Typical whole body vibration exposure magnitudes encountered in the open pit mining industry.Work. 2009; 34(3):297-303.WORK
According to recent research, a causal link has been established between occupational exposure to whole body vibration and an increased occurrence of low back pain. To aid in the further development of an in-house health and safety program for a large open pit mining facility interested in reducing back pain among its operators, whole body vibration magnitudes were characterized for a range of jobs. Specifically, thirty-five individual jobs from five different areas across the facility were evaluated for tri-axial acceleration levels during normal operating conditions. Tri-axial acceleration magnitudes were categorized into thirteen job groups. Job groups were ranked according to exposure and compared to the ISO 2631-1 standard for health risk assessment. Three of the thirteen job groups produced tri-axial acceleration magnitudes below the ISO 2631-1 low/moderate health caution limit for a twelve hour exposure. Six of the thirteen job groups produced exposures within the moderate health risk range. Four job groups were found to subject operators to WBV acceleration magnitudes above the moderate/high health caution limit.