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Vibration (WBV and HAV)

According to Human Vibration: Measurement, Analysis & Assessment, 2002 vibration is defined as the oscillatory motion of a particle, body or surface from some reference position and is described by at least two quantities, one relating to the frequency, or frequency content, and the other to the amplitude of the motion.

Vibration can be classified as hand-arm or whole-body vibration. Hand-arm vibration refers to vibration entering the body at the hand and normally results from the use of vibrating tools such as a jackhammer. Whole body vibration occurs when the body is supported on a surface and is normally associated with the operation of heavy equipment, driving of vehicles, etc.

More serious vibration effects from severe or prolonged exposure to high energy vibration can cause bodily harm from which recovery is incomplete. The best-known effect is Raynaud’s disease or vibration-induced white finger, which during periodic attacks this causes numbness in the fingers and some loss of manual dexterity. This condition is aggravated by cold conditions.

Whole body vibration can cause both fatigue and irritation to motion sickness and tissue damage. The most frequently reported adverse health effects of whole-body vibration are lower back pain, early degeneration of the lumbar spinal system, and herniated lumbar discs.