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The Effects Of Vibration On Psychophysical Grip And Push Force-Recall Accuracy - Introduction; Proceedings Of The First American Conference On Human Vibration
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    Workers using vibrating hand tools have the potential for developing health problems associated with repeated forceful actions and exposures to hand-transmitted vibration. Hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) and other hand-arm system disorders have been associated with such exposures.1-2 To better assess health risks, comprehensive evaluations of these exposures must include quantitative assessments of hand-tool coupling forces; unfortunately, no standardized method for quantifying hand forces exists. Handle instrumentation may be ill-suited for some field environments. Psychophysical force-recall techniques may provide alternatives to handle instrumentation. A thorough understanding of the effects of vibration and other factors on force-recall accuracy and reliability is important before such methods are applied in risk assessments. Methods In this study, the effects of vibration and other factors on the accuracy of psychophysical force-recall were explored in two experiments. Twelve male subjects participated in the first experiment. The second experiment employed 20 participants (10 female, 10 male). In each experiment, participants applied specific grip and push forces to an instrumented handle mounted on a shaker system. Participants were exposed to sinusoidal vibration at frequencies that ranged from 0 Hz to 250 Hz. Three levels of applied force (low: grip = 15 N/push = 25 N, medium: grip = 30 N/push = 50 N, and high: grip = 45 N/push = 75 N ) and two levels of vibration magnitude (low: ANSI 4-8-hr limit and high: ANSI <0.5-hr limit)3 were examined. During the vibration exposure period, participants were provided with visual feedback while they attempted to memorize the applied grip and push forces. At the conclusion of the vibration exposure/force memorization period and a controlled rest period, the participants tried to duplicate the grip and push forces on a non-vibrating handle without the aid of visual feedback. The effects of different vibration frequencies, vibration magnitudes, and grip and push force levels were tested in a random order from trial to trial. Results Participants tended to overestimate grip and push forces. Depending on exposure conditions, error means ranged from 2 N to 10 N. The ANOVA revealed that force-recall errors for exposures between 31.5 Hz and 63 Hz were significantly higher than those at other vibration frequencies (p < 0.05). The frequency effect is depicted in Figure 1. Error means were greater when participants were exposed to the higher vibration magnitude (mean = 9.1 N, 95% CI = 8.2-10.1 N) when compared with the lower vibration magnitude (mean = 4.9 N, 95% CI = 3.9-5.8 N) (p < 0.05). The effect of vibration magnitude is shown in Figure 2. The average error for

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