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ŠUMARSKI LIST 5-6/2012 str. 63     <-- 63 -->        PDF


Continuous efforts are being made to limit the harmful vibration transmitted from grip handles and stearing wheels of forest machinery to operators´ palms and fingers, known as hand-arm vibration. Among these efforts the ´´Directive 2002/44/EC´´ definitly holds an outstanding position. The document describes clearly the procedure for determining the level of the hand-arm as well as the whole-body vibration exposure and follows all the requests defined by the International Standards ISO 5349-1 and 2, i.e. ISO 2631-1, 2 and 3. Special attention has to be paid to the exposure of forestry workers to hand-arm vibration, as occupational deseases caused by them are very frequent among this population. In order to adjust the safety measures at work to European standards, national ´´Regulations on protection of vibration exposure risks at work´´ (NN55/2008) have been issued. Since January 1, 2012 they are being obligatory in agriculture and forestry. The human exposure to vibration is, as is generally known, expressed in a so called energy equivalent A(8) determined by a procedure described in the International Standard ISO 5349-1-2001. The A(8) value depends not only on the vibration magnitude at individual working operations, but also on the exposure duration, i.e. the duration of each individual operation. Of course, the total duration of all working operations during the working day will be the direct consequence of the quotas set and accepted for various groups of forestry operations. Therefore the efforts to limit the worker´s exposure to vibration means exposure time reduction or, in other words, adjustment of the quotas (Goglia et al.2011). So it is necessary to take immediate action and determine the energy equivalent A(8) values according to the existing quotas for all work places with high frequency of occupational deseases. Hereafter, by correcting the quotas vibration exposure times have to be adjusted to the limits set in the Directive 2002/44/EC and the corresponding national Regualtions.

Key words: ergonomics, vibration, exposure, limit values