Assessment of annual exposure of private farmers to whole body mechanical vibration on selected family farms of plant production profile.
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Department of Physical Occupational Hazards, Institute of Agricultural Medicine, Lublin, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2010;17(2):243-250
The objective of the study was evaluation of an annual exposure of private farmers to whole body mechanical vibration on selected family farms of plant production profile. The study covered 15 family farms, using arable land of the size of 10-50 ha (22.3 ha on average), engaged mainly in plant production, and equipped with tractors, tractor-mounted agricultural machinery, with a partial contribution of self-propelled machines. The scope of the study covered the carrying out of time schedules of agricultural activities, and measurements of effective values (RMS) for vibration acceleration (equivalent), frequency corrected, on the seats of farm vehicles in 3 spatial directions of vibration (X, Y, Z). The measurements were made while performing various basic field and transport work activities during the period of the whole year. The study showed (plant production) that the degree of whole body mechanical vibration load among farmers during the whole year depends on the vibration level and duration of exposure to this factor. The highest values of the total vibration dose (d) occur both during summer-autumn months (August, September, October and November), and in spring (April, May). The mean equivalent of daily vibration acceleration shows the highest values during 4 months of the year: April and May (0.52 m/s(2)), and in August and September (0.56-0.57 m/s(2)); the average value of this parameter, for the whole year, reaches the level of 0.45 m/s(2). Considering the fact of the occurrence of mechanical shocks in agricultural vehicles (high maximum accelerations values registered: 0.81-1.01 m/s(2); standard exceeding), and exceeding of the daily exposure action value, proper steps should be undertaken with respect to the protection of private farmers against risk resulting from exposure to mechanical vibration while performing work activities.
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