Whole Body Vibration Exposure of Surface Coal Mining Machine Operators 840479

Field measurements utilizing a seat pad accelerometer were made on 61 surface coal mining machines in order to quantify the vibration levels experienced by the operators. Those data were combined with information on the statistics of the operating times of those machines in order to compare the operator's vibration exposure to the criteria in ISO 2631, “A Guide for the Evaluation of Human Exposure to Whole Body Vibration.” The comparison showed that about half of all surface coal mining machine operators can be expected to be exposed to vibration exceeding the fatigue decreased proficiency criterion, whereas only 7% to 22% would be expected to experience vibration exceeding the exposure limit. Detailed exposure statistics are presented and the implications of the results are discussed.


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