Evaluation of anti-vibration interventions for the hand during sheet metal assembly work

Ann Marie Dale, A. E. Rohn, A. Burwell, W. Shannon, J. Standeven, A. Patton, B. Evanoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objective: Occupational use of vibrating hand tools contributes to the development of upper extremity disorders. While several types of vibration damping materials are commercially available, reductions in vibration exposure are usually tested in the laboratory rather than in actual work environments. This study evaluated reductions in hand vibration with different vibration damping interventions under actual work conditions. Methods: Three experienced sheet metal assemblers at a manufacturing facility installed sheet metal fasteners with a pneumatic tool using no vibration damping (bare hand) and each of six anti-vibration interventions (five different gloves and a viscoelastic tool wrap). Vibration was measured with tri-axial accelerometers on the tool and the back of the hand. Results: Unweighted mean vibration measured at the hand showed reduced vibration (p< 0.001) for all six interventions (range = 3.07-5.56 m/s^{2}) compared to the bare hand condition (12.91 m/s^{2}). Conclusions: All of the interventions were effective at reducing vibration at the hand during testing under usual work conditions. Field testing beyond laboratory-based testing accounts for the influences of worker, tools, and materials on vibration transmission to the body from specific work operations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-176
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2011


  • Hand-arm vibration
  • ergonomic intervention
  • exposure reduction


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