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An examination of the vibration transmissibility of the hand-arm system in three orthogonal directions.

Welcome DE; Dong RG; Xu XS; Warren C; McDowell TW; Wu JZ
Int J Ind Ergon 2015 Feb; 45(1):21-34
The objective of this study is to enhance the understanding of the vibration transmission in the hand-arm system in three orthogonal directions (X, Y, and Z). For the first time, the transmitted vibrations distributed on the entire hand-arm system exposed in the three orthogonal directions via a 3-D vibration test system were measured using a 3-D laser vibrometer. Seven adult male subjects participated in the experiment. This study confirms that the vibration transmissibility generally decreased with the increase in distance from the hand and it varied with the vibration direction. Specifically, to the upper arm and shoulder, only moderate vibration transmission was measured in the test frequency range (16 to 500Hz), and virtually no transmission was measured in the frequency range higher than 50Hz. The resonance vibration on the forearm was primarily in the range of 16-30Hz with the peak amplitude of approximately 1.5 times of the input vibration amplitude. The major resonance on the dorsal surfaces of the hand and wrist occurred at around 30-40Hz and, in the Y direction, with peak amplitude of more than 2.5 times of the input amplitude. At higher than 50Hz, vibration transmission was effectively limited to the hand and fingers. A major finger resonance was observed at around 100Hz in the X and Y directions and around 200Hz in the Z direction. In the fingers, the resonance magnitude in the Z direction was generally the lowest, and the resonance magnitude in the Y direction was generally the highest with the resonance amplitude of 3 times the input vibration, which was similar to the transmissibility at the wrist and hand dorsum. The implications of the results are discussed. Relevance to industry: Prolonged, intensive exposure to hand-transmitted vibration could result in hand-arm vibration syndrome. While the syndrome's precise mechanisms remain unclear, the characterization of the vibration transmissibility of the system in the three orthogonal dimensions performed in this study can help understand the syndrome and help develop improved frequency weightings for assessing the risk of the exposure for developing various components of the syndrome.
Hand-injuries; Extremities; Vibration; Vibration-effects; Vibration-exposure; Exposure-levels; Risk-factors; Humans; Men; Musculoskeletal-system; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders
Ren G. Dong, ECTB/HELD/NIOSH/CDC, 1095 Willowdale Road, MS L-2027, Morgantown, WV 26505
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International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics
Page last reviewed: May 27, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division