Mine workers are not the only drivers subject to human vibration. Approximately 24 per cent of Australian workers are exposed to vibration in their workplace, usually machinery operators and truck drivers.
Out of balance truck wheels can create vibration and fatigue for drivers. When handling is improved, with continuously balanced wheels, it’s easier for the operator to steer the vehicle, resulting in less fatigue, discomfort and better health outcomes.
Human vibration: addressing a less spoken about hazard
With thanks, 2021Features Safe to Work
Human vibration exposure has been one of the top five health hazards at mine sites for more than a decade, both by the number of workers harmed and worker compensation figures. Despite this, a laser focus on dust and lung diseases has left vibration exposure in its current state for the past five years.
In 2009, Australia’s Attorney-General’s Department released a report that acknowledged the link between occupational exposure to hazardous levels and vibration.
It was associated with adverse health outcomes such as white finger, carpal tunnel syndrome, musculoskeletal disorders and neurological disorders, with two main types of vibration being hand-arm vibration and whole-body vibration.
Approximately 24 per cent of Australian workers were exposed to vibration in their workplace, with this figure skewed more towards younger workers than older workers.
In addition, workers expressed that such exposure was mostly associated with roles such as machinery operators and drivers, among others. Only 27 per cent of them said they had received training in this space.
By 2015, Safe Work Australia reported that a total of 5260 workers had submitted compensation claims for injuries attributed to vibration exposure over the past 14 years.
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