OCCUPATIONAL VIBRATION EXPOSURE: UNDERSTANDING, EVALUATING AND PREVENTING HEALTH RISKS

World Mining Congress
Miners can be exposed to whole-body vibration (WBV), when sitting or standing to operate mobile equipment. In order to prevent vibration-induced injury it is important to understand how miners can be exposed to vibration, the health risks associated with vibration exposure, methods to evaluate vibration exposure, and strategies to reduce vibration exposure. WBV exposure typically occurs when operating mobile equipment, such as a load-haul-dump vehicle, haulage truck, or dozer. The probability of health effects such as low back pain, neck pain, headaches, and gastrointestinal track problems occurring from daily vibration exposure can be determined based on criterion values published in ISO 2631-1 and EU Directive 2002/44/EC. A special case of WBV termed foot-transmitted vibration (FTV) occurs when a miner is exposed to vibration that travels through the feet. FTV typically occurs when standing on vibrating surfaces associated with the operation of locomotives, jumbo drills, bolters, or raise platforms; however, there is no set standard to evaluate health effects associated with FTV. Recent medical evidence confirms workers exposed to FTV can develop cold induced blanching of the toes, in addition to numbness and tingling in the feet and toes.
Keywords: vibration; Health; Risks; Risk; Vehicles; Operators; Frequency; Value; Equipment; mining;
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