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The effect of vibration exposure during haul truck operation on grip strength, touch sensation, and balance
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  • Alternative Title:
    Int J Ind Ergon
  • Description:
    Falls from mobile equipment are reported at surface mine quarry operations each year in considerable numbers. Research shows that a preponderance of falls occur while getting on/off mobile equipment. Contributing factors to the risk of falls include the usage of ladders, exiting onto a slippery surface, and foot or hand slippage. Balance issues may also contribute to fall risks for mobile equipment operators who are exposed to whole-body vibration (WBV). For this reason, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Office of Mine Safety and Health Research conducted a study at four participating mine sites with seven haul truck operators. The purpose was to ascertain whether WBV and hand-arm vibration (HAV) exposures for quarry haul truck operators were linked to short-term decreases in performance in relation to postural stability, touch sensation threshold, and grip strength that are of crucial importance when getting on/off the trucks. WBV measures of frequency-weighted RMS accelerations (wRMS) and vibration dose value (VDV), when compared to the ISO/ANSI standards, were mostly below levels identified for the Health Guidance Caution Zone (HGCZ), although there were instances where the levels were within and above the specified Exposure Action Value. Comparably, all mean HAV levels, when compared to the ISO/ANSI standards, were below the HGCZ. For the existing conditions and equipment, no significant correlation could be identified between the WBV, HAV, postural stability, touch sensation threshold, and grip strength measures taken during this study.
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