Title: Assessment of low-cost tool intervention among carpet alignment workers exposed to hand-arm vibration and shift in hearing threshold
Authors: Ashish Kumar Singh; M.L. Meena; Himanshu Chaudhary
Addresses: Department of Mechanical Engineering, Malaviya National Institute of Technology, Jaipur, 302017, India ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, Malaviya National Institute of Technology, Jaipur, 302017, India ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, Malaviya National Institute of Technology, Jaipur, 302017, India
Abstract: The aim of this study was to assess the hand-arm vibration (HAV), noise exposure, and loss in hearing threshold (HT) due to the hand tools used in carpet alignment. The effect of new handles on the transmissibility of HAV was tested. Data about HAV and noise level were collected from 10 experienced workers. A case-control study was conducted to compare the HT and hand grip strength (GS) among the workers with a control group. The daily vibration exposure, A(8) for prototypes tools for both hands indicated reduction by over 26% when compared to the conventional tools. Mean equivalent sound pressure level (Leq) was quiet high (97.62 dB), exceeding the exposure limit. In agreement with dose consumed, exposed workers exhibits mild to moderate hearing impairment in the frequency range of 1500-6000 Hz with the loss in GS. Strain Index score revealed that the current working posture requires urgent action. As the main outcomes, a low cost intervention was found effective in curtailing HAV during the field testing.
Keywords: carpet alignment; hand arm vibration; HAV; noise exposure; hearing threshold; SI; strain index; hand tool intervention; ergonomics; low frequency vibrations; non-powered hand tools; noise induced hearing loss; NIHL; handicrafts.
International Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomics, 2018 Vol.5 No.3, pp.189 - 209
Received: 26 Jun 2017
Accepted: 15 Dec 2017
Published online: 26 Oct 2018 *