Vibration and Noise Exposure Levels in the Forestry Industry
Workers in the forestry industry are exposed to a number of sources of hand-arm and whole-body vibration from a variety of hand tools and heavy equipment. This problem, which has received little attention in the US, has been associated with negative health effects, such as Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome, in other countries. This pilot study took 177 hand-arm and whole-body vibration measurements of forestry workers using a variety of vibration-producing equipment; 46 TWA noise exposure measurements were taken simultaneously to estimate the degree to which vibration exposure levels may be predicted by noise exposure levels. Forestry workers in this study were exposed to substantial vibration and noise exposures. The task-based exposure assessment approach used in this study, combined with multiple regression modeling, will help identify work characteristics that give rise to elevated exposure levels.