vibration-exposure; Vibration-control; Lumber-industry-workers; Author Keywords: Lumber Industry; whole-body vibration; fatigue-decreased proficiency; logging; log stacker; logging truck
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division