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Comparative analysis of exposure limit values of vibrating hand-held tools
In the European Union, one of every four workers claims to be exposed to vibration for up to 2 h of his/her working day. The use of vibrating hand-held tools is the most common cause of vibration-related injury in workers. Of all sectors of professional activity, the construction industry has the highest number of workers affected by vibration. European Directive 2002/44/EC on the minimum health and safety requirements regarding worker exposure to risks from physical agents (e.g. vibration) limits exposure to vibration. This study analysed the exposure level of construction workers to hand-arm...
An investigation into the effects of potential changes in concrete properties when aged and weathered on hand arm vibration emission magnitudes
During vibration emission measurements of hammers according to EN60745-2-6 (work published as RR868), variations in results were found which appeared to be related to the condition or age of the concrete test blocks following a 12-month period of outside storage. In one case, the emission value was reduced by 36%. For two of the three tools identified in RR868, the variation in vibration emission resulted in a change from the manufacturers' data not being verified to being verified in accordance with EN12096. This work aimed to replicate the situation that gave rise to the results detailed...
Quantitative neurosensory findings, symptoms and signs in young vibration exposed workers
Background: Long-term exposure to hand-held vibrating tools may cause the hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) including vibration induced white fingers and sensorineural symptoms. The aim was to study early neurosensory effects by quantitative vibrotactile and monofilament tests in young workers with hand-held vibration exposure. Methods: This cross-sectional study consisted of 142 young, male machine shop and construction workers with hand-held exposure to vibrating tools. They were compared with 41 non-vibration exposed subjects of the same age-group. All participants passed a structured interview...
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...
Comparative analysis of exposure limit values of vibrating hand-held tools
In the European Union, one of every four workers claims to be exposed to vibration for up to 2 h of his/her working day. The use of vibrating hand-held tools is the most common cause of vibration-related injury in workers. Of all sectors of professional activity, the construction industry has the highest number of workers affected by vibration. European Directive 2002/44/EC on the minimum health and safety requirements regarding worker exposure to risks from physical agents (e.g. vibration) limits exposure to vibration.This study analysed the exposure level of construction workers to hand-arm vibration...
Mining, Manufacturing, and Construction industries need better engineering controls for noise
The purpose of this study is to estimate the prevalence of hearing loss among U.S. industries. 2000–2008 audiograms for male and female workers ages 18–65, who had higher occupational noise exposures than the general population, were examined. Prevalence and adjusted prevalence ratios (PRs) for hearing loss were estimated and compared across industries. In our sample, 18% of workers had hearing loss. Workers in the Mining, Manufacturing, and Construction industries need better engineering controls for noise and stronger hearing conservation strategies. More hearing loss research is...
Réduction des vibrations au poste de conduite des engins de chantier : Travailler sans secousse
Les conducteurs et opérateurs d'engins de chantier sont régulièrement exposés à des vibrations et chocs transmis à l'ensemble du corps par le siège et le plancher. Pour la plupart des engins, l'exposition est au-dessus de la valeur d'action définie par le décret n° 2005-746. Dans certains cas, la valeur limite peut être dépassée. Ce guide introduit une démarche générale, pour réduire le risque vibratoire, qui est reprise en trois fiches spécifiques aux familles...
Employers can take steps to reduce the risk of back over on worksites
Concerns are growing about the high number of deaths due to vehicles or equipment backing over workers. An OSHA standard for regulating backing operations does not exist, but employers can take proactive steps to reduce the hazard. “There is some fatigue associated with [backing alarms] in that you hear the same sound over and over again, and it starts to lose its meaning,” said Steve Hawkins, assistant administrator at the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Back-up alarms are not necessarily directional – workers on the ground may have no idea where the...
Reducing whole-body vibration exposure in backhoe loaders by education of operators
Whole-body vibration is a health hazard for operators of construction machinery. The level of whole-body vibration exposure on the operator is governed by three different factors; performance of the suspension system of the machine, planning of the work and the skills of the operator.In this research work it is investigated whether there is a potential in bringing down the level of whole-body vibration exposure by educating operators of backhoe loaders. This is carried out by an experimental setup. Six experienced operators participated in the experiments carried out on two different sizes of backhoe...
Évaluation de l'exposition aux vibrations globales du corps chez les opérateurs de compacteurs de sol
L'exécution de travaux routiers et de compactage de sols se fait généralement à l'aide de compacteurs vibrants monocylindres (à rouleau compresseur). Or, ces engins exposent les opérateurs à des niveaux de vibrations globales du corps élevés, reconnues comme un facteur de risque du développement de lombalgies. Seules quelques études européennes ont jusqu'ici caractérisé leurs vibrations, lesquelles dépassent parfois la limite maximale d'exposition quotidienne. Cette activité...
Wireless Communication : Good team communication under difficult and potentially dangerous conditions required
Team communication is absolutely essential in creating a safe, productive and effective work environment. Ambient noise can dramatically affect the clarity of team communications. First responders may be subjected to deafening siren noise while en route to a rescue operation, but they are not alone. Many industries expose workers to high noise levels on the job. Airport ground personnel must contend with the roar of jet engines. Road and construction crews must communicate against a backdrop of heavy equipment. Factory workers must talk over the noise of a manufacturing plant. These seemingly unrelated...
Bridge the gap between traditional hearing protection and communication.
The hearing capabilities of a worker are very important for communication, gaining situational awareness, and reducing the risk of other hazards or injury. However, understanding communications in extreme noise and at work sites is always challenging while wearing hearing protection. Too much protection and a worker cannot hear and is vulnerable to other safety hazards. Too little protection, and the worker is inadequately protected and at a higher risk for noise-induced hearing loss . For those who seek to bridge the gap between traditional hearing protection and communication, the technology...
Damper with optimised progressive damping characteristic is better at shock mitigation than suspended commercial seat as presently available
A single degree-of-freedom simulation model of a seat equipped with a non-linear fore-and-aft suspension system was developed. The performance of a typical fore-and-aft suspension system was analysed using typical vibration and shock acceleration signals measured in loaders while travelling on off-road terrain and while driving the bucket into a heap of soil. The simulations are of use to seat manufacturers in developing improved fore-and-aft seat suspension for wheel loaders. Source: Study of simultaneous shock and vibration control by a fore-and-aft suspension system of a driver’s seat...
Study recommandations to greatly reduce the transmission of vertical vibration to the operator.
Vibratory soil compactors are articulated vehicles designed to achieve efficient compaction of the soil and road base-layers through a vibratory drum/roller integrating an unbalanced rotating mass. The low frequency whole-body vibration are directly transmitted to the operator through the driver seat, which in the vast majority of the vehicles employed in Québec is limited to a polyurethane foam cushion. The results of this study suggest that the seat and the cabin mounts amplify the low frequency vibration for all the vehicles considered but this amplification is limited for the 13-ton...
Duration of noise exposure, a better predictor than noise exposure levels
In this retrospective study, medical records of periodic occupational health examinations of 29,644 construction workers are analysed. Pure-tone audiometric thresholds of noise-exposed workers are compared to a non-exposed control group and to ISO-1999 predictions. Regression analyses are conducted to explore the relationship between hearing loss and noise intensity, noise exposure time and the use of hearing protection. For the first decade, the population medians show poorer hearing than predicted by ISO-1999. Duration of noise exposure was a better predictor than noise exposure levels, probably...
Construction workers followed for 10 years had a substantial potential risk of NIHL
Estimates were developed including work duration, trade-mean (TM)-equivalent continuous exposure level ( L EQ ), task-based (TB) L EQ , a hybrid L EQ combining TB and subjective information, and an estimate of noise exposure ‘peakiness'. Hybrid and TB exposure estimates demonstrated much greater variability than TM estimates. Work duration and estimates of exposure peakiness showed poor agreement with average exposures, suggesting that these metrics evaluate different aspects of exposure and may have different predictive value for estimating NIHL. Construction workers in the cohort had...
Pneumatic nail guns produce loud “impulse” noise peaks in a range from 109 to 136 dBA.
Pneumatic nail guns produce short (less than a tenth of a second in du­ration) but loud “impulse” noise peaks: one from driving the nail and one from exhausting the air. Most nail gun manufacturers recommend that users wear hearing protection when operating a nailer. Available information indicates that nail gun noise can vary depending on the gun, the work piece, air pressure, and the work setting. The type of trigger system does not appear to affect the noise level. Peak noise emission levels for several nailers ranged from 109 to 136 dBA. These loud short bursts can contribute...
A hybrid of task-based and subjective rating of noise estimates is more accurate than exposure estimates from individual assessment techniques.
Any exposure estimation technique has inherent strengths and limitations. In an effort to improve exposure estimates, this study developed and evaluated the performance of several hybrid exposure estimates created by combining information from individual assessment techniques. Three single exposure assessment techniques [trade mean (TM), task-based (TB), and subjective rating (SR)] were used to estimate exposures for each subject. Hybrid techniques were then developed which incorporated the TM, SR, and TB noise exposure estimates via arithmetic mean combination, linear regression combination, and...
New comprehensive OSHA Web page on preventing work-related hearing loss contains a wealth of information to help businesses and workers
OSHA launched a new Safety and Health Topics page on Occupational Noise Exposure to provide resources to prevent noise-related hearing loss, which has been listed as one of the most prevalent occupational health concerns in the United States for more than 25 years. Approximately 30 million people in the United States are occupationally exposed to hazardous noise and thousands of workers every year suffer from preventable hearing loss due to high workplace noise levels. The new Web page provides information on the health effects of hazardous noise exposure and comprehensive information on controls...
Mechanical vibration to walking/working surfaces at elevation should be minimized for construction workers' balance.
The risk of falls from height on a construction site increases under conditions which degrade workers' postural control. At elevation, workers depend heavily on sensory information from their feet to maintain balance. The study tested two hypotheses: undetectable random mechanical vibrations at the plantar surface of the feet can improve worker's balance at elevation; and detectable random mechanical vibrations can have a degrading effect on balance in the same experimental settings. Sensory suppression (detectable vibration) associated with elevated vibration levels on a construction site...
Une enquête française révèle que 39 % des travailleurs sont gênés par le bruit au travail
Le bruit au travail augmente de 24 % le risque d'accident avec arrêt de travail . Les ouvriers (57 % d’entre eux) et les personnes travaillant sur les chantiers (71%) sont incommodés par le bruit. De plus, 36 % des employés et 28 % des cadres supérieurs et professions intermédiaires souffrent des nuisances sonores. L’environnement de travail a aussi son importance : 51 % des travailleurs en aire ouverte ou centre d’appels, 47 % des salariés des ateliers de production et 18 % des personnes présentes dans un restaurant d'entreprise...
A multi-component intervention to promote hearing protector use among construction workers
A baseline hearing loss prevention training and a follow-up ‘toolbox’ (TB) reinforcement trainings was reinforced by the use of a personal noise level indicator (NLI). Prior to intervention, HPDs were used an average of 34.5% of the time and increased significantly, up about 12.1% after intervention and 7.5% two months after interventions were completed. The increase in HPD use was greatest among the group receiving both TB and NLI interventions; up about 25% from baseline, and this group was about two times more likely to use HPDs than the BL (baseline) training only group. Source...
The noise exposure of working divers – Diving information sheet No 14
This sheet discusses noise in relation to diving activities in general and divers' exposure to noise underwater in particular. This diving information sheet is part of a series of information sheets providing guidance on diving at work. It provides information on the levels of noise that commercial divers are exposed to as well as guidance on the responsibilities of diving contractors with respect to the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 (CoNWR05).1 This sheet discusses noise in relation to diving activities in general and divers' exposure to noise underwater in particular. More...
Podcast – Noise and vibration at work
In this episode: We talked to HSE's Pete Lennon about tackling the risks from noise and vibration in the workplace. HSE launches new construction initiative aimed at stopping bad practise on building sites. A Yorkshire council is fined £75,000 after an employee was killed by a reversing truck. New tower cranes laws commence April 2010. HSE Infoline describes what toilet facilities should be available in workplaces. Source : http://news.hse.gov.uk/2010/03/31/podcast-noise-and-vibration-at-work

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