Whole-body vibration exposure among operators of heavy earthmoving equipment.
Inter-Noise 2006. The 35th International Congress and Exposition on Noise Control Engineering, December 3-6, 2006, Honolulu, Hawaii. West Lafayette, IN: International Institute of Noise Control Engineering, 2007 Aug; 5:2894-2902
Although numerous studies have shown an association between operation of heavy mobile equipment and symptoms of musculoskeletal disorders, very little research has been performed that objectively characterizes the exposure of operating engineers to ergonomic hazards. The objectives of this study were to: 1) evaluate the vibration at the seat/operator interface (X, Y, and Z axes) and 2) evaluate the transmissibility of vibration in the Zaxis. The study was performed at several different field sites. Eight journey-level (experienced) operators (7 males and 1 female) employed by two major contractors were studied. Each operator worked with a different piece of mobile equipment. The results of this study indicate that the dynamic activities (e.g., digging, chipping concrete, etc.) had higher levels of total weighted acceleration than high or low idling. The total transmissibility ratio for most activities was below unity indicating that the seat was attenuating the vibration levels in the 1-80 Hz frequency range. A closer analysis of the transmissibility data showed that the seat was amplifying vibration particularly in the lower frequencies (less than 20 Hz) demonstrating that the seats in the equipment may not be sufficient in protecting operators from the long-term effects of whole-body vibration exposure.
Musculoskeletal-system; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Equipment-operators; Exposure-levels; Engineering; Hazards; Ergonomics; Vibration; Vibration-exposure; Analytical-processes
N.K. Kittusamy, Spokane Research Laboratory, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 315 E. Montgomery Ave., Spokane, WA 99207
Inter-Noise 2006. The 35th International Congress and Exposition on Noise Control Engineering, December 3-6, 2006, Honolulu, Hawaii.