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Railroad Locomotive Whole-Body Vibration Study: Vibration, Shocks And Seat Ergonomics - Introduction; Proceedings Of The First American Conference On Human Vibration
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    North American railroad locomotive operators (engineers and conductors) are exposed to multi-axis vibration and shocks (1, 2). A recent epidemiological survey showed a prevalence of serious type of neck and lower back disorders nearly double that of a control group (3). Ergonomic working conditions are important co-factors in a vibration and shock exposure risk assessment (4, 5). The goal of this study is to illustrate typical work stations (cabs and seats) in US/Canadian type locomotives and assess shock related exposure risk by calculations of the new proposed shock risk indicators according to the new ISO 2631-5 (2004) (6). Methods Locomotive cab and seat inspections were conducted and operators activities were assessed by a trained observer. Field measurements (n=50) were obtained during normal revue service following generally accepted guidelines (ISO 2631 (1)). A sub-sample of n=20 locomotives were selected for the calculation of proposed shock indicators (ISO 2631 (5)). Results There has been little change in basic locomotive cab and seat design in the U.S.. Two locomotive cab design concepts are used: the Association of American Railroad (AAR) Control Stand and in newer series wide-body locomotives the Control Consol (Figures 1-2), with varying seating conditions, but frequently subjecting the operator to an awkward body posture in addition to the vibration and shock exposure. [ ]
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