Health and Safety (Exposure to vibration ) - Assignment Example

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Health and Safety (Exposure to vibration) Exposure to vibration can cause adverse health effects in workers i. Describe the nature of occupational vibration exposure and the health effects of exposure to vibration; provide researched examples of affected workers or groups of workers…
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Download file to see previous pages The oscillations may be regular or random, depending on the source. In determination of the health effects of vibration, overall pressure waves generated by the vibrating equipment must be measured. Vibration gets way into the body through the organ exposed to it. For example, vibration enters an operator of a chainsaw through the hands and arms. After prolonged use of the machine, the hands and arms get affected. Vibration is quantified by amplitude or intensity and frequency. Frequency is the number of cycles a vibrating object completes in a second, measured in hertz (Hz). Amplitude is the distance at which the object moves from a stationary position to the extreme position on either side, quantified in meters (m). Speed is used to determine the intensity of vibration and varies from zero to a maximum per cycle of vibration, quantified in meters per second (m/s). Acceleration measures the rate of change of speed with time, quantified in units of meters per second or meters per second squared. It increases whenever a vibrating object moves further from its statutory position. Resonance also plays critical role in the impact of vibration on the human body. Since each organ has its own resonant frequency, when an employee’s body is exposed to a vibration of similar frequency to a body organ, risks are greatly increased. Types of Vibration Exposure to hazardous levels of vibration is linked to adverse health outcomes. Some of the health problems caused by vibration are back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and vascular disorders. Vibration injury is derived from outdoor activities such as farming, transportation, forestry, shipping and construction. Vibration exposure is divided into two categories: whole-body vibration (WBV) and segmental vibration or hand and arm vibration (HAV). Their sources differ as they affect different parts of the body, of different symptoms. a. Segmental vibration or hand-arm vibration This is a mechanical vibration transmitted to the human being through part or segment of the body, mostly the hands or arms. Hand-arm vibration causes permanent adverse health effects collectively referred to as hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) and specific diseases like carpal tunnel syndrome. What is HAV? This term describes any kind of damage to blood vessels, nerves or muscles in the hands or arms caused by vibration from hand held tools or hand-guided machinery, or when employees hold materials under process by machinery. Most tools and processes vibrate at high levels that expose employees to risk of HAV. Some of these tools are concrete/road breakers, concrete pokers, sanders, disc cutters, hand held grinders and other rotary tools, hammer drills, jigsaws, polishers, sanders, chipping hammers, chainsaws, strimmers, brush cutters, hedge trimmers, leaf blowers, mowers, scrabblers or needle guns, pressure washers, and wood machining equipment among others. Exposure to HAV depends on several factors. These are: The magnitude and frequency of vibration, The duration called trigger time and frequency of use, Pattern of exposure, including rest breaks, Manner of handling of machines, i.e. magnitude of grip, Surface area of hand exposure to vibration, Environment of working condition like awkward posture, Temperature of exposure, and Individual susceptibility. How does HAV affect health? Employees are exposed to a number of incurable injuries to arms, hands and even damage to blood circulatory system (the so-called ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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