Hand-arm vibration syndrome in a group of U.S. uranium miners exposed to hand-arm vibration.
Wasserman-DE; Behrens-VJ; Pelmear-PL; Ilka-R; Reynolds-DD; Doyle-TE; Samueloff-S; Goff-RJ
Appl Occup Environ Hyg 1991 Mar; 6(3):183-187
A group of 134 uranium miners participated in medical evaluations in New Mexico in an effort to explore hand/arm vibration syndrome (HAVS). Jack leg type drills were used on the job by 92 of these workers. While four of the miners operated two jack leg type drills and a jack hammer, engineering evaluations were carried out. After screening for confounding exposures or medical conditions, 49 miners were selected, 17% of whom were in the vascular stages of Hand/Arm Vibration Syndrome and 24% in the neurologic stages according to the Taylor/Pelmear Classification System. A median latency of 4.5 years for tingling, numbness, and blanching was observed. A range of unweighted vibration acceleration levels of 5.16 to 19.04 grams (root mean square) in the axial tool axis was measured on three pneumatic tools including both a small and large jack leg type drill and a small jack hammer. These results revealed a lower rate of HAVS, a longer latency of HAVS, and lower vibration levels among workers using jack leg type drills compared with earlier results for workers using chipping and grinding tools. The authors conclude that exposure to hand/arm vibration from the jack leg type drill could not be considered safe as workers with HAVS were identified.
NIOSH-Author; Mining-industry; Vibration-exposure; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Vibration-disease; Power-tools; Pneumatic-equipment; Pneumatic-tools
Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene