Predicting and controlling risks from human exposures to vibration and mechanical shock

Flag waving and flag weaving
At work or in leisure activities, many people are exposed to vibration or mechanical shocks associated with risks of injury or disease. This paper identifies information that can be used to decide whether there may be a risk from exposure to hand-transmitted vibration or whole-body vibration and shock, and suggests actions that can control the risks. The complex and time-varying nature of human exposures to vibration and shock, the complexity of the different disorders and uncertainty as to the mechanisms of injury and the factors influencing injury have prevented the definition of dose-response relationships well proven by scientific study. It is necessary to wave a flag indicating when there is a need to control risks from exposure to vibration and shock while scientific enquiry provides understanding needed to weave a better flag. It is concluded that quantifying exposure severity is often neither necessary nor sufficient to either identify risks or implement measures that control the risks.Practitioner Summary: The identification of risks associated with exposure to vibration and mechanical shock cannot, and need not, rely solely on the quantification of exposure severity. Qualitative methods can provide a sufficient indication of the need for control measures, which should not be restricted to reducing standardised measures of exposure severity.

Source: Griffin MJ. Ergonomics, 2014.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00140139.2014.933887

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