CEL-960 Human Vibration Dosimeter –Whole Body

Risk of injury from Whole-body vibration (WBV) exposure is common to many industries, especially where workers are operating heavy equipment, fork lifts or off-road vehicles – even those working in mass transit are susceptible to the hazards brought on by WBV exposure day in and day out. Since different parts of the body structure resonate at different vibration frequencies, it is important to have measurement tools that can provide full frequency analysis capability to apply the optimal corrective action.

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Some studies have associated degeneration of the lumbar spine with long-term exposure to high levels of WBV, but not a lot is known about the specific physiological reseponse and effects of exposure to WBV on the musculoskeletal system . 
Exposure to whole-body vibration may also cause other health effects such as:

  • cardiovascular, respiratory, endocrine and metabolic changes
  • problems with the digestive system
  • reproductive risk in females
  • impairment of vision, balance or both
  • interference with vehicle control and resultant injury

The main sources of harmful whole-body vibration in vehicles and machines are:

  • rough road and poor work surface conditions
  • excessive vehicle activity
  • wheel imbalance
  • engine and drivetrain vibration

Factors that can decrease or increase exposure include:

  • road construction and maintenance
  • vehicle type and design
  • age and condition of vehicle
  • maintenance of vehicle suspension systems
  • seat design, suspension and maintenance
  • cab layout, design and orientation
  • vehicle speed, driver skills and awareness
  • lighting and visibility
  • task design and work organization

The measurement and assessment of whole-body vibration exposures can help to identify:

  • workers exposed to potentially harmful vibration levels
  • vehicles or machines that produce excessive vibration
  • opportunities for more effective vehicle maintenance

This information is useful in risk assessment and vibration exposure reduction strategies. Whole-body vibration measurements should be collected and analyzed by a competent person such as an appropriately trained occupational safety and health professional, maintenance technician or engineer, or vibration specialist. Typically, whole-body vibration is measured by placing a vibration sensor (shaped like a thin cushion) on the seat of a vehicle. The sensor detects vibration in the three mutually perpendicular axes — x (front-to-back movement), y (side to side) and z (up and down). A multi-channel human vibration exposure meter (CEL-960) records and reports the vibration amplitude and frequency according to the relevant international standards. After analysis, the vibration exposure data can be compared against health, fatigue or comfort criteria in the accepted standards for whole-body vibration and a meaningful conclusion made of the potential risk and liabilites associated with the vibration exposure environment.