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Prevalence of hearing loss among noise-exposed workers within the agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting sector, 2003-2012
Background: The purpose of this study was to estimate the prevalence of hearing loss among noise-exposed US workers within the Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting (AFFH) sector. Methods: Audiograms for 1.4 million workers (17 299 within AFFH) from 2003 to 2012 were examined. Prevalence, and the adjusted risk for hearing loss as compared with the reference industry (Couriers and Messengers), were estimated. Results: The overall AFFH sector prevalence was 15% compared to 19% for all industries combined, but many of the AFFH sub-sectors exceeded the overall prevalence. Forestry sub...
Association Between Farm Machinery Operation and Low Back Disorder in Farmers
A Retrospective Cohort Study Objective: The association between whole body vibration (WBV) as measured by annual accumulated use of all-terrain vehicles (ATV)/combine/tractor operation and low back disorders (LBDs) among farmers was investigated. Methods: Saskatchewan Farm Injury Cohort Study data was used. Baseline data were collected in 2007 on the three vehicle types and other factors. Follow-up data on LBD symptoms were collected during 2013 resulting in 1149 samples. Results: Adjusted for age, education, and gender, LBDs were associated with tractor operation for 1 to 150 hours/year (Relative...
Hearing Loss and Noise Exposure Among Commercial Fishermen in the Gulf Coast
Objective: Noise is a hazard in commercial fishing. This cross-sectional study associates occupational noise exposure with hearing loss in commercial fishermen. Methods: A comprehensive survey and audiometric testing were administered to 227 participants in the Gulf Coast. Sound-level measurements were obtained aboard a sample of fishing vessels. Criteria specific for hearing impairment (HI) and noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) were applied to each audiogram. Results: The majority of these fishermen work shifts more than 16 hours for an extended duration. Hazardous noise levels were measured in...
Coupling forces exerted on chain saws by inexperienced tree fellers
Prolonged, intensive exposure to vibrations produced by vibrating tools could cause non-specific disorders in upper extremities of the operator, referred to as hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS). The severity of HAVS is affected by the magnitude of coupling forces exerted on the tool handle. The aim of the study was to measure the coupling forces exerted by inexperienced tree fellers on chain saws. Forces exerted by inexperienced tree fellers were compared to those of professional lumberjacks to investigate the relationship between the coupling forces and the experience of the chain saw operator...
Noise-induced hearing loss
Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) still remains a problem in developed countries, despite reduced occupational noise exposure, strict standards for hearing protection and extensive public health awareness campaigns. Therefore NIHL continues to be the focus of noise research activities. This paper summarizes progress achieved recently in our knowledge of NIHL. It includes papers published between the years 2008-2011 (in English), which were identified by a literature search of accessible medical and other relevant databases. A substantial part of this research has been concerned with the risk of...
Vibration and mechanical shock exposure strongly associated with prevalence of neck pain
The objective of this study was to determine whether whole-body vibration (WBV) and mechanical shock exposure from quad bike use are associated with the prevalence of neck and low back pain (LBP) in New Zealand farmers and rural workers. Physical exposures (mechanical shocks), employee status, and low levels of workplace satisfaction are all significantly associated with the 12-month prevalence of LBP in this rural workforce that regularly uses quad bikes. Both vibration and mechanical shock exposure were strongly associated with 12-month prevalence of neck pain. The 7-day prevalence of neck pain...
Exploring how anthropometric, vehicle and workplace factors influence whole-body vibration exposures during on-farm use of a quad bike
The primary aim of this study is to determine whether a combination of body height, terrain and vehicle mechanical factors confound for the effect of body mass on WBV exposure while using a quad bike under normal rural working conditions. A seat pad mounted triaxial accelerometer and data logger recorded full work day vibration and shock data from 130 New Zealand rural workers. Personal, vehicle and workplace characteristics were gathered using a modified version of the Whole Body Vibration Health Surveillance Questionnaire. Whole-body vibrations were analysed in accordance with the ISO 2631-1...
A tuned vibration absorber reduces the risk of hand-arm vibration syndrome for a grass trimmer
Prolonged use of electric grass trimmer exposes the user to the risk of hand-arm vibration syndrome. A simple approach for the suppression of hand-arm vibration in electric grass trimmer is presented. The proposed system is a tuned vibration absorber (TVA). The results indicated that minimum vibration level was related to the position of the TVA on the shaft of electric grass trimmer. The tuned vibration absorber when installed to the electric grass trimmer attenuated the vibration total value by 67%. This significantly reduces the risk of hand-arm vibration syndrome. Source : Tuned vibration absorber...
Handle types on the commonly used grass trimmer reaches the exposure limit value for daily vibration exposure.
The portable petrol driven grass trimmer is identified as a type of machine whose operator can be subjected to large magnitude of hand-arm vibration. The vibration total level on the handle of grass trimmer of 11.30 m/s 2 was measured, and it has reached the exposure limit value of 5.0 m/s 2 for daily vibration exposure A(8). Operators were not fully aware of the level of vibration. Different prototype handles were tested; one that is made of heavier material results in the lowest hand-arm vibration. The new handle has significantly reduced the vibration total value by 76% compare with the existing...
Hand-arm vibration of horticultural machinery Part 2
The work described in this report assesses the standard test for hedge trimmers defined in BS EN ISO 10517:2009 for repeatability and ease of use and where possible for reproducibility (by comparing machine manufacturers’ declared vibration against HSL measurements to the same standardised procedures). It also assesses the validity of the measurement techniques adopted in the vibration emission test, investigates some of the factors which are likely to influence the results of the test and compares the vibration emission values with vibration magnitudes measured under real operating conditions...
Hand-arm vibration of horticultural machinery: Part 1
In recent years there have been many cases of HAVS being reported for people who work in agriculture, horticulture and landscape gardening. HSE/HSL does not currently hold much information on vibration exposures in these areas of work. The work described in this research report assesses the standard test defined in BS EN 836:1997 (incorporating amendments Nos. 1 to 3) for repeatability and ease of use and where possible for reproducibility (by comparing machine manufacturers' declared vibration against HSL measurements to the same standardised procedures). Source : http://www.hse.gov.uk/research...
Bruit et vibrations, une combinaison dangereuse.
La perte auditive des travailleurs atteints des «doigts blancs» est plus marquée que celle de ceux non atteints. L'exposition au bruit et la durée de l'exposition sont associées à l'acquisition de la surdité. La présence des doigts blancs augmente le risque d'une augmentation de la perte auditive. Cette étude auprès de travailleurs forestiers montre des différences significatives à 500 et 1000 Hz. Source : Le bruit et les vibrations: une combinaison dangereuse. A. Turcot, S.-A. Girard et al. Dans Les...
Whole-body vibration in agriculture
This information sheet outlines the risk of developing back pain from whole-body vibration (WBV) in agriculture and provides an explanation what you can do to reduce exposure to it. http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/ais20.pdf

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