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Physiological Responses And Subjective Discomfort Of Simulated Whole-Body Vibration From A Mobile Underground Mining Machine
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    The U.S. Bureau of Mines has developed an in-house facility to evaluate selected effects of whole-body vibration (WBV) levels experienced by underground mobile equipment operators, Vertical vibration data were collected from a coal haulage vehicle via a uniaxial accelerometer attached to the machine frame under the operator's seat. Data were analyzed and processed so a computer-controlled platform could approximate the vibration signals. Eight men (35.5 yr 2 6.5 SD) participated in a pilot study to evaluate the effects of shock and kBV on heart rate (HR), blood pressure (BP), and subjective discomfort. Subjects were exposed to vibration for 30-min periods while seated in a typical seat (backrest angle at 90° or 130°) 'that was plain steel or modified with 2 in foam padding. Subjects repeated the same protocol on a separate day, without the vibration. Results indicated the vibration significantly increased the HR (Q< 0.01), systolic BP, mean BP, the number of times subjects reported discomfort, and overall subjective discomfort rating (pc 0.85). When seated in the steel seat, the overall discomfort rating (E< 0,081) ad the number of times discomfort was reported (p< 0.05) increased significantly. Seatback angle had no significant effect on any of the dependent measures.

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