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Exponering för vibrationer inom väg- och anläggningsarbete. En studie av förebyggande arbetsmiljöarbete inom ett byggföretag

Andersson, Petra (2012) MAM920 20121
Ergonomics and Aerosol Technology
Abstract
Exposure to vibrations from tools and machines used in construction work can induce damages to the human body. Oscillations around a fix point with a certain direction, frequency and magnitude describe the phenomenon vibrations. Their influence is generally expressed as acceleration [m/s2]. Furthermore, vibrations are separated in two categories; hand‐arm vibrations or whole body vibrations. Exposure to vibrations can lead to physical pain in
different ways. One of the most frequent symptoms of hand‐arm vibration syndrome (HAVS)is commonly known as white fingers. This symptom generally involves whitened extremities,
pain in arms and fingers and degradation in mobility and function when it comes to finer motor skills.

The Swedish Work... (More)
Exposure to vibrations from tools and machines used in construction work can induce damages to the human body. Oscillations around a fix point with a certain direction, frequency and magnitude describe the phenomenon vibrations. Their influence is generally expressed as acceleration [m/s2]. Furthermore, vibrations are separated in two categories; hand‐arm vibrations or whole body vibrations. Exposure to vibrations can lead to physical pain in
different ways. One of the most frequent symptoms of hand‐arm vibration syndrome (HAVS)is commonly known as white fingers. This symptom generally involves whitened extremities,
pain in arms and fingers and degradation in mobility and function when it comes to finer motor skills.

The Swedish Work Environment Authority, Arbetsmiljöverket, introduced new guidelines on the topic of vibrations in 2005; AFS 2005:15. They refer to the responsibilities and rights of
employers and employees. Also, they are aligned with the 2002/44/EG directive of the European Union. According to the guidelines, the employer should account for the estimation
of exposure to vibrations on work sites where this is a present risk. In 2011, the Authority reported an unsatisfactory effort on prevention of occupational injuries due to vibrations. Similarly, Occupational and Environmental Medicine at Skåne University Hospital (Lund)reacted on not seeing any decrease in the frequency of injuries derived from the construction industry. Despite new guidelines, the number of workers reporting occupational injuries due to exposure to vibrations has not decreased. In order to investigate the reason to why the construction industry has not been affected by the new guidelines, and how this goal can be reached, a part of the Swedish contractor Skanska has been studied.

This study mainly consisted of interviews at a number of construction sites of civil works in southern Sweden. A total of 10 site supervisors and 21 construction workers were
interviewed. The interviews focused on exposure to and experiences of vibrations and related injuries and on information on daily work routines. After a compilation of the first block of interviews, two more profound interviews were held with professionals at higher positions in
the Skanska organization.

The interviews with site supervisors demonstrated a lack in knowledge when it comes to estimating the magnitude of exposure to vibrations at the construction sites. Of the 21
interviewed construction workers, 11 people might belong to a risk group of developing HAVS. They either suffered from suspected symptoms already, or suffered from other injuries
that in combination with exposure to vibrations might lead to HAVS development. Incorporating the Work Environment Authority’s directions has not been accomplished,
partly due to the characteristics of the actual directions and the motivation of Skanska as a whole to adjust to them. Another strong influencer is the psychosocial work environment of the construction industry; characterized by a segregated hierarchy and a homogeneous work force.

Several actions have been suggested to improve the preventive health and safety work at Skanska. The risk of vibration injuries could be better prevented by introducing a manual for
daily vibration exposure assessment, by further educating the employees on the physical risks of exposure to vibrations and by tagging the vibrating tools and machines used on site. (Less)
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author
Andersson, Petra
supervisor
organization
course
MAM920 20121
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Vibrationsskada, byggindustri, väg‐ och anläggning, arbetsmiljö och säkerhet
language
Swedish
id
3130799
date added to LUP
2012-10-22 12:25:15
date last changed
2012-10-22 12:25:15
@misc{3130799,
  abstract     = {Exposure to vibrations from tools and machines used in construction work can induce damages to the human body. Oscillations around a fix point with a certain direction, frequency and magnitude describe the phenomenon vibrations. Their influence is generally expressed as acceleration [m/s2]. Furthermore, vibrations are separated in two categories; hand‐arm vibrations or whole body vibrations. Exposure to vibrations can lead to physical pain in
different ways. One of the most frequent symptoms of hand‐arm vibration syndrome (HAVS)is commonly known as white fingers. This symptom generally involves whitened extremities,
pain in arms and fingers and degradation in mobility and function when it comes to finer motor skills.

The Swedish Work Environment Authority, Arbetsmiljöverket, introduced new guidelines on the topic of vibrations in 2005; AFS 2005:15. They refer to the responsibilities and rights of
employers and employees. Also, they are aligned with the 2002/44/EG directive of the European Union. According to the guidelines, the employer should account for the estimation
of exposure to vibrations on work sites where this is a present risk. In 2011, the Authority reported an unsatisfactory effort on prevention of occupational injuries due to vibrations. Similarly, Occupational and Environmental Medicine at Skåne University Hospital (Lund)reacted on not seeing any decrease in the frequency of injuries derived from the construction industry. Despite new guidelines, the number of workers reporting occupational injuries due to exposure to vibrations has not decreased. In order to investigate the reason to why the construction industry has not been affected by the new guidelines, and how this goal can be reached, a part of the Swedish contractor Skanska has been studied.

This study mainly consisted of interviews at a number of construction sites of civil works in southern Sweden. A total of 10 site supervisors and 21 construction workers were
interviewed. The interviews focused on exposure to and experiences of vibrations and related injuries and on information on daily work routines. After a compilation of the first block of interviews, two more profound interviews were held with professionals at higher positions in
the Skanska organization.

The interviews with site supervisors demonstrated a lack in knowledge when it comes to estimating the magnitude of exposure to vibrations at the construction sites. Of the 21
interviewed construction workers, 11 people might belong to a risk group of developing HAVS. They either suffered from suspected symptoms already, or suffered from other injuries
that in combination with exposure to vibrations might lead to HAVS development. Incorporating the Work Environment Authority’s directions has not been accomplished,
partly due to the characteristics of the actual directions and the motivation of Skanska as a whole to adjust to them. Another strong influencer is the psychosocial work environment of the construction industry; characterized by a segregated hierarchy and a homogeneous work force.

Several actions have been suggested to improve the preventive health and safety work at Skanska. The risk of vibration injuries could be better prevented by introducing a manual for
daily vibration exposure assessment, by further educating the employees on the physical risks of exposure to vibrations and by tagging the vibrating tools and machines used on site.},
  author       = {Andersson, Petra},
  keyword      = {Vibrationsskada,byggindustri,väg‐ och anläggning,arbetsmiljö och säkerhet},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Exponering för vibrationer inom väg- och anläggningsarbete. En studie av förebyggande arbetsmiljöarbete inom ett byggföretag},
  year         = {2012},
}