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Title: Foot-transmitted vibration: exposure characteristics and the biodynamic response of the foot
Authors: Goggins, Katie A.
Keywords: foot-transmitted vibration (FTV);Miners;underground mining equipment
Issue Date: 30-Jul-2013
Publisher: Laurentian University of Sudbury
Abstract: Research shows miners can be exposed to foot-transmitted vibration (FTV) when operating various pieces of underground mining equipment, and case reports suggest workers are experiencing symptoms similar to those of hand-arm vibration syndrome in their feet. A field study was conducted to measure and document FTV exposure associated with operating underground mining equipment, and probable health risks were determined based on both ISO 2631-1 (1997) for WBV and ISO 5349-1 (2004) for HAV. Seventeen participating operator’s also reported musculoskeletal discomfort. Seventeen male participants ranging between 24-61 years of age, with an average height and mass of 175.0cm and 88.2kg volunteered for the study. Seventeen pieces of equipment were tested; 1 locomotive, 1 crusher, 9 bolter drills (4 scissor platforms, 2 Maclean, 2 Boart/basket, and 1 RDH), and 6 jumbo drills. Including all seventeen pieces of underground mining equipment, the vibration acceleration ranged from 0.13-1.35m/s2 with dominant frequencies between 1.25-250Hz according to ISO 2631-1. According to ISO 5349-1 vibration acceleration ranged from 0.14-3.61m/s2 with dominant frequencies between 6.3-250Hz. Furthermore, the magnitude of FTV measured on the jumbo drills with grated platforms (#5 and #6) was less than FTV measured from the jumbo drills with, solid metal surfaces. Additionally, twelve of the seventeen equipment operators indicated a complaint of discomfort in their lower body (specifically at the level of the knee or lower). The health risk analysis based on ISO 2631-1 indicated that one operator (bolter drill #9) was exposed to vibration above the criterion value, while the health risk analysis based on ISO 5349-1 indicated iv that two operators (jumbo drill #1 and bolter drill #1) were exposed to vibration above the criterion value. Operators reported very severe or severe discomfort; however, the same operators were not the operators of the equipment with FTV exposure levels above the ISO standards, leaving evidence to suggest that the standards are not properly assessing injury risk to vibration exposure via the feet. Future research is needed to develop a standard specific for FTV and to determine the link between early musculoskeletal injury reporting and the onset of vibration white foot. To do so, a better understanding of the biodynamic response of the foot to FTV is needed. A laboratory study was conducted to 1) measure and document transmissibility of FTV from (a) floor-to-ankle (lateral malleolus), and (b) floor-to-metatarsal, during exposure to six levels of vibration (25Hz, 30Hz, 35Hz, 40Hz, 45Hz, and 50Hz) while standing, and 2) to determine whether independent variables (vibration exposure frequency, mass, arch type) influence transmissibility (dependent variable) through the foot. A two-way repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted. There was a significant interaction between transmissibility location and exposure frequency (λ = 0.246, F (5,25) = 15.365, p = 0.0001). There were significant differences in mean transmissibility between the ankle and metatarsal at 40Hz [t(29) = 4.116, p = 0.00029], 45Hz [t(29) = 6.599, p = 0.00000031], and 50Hz [t(29) = 8.828, p = 0.000000001]. The greatest transmissibility at the metatarsal occurred at 50Hz and at the ankle (lateral malleolus) transmissibility was highest from 25-30Hz, indicating the formation of a local resonance at each location. v Future research should focus on identifying resonance frequencies at different locations on the feet. This information is needed to develop an exposure guideline to help protect workers from exposure to FTV, and to develop personal protective equipment capable of attenuating harmful FTV exposure frequencies.
Appears in Collections:Human Kinetics - Master's Theses
Master's Theses

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