TitleEvaluation of commercially available seat suspensions to reduce whole body vibration exposures in mining heavy equipment vehicle operators.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsKim, JH, Marin, LS, Dennerlein, JT
JournalAppl Ergon
Date Published2018 Sep

As mining vehicle operators are exposed to high level of Whole body vibration (WBV) for prolonged periods of time, approaches to reduce this exposure are needed for the specific types of exposures in mining. Although various engineering controls (i.e. seat suspension systems) have been developed to address WBV, there has been lack of research to systematically evaluate these systems in reducing WBV exposures in mining heavy equipment vehicle settings. Therefore, this laboratory-based study evaluated the efficacy of different combinations of fore-aft (x-axis), lateral (y-axis), and vertical (z-axis) suspensions in reducing WBV exposures. The results showed that the active vertical suspension more effectively reduced the vertical vibration (∼50%; p's < 0.0001) as compared to the passive vertical suspension (10%; p's < 0.11). The passive fore-aft (x-axis) and lateral (y-axis) suspension systems did not attenuate the corresponding axis vibration (p's > 0.06) and sometimes amplified the floor vibration, especially when the non-vertical vibration was predominant (p's < 0.02). These results indicate that there is a critical need to develop more effective engineering controls including better seat suspensions to address non-vertical WBV exposures, especially because these non-vertical WBV exposures can increase risks for adverse health effects including musculoskeletal loading, discomfort, and impaired visual acuity.

Alternate JournalAppl Ergon
PubMed ID29764617