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The Effect of a Mechanical Arm System on Portable Grinder Vibration Emissions
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Details:
  • Pubmed ID:
    26628522
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC4779390
  • Description:
    Mechanical arm systems are commonly used to support powered hand tools to alleviate ergonomic stressors related to the development of workplace musculoskeletal disorders. However, the use of these systems can increase exposure times to other potentially harmful agents such as hand-transmitted vibration. To examine how these tool support systems affect tool vibration, the primary objectives of this study were to characterize the vibration emissions of typical portable pneumatic grinders used for surface grinding with and without a mechanical arm support system at a workplace and to estimate the potential risk of the increased vibration exposure time afforded by the use of these mechanical arm systems. This study also developed a laboratory-based simulated grinding task based on the ISO 28927-1 (2009) standard for assessing grinder vibrations; the simulated grinding vibrations were compared with those measured during actual workplace grinder operations. The results of this study demonstrate that use of the mechanical arm may provide a health benefit by reducing the forces required to lift and maneuver the tools and by decreasing hand-transmitted vibration exposure. However, the arm does not substantially change the basic characteristics of grinder vibration spectra. The mechanical arm reduced the average frequency-weighted acceleration by about 24% in the workplace and by about 7% in the laboratory. Because use of the mechanical arm system can increase daily time-on-task by 50% or more, the use of such systems may actually increase daily time-weighted hand-transmitted vibration exposures in some cases. The laboratory acceleration measurements were substantially lower than the workplace measurements, and the laboratory tool rankings based on acceleration were considerably different than those from the workplace. Thus, it is doubtful that ISO 28927-1 is useful for estimating workplace grinder vibration exposures or for predicting workplace grinder acceleration rank orders.

  • Document Type:
  • Collection(s):
  • Funding:
    CC999999/Intramural CDC HHS/United States
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