Advanced

A study of the proactive occupational safety and health work in a Swedish construction company - the example of vibration exposure

Ek, Åsa LU and Andersson, Petra (2014) CIB W099 International Conference on Achieving Sustainable Construction Health and Safety In [Host publication title missing] p.360-370
Abstract
Exposure to vibrations from tools and machines used in construction work can induce damages to the human body. One of the most frequent symptoms is the hand-arm vibration syndrome commonly known as white fingers. The proportions of the international workforce exposed to vibrations are high and dominating sectors are construction, agriculture, forestry, and transport. Particularly exposed construction occupational groups include machine operators and drivers of vehicles. In 2005, the Swedish Work Environment Authority introduced a new guideline on the topic of preventing vibration exposure risks (AFS 2005:15) based on the European union 2002/44/EC directive on workers’ exposure to vibration. It includes raised demands on estimating... (More)
Exposure to vibrations from tools and machines used in construction work can induce damages to the human body. One of the most frequent symptoms is the hand-arm vibration syndrome commonly known as white fingers. The proportions of the international workforce exposed to vibrations are high and dominating sectors are construction, agriculture, forestry, and transport. Particularly exposed construction occupational groups include machine operators and drivers of vehicles. In 2005, the Swedish Work Environment Authority introduced a new guideline on the topic of preventing vibration exposure risks (AFS 2005:15) based on the European union 2002/44/EC directive on workers’ exposure to vibration. It includes raised demands on estimating vibration exposure, and clearly stated responsibilities and rights of employers and employees. However, in 2011 the Swedish Work Environment Authority’s inspections showed that many employers belonging to sectors such as building and construction, transport, and mining industry did not have any satisfactory proactive risk management work concerning vibration exposure. This paper reports on a pilot study performed in a large Swedish construction company with the aim to yield more knowledge about factors affecting the implementation of the guidelines and to suggest actions for improvement. A total of 31 construction workers and supervisors were interviewed at nine construction sites in southern Sweden. Interview results demonstrated a lack of knowledge in estimating vibration exposure; the incorporation of the Work Environment Authority’s directions had not been accomplished; driving forces for improving the proactive health and safety work and specifically vibration exposure management was weak on all organisational levels; important factors affecting the implementation of vibration exposure regulations are the psychosocial work environment at construction sites as well as company safety culture; a large proportion of the interviewed construction workers was judged to be at risk for developing vibration injuries if the exposure was not decreased; management, supervisory, and production levels need increased knowledge about vibration exposure and vibration injuries; and methods and tools for easy estimation of vibration exposure needs to be developed. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
keywords
hand-arm vibration syndrome, health and safety management, proactivity
in
[Host publication title missing]
editor
Aulin, Radhlinah and Ek, Åsa
pages
11 pages
conference name
CIB W099 International Conference on Achieving Sustainable Construction Health and Safety
ISBN
978-91-7623-005-3
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
dea25dba-48ad-4fd6-861e-e29b27b98c44 (old id 5104639)
date added to LUP
2015-02-25 09:25:25
date last changed
2016-04-16 12:35:07
@misc{dea25dba-48ad-4fd6-861e-e29b27b98c44,
  abstract     = {Exposure to vibrations from tools and machines used in construction work can induce damages to the human body. One of the most frequent symptoms is the hand-arm vibration syndrome commonly known as white fingers. The proportions of the international workforce exposed to vibrations are high and dominating sectors are construction, agriculture, forestry, and transport. Particularly exposed construction occupational groups include machine operators and drivers of vehicles. In 2005, the Swedish Work Environment Authority introduced a new guideline on the topic of preventing vibration exposure risks (AFS 2005:15) based on the European union 2002/44/EC directive on workers’ exposure to vibration. It includes raised demands on estimating vibration exposure, and clearly stated responsibilities and rights of employers and employees. However, in 2011 the Swedish Work Environment Authority’s inspections showed that many employers belonging to sectors such as building and construction, transport, and mining industry did not have any satisfactory proactive risk management work concerning vibration exposure. This paper reports on a pilot study performed in a large Swedish construction company with the aim to yield more knowledge about factors affecting the implementation of the guidelines and to suggest actions for improvement. A total of 31 construction workers and supervisors were interviewed at nine construction sites in southern Sweden. Interview results demonstrated a lack of knowledge in estimating vibration exposure; the incorporation of the Work Environment Authority’s directions had not been accomplished; driving forces for improving the proactive health and safety work and specifically vibration exposure management was weak on all organisational levels; important factors affecting the implementation of vibration exposure regulations are the psychosocial work environment at construction sites as well as company safety culture; a large proportion of the interviewed construction workers was judged to be at risk for developing vibration injuries if the exposure was not decreased; management, supervisory, and production levels need increased knowledge about vibration exposure and vibration injuries; and methods and tools for easy estimation of vibration exposure needs to be developed.},
  author       = {Ek, Åsa and Andersson, Petra},
  editor       = {Aulin, Radhlinah and Ek, Åsa},
  isbn         = {978-91-7623-005-3},
  keyword      = {hand-arm vibration syndrome,health and safety management,proactivity},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {360--370},
  series       = {[Host publication title missing]},
  title        = {A study of the proactive occupational safety and health work in a Swedish construction company - the example of vibration exposure},
  year         = {2014},
}