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Whole body vibration exposure patterns in Canadian prairie farmers.

Authors
  • Zeng, Xiaoke1
  • Kociolek, Aaron M2
  • Khan, Muhammad Idrees1
  • Milosavljevic, Stephan3
  • Bath, Brenna3, 4
  • Trask, Catherine4
  • 1 a Department of Community Health and Epidemiology , University of Saskatchewan , Saskatoon , Canada. , (Canada)
  • 2 b School of Physical and Health Education , Nipissing University , North Bay , Canada. , (Canada)
  • 3 c School of Physical Therapy , University of Saskatchewan , Saskatoon , Canada. , (Canada)
  • 4 d Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture , University of Saskatchewan , Saskatoon , Canada. , (Canada)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Ergonomics
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2017
Volume
60
Issue
8
Pages
1064–1073
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/00140139.2016.1252859
PMID: 27780437
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

Whole body vibration is a significant physical risk factor associated with low back pain. This study assessed farmers' exposure to whole body vibration on the Canadian prairies according to ISO 2631-1. Eighty-seven vibration measurements were collected with a triaxial accelerometer embedded in a rubber seat pad at the operator-seat interface of agricultural machinery, including tractors, combines, pickup trucks, grain trucks, sprayers, swathers, all-terrain vehicles, and skid steers. Whole body vibration was highest in the vertical axis, with a mean (range) frequency-weighted root mean squared acceleration of 0.43 m/s2 (0.19-1.06 m/s2). Mean crest factors exceeded 9 in all 3 axes, indicating high mechanical shock content. The vertical axis vibration dose value was 7.55 m/s1.75 (2.18-37.59 m/s1.75), with 41.4% of measurements within or above the health guidance caution zone. These high exposures in addition to an ageing agricultural workforce may increase health risks even further, particularly for the low back. Practitioner Summary: Agricultural workers are frequently exposed to whole body vibration while operating farm equipment, presenting a substantial risk to musculoskeletal health including the low back. Assessing vibration exposure is critical in promoting a safe occupational environment, and may inform interventions to reduce farmer's exposure to vibration.

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