A Summary of Current Bureau Research Into the Effects of Whole-Body Vibration and Shock on Operators of Underground Mobile Equipment
Description:This report discusses current research by the U.S. Bureau of Mines on the effects of whole-body vibration (WBV) and shock on underground mobile equipment operators. The highlights of a comprehensive literature review of WBV, shock, and seating are presented. Factors discussed include health and physiological effects, comfort, performance, and fatigue. Vibration data were collected from shuttle cars and ramcars at several underground coal mines in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Illinois. The data were formatted so that they could be used to drive the Bureau's motion platform, and to compare them with ANSI S3-1979, Guide for the Evaluation of Human Exposure to Whole-Body Vibration. Human subject testing in the Bureau's vibration research laboratory evaluated the effects of two different seat angles and of the presence or absence of vibration and of foam padding on heart rate, blood pressure, and subjective discomfort. Only vibration significantly increased heart rate and systolic and mean blood pressures. Vibration and a steel seat had a significant effect on subjective discomfort. The apparatus used for these tests and the experimental procedures are described in detail. Recommendations are made for additional research on the exposure of underground mining machine operators to WBV and shock.
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