The Impact of Ergonomic Interventions on Human Whole-body Vibration of Heavy Machinery Drivers of Sarcheshmeh Copper Complex
Introduction: There are mechanical vibrations in the vehicle and around industrial machinery and their operators are exposed constantly, which increases the risk of musculoskeletal disorders and ultimately affects their overall health, negatively. So, the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of ergonomic interventions on human whole body vibration of heavy machinery drivers in the Sarcheshmeh copper complex.
Materials and Methods: In order to evaluate drivers' exposure to whole-body vibration total 25 drivers were investigated out of 45. The measurement was done before and after intervention, using the Brike & Kjær 4447 model in the three axes (X, Y, Z) for each operator according to ISO 2632-1 (1997). Also obtained values were compared with occupational exposure limits recommended by the Iranian Ministry of Health. Data analysis was done using independent t-test by SPSS software version 19.
Results: Before the intervention, the maximum exposure to whole-body vibration in the z-axis was the main axis of vibration to the drivers’ body. Comparing the results with equivalent standards was determined that the equivalent acceleration in all vehicles were higher than permissible limits (0.65 m.s-2). The mean and maximum exposure before and after the intervention were 0.66, 0.56, 0.88 and 0.63 m.s-2, respectively, which were significantly different (P<0.001).
Conclusion: Applying engineering and administrative interventions such as seat replacement and modification of the suspension system, work pace control and training operators to control vehicle suitably, can play a meaningful role in reducing exposure to vibration is heavy mining machinery.
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