Every one of us is exposed to vibration, either through our workplace or home environment. Vibrations can come from the natural world around us or from the man-made environments in which we spend our time.
Every one of us is exposed to vibration, either through our workplace or home environment
Every one of us is exposed to vibration, either through our workplace or home environment. Vibrations can come from the natural world around us or from the man-made environments in which we spend our time. What are some sources of vibrations that you have experienced in your life? What did you do to mitigate the vibration?
But we cannot determine if what we feel is going to be harmful. For that, we must measure vibration exposure.
Vibration is the mechanical oscillations of an object about an equilibrium point. The oscillations may be regular such as the motion of a pendulum or random such as the movement of a tire on a gravel road. The study of health effects of vibration require measures of the overall “pressure waves” (vibration energy) generated by the vibrating equipment or structure.
Vibration enters the body from the part of the body or organ in contact with vibrating equipment.
When a worker operates hand-held equipment such as a chain saw or jackhammer, vibration affects hands and arms. Such an exposure is called hand-arm vibration exposure. When a worker sits or stands on a vibrating floor or seat, the vibration exposure affects almost the entire body and is called whole-body vibration exposure.
The risk of vibration induced injury depends on the average daily exposure. An evaluation of the risk takes into account the intensity and frequency of the vibration, the duration (years) of exposure and the part of the body which receives the vibration energy.
Hand-arm vibration causes damage to hands and fingers. It appears as damage to blood vessels, nerves and joints in the fingers. The resulting condition is known as white finger disease, Raynaud’s phenomenon or hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS). One of the symptoms is that affected fingers may turn white, especially when exposed to cold. Vibration-induced white finger disease also causes a loss of grip force and loss of sensitivity to touch.