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Six-degree-of-freedom whole-body vibration exposure levels during routine skidder operations

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This research focuses on quantifying six-degree-of-freedom (6-DOF) whole-body vibration (WBV) exposure levels that occur in Northern Ontario skidders during routine field operating tasks. 6-DOF vibration running root-mean-square (RMS) acceleration levels at the operator/seat interface were determined for eight skidders while driving loaded, driving unloaded, picking up a load, dropping off a load and ploughing logs under field operating conditions. The acceleration data were weighted in accordance with ISO 2631-1:1997 and evaluated for both health and comfort outcomes. The mean running RMS weighted translational and rotational accelerations all exceeded 0.36 m/s2 and 0.14 rad/s2. The greatest average accelerations occurred while driving unloaded with this condition displaying translational vibration total values (VTV) that exceeded the upper limit of the ISO 2631-1:1997 health caution zone within an average of 2.3 h. Utilizing 6-DOF VTV, virtually all operating conditions would be designated as uncomfortable. Statement of Relevance: This study provides one of the most comprehensive reports on vibration exposures in seated vehicle operators. The results are geared towards ergonomists with discussions on health effects and measurement concerns, while providing the raw vibration exposure data that will be useful to vehicle, component and vibration sensor designers.
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Keywords: acceleration exposures; musculoskeletal disorders; vehicle ergonomics; whole-body vibration

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Biophysics Interdepartmental Group, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada,School of Engineering, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada 2: Biophysics Interdepartmental Group, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada,School of Kinesiology, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada 3: School of Engineering, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada 4: Biophysics Interdepartmental Group, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada,Department of Human Health & Nutritional Science, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada

Publication date: May 1, 2010

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