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Laboratory and field measurements and evaluations of vibration at the handles of riveting hammers.

McDowell TW; Warren C; Welcome DE; Dong RG
Ann Occup Hyg 2012 Oct; 56(8):911-924
The use of riveting hammers can expose workers to harmful levels of hand-transmitted vibration (HTV). As a part of efforts to reduce HTV exposures through tool selection, the primary objective of this study was to evaluate the applicability of a standardized laboratory-based riveting hammer assessment protocol for screening riveting hammers. The second objective was to characterize the vibration emissions of reduced vibration riveting hammers and to make approximations of the HTV exposures of workers operating these tools in actual work tasks. Eight pneumatic riveting hammers were selected for the study. They were first assessed in a laboratory using the standardized method for measuring vibration emissions at the tool handle. The tools were then further assessed under actual working conditions during three aircraft sheet metal riveting tasks. Although the average vibration magnitudes of the riveting hammers measured in the laboratory test were considerably different from those measured in the field study, the rank orders of the tools determined via these tests were fairly consistent, especially for the lower vibration tools. This study identified four tools that consistently exhibited lower frequency-weighted and unweighted accelerations in both the laboratory and workplace evaluations. These observations suggest that the standardized riveting hammer test is acceptable for identifying tools that could be expected to exhibit lower vibrations in workplace environments. However, the large differences between the accelerations measured in the laboratory and field suggest that the standardized laboratory-based tool assessment is not suitable for estimating workplace riveting hammer HTV exposures. Based on the frequency-weighted accelerations measured at the tool handles during the three work tasks, the sheet metal mechanics assigned to these tasks at the studied workplace are unlikely to exceed the daily vibration exposure action value (2.5 m s(-2)) using any of the evaluated riveting hammers.
Vibration; Vibration-exposure; Hand-tools; Power-tools; Jack-hammers; Laboratory-testing; Testing-equipment; Measurement-equipment; Employee-exposure; Pneumatic-tools; Exposure-levels; Exposure-assessment; Tools; Acceleration; Workplace-studies; Hand-injuries; Arm-injuries; Injury-prevention; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Risk-analysis; Author Keywords: exposure estimation; HAVS; musculoskeletal injury; risk assessment; vibration
Thomas W. McDowell, NIOSH Health Effects Laboratory, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 1095 Willowdale Road, Morgantown, WV 26505, USA
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Annals of Occupational Hygiene
Page last reviewed: March 25, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division