A systematic approach to simulating field-based occupational whole-body vibration exposure in the lab using a 6df robot.Work. 2010; 35(1):15-26.WORK
Whole-body vibration is a significant workplace risk factor for discomfort and injury in many work sectors. The current approach for evaluating vibration exposures typically involves field studies of seatpan acceleration while the operators perform typical workplace activities. These vibration exposures are then compared to international standards to evaluate the risk of discomfort or injury. This approach does not enable systematic and controlled study of specific workplace factors such as the effect of seating, and it is difficult and expensive to perform. APPROACH TO PAPER: We have developed a systematic approach for studying whole-body vibration in the laboratory setting. This approach involves field studies of occupational exposures measuring the 6 degree of freedom chassis accelerations (translational and rotational) and replication of these exposures in the laboratory.
To date, as a research team, we have collected chassis vibration data from specific vehicles in the forestry (skidders), mining (load-haul-dump vehicles), and construction (scrapers) sectors. We have processed these exposures to develop a library of representative vibration motions, and have replicated these motions in the laboratory using a robotic platform.
This systematic approach of combining field- and laboratory-based measures has facilitated research into specific relevant questions such as the effects of multi axis vibrations on the physical risks to operator health and direct evaluation of the vibration attenuation properties of industrial seats.