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Back disorders and exposure to whole-body vibration: Thesis summary

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Author: Bongers, P.M. · Boshuizen, H.C.
Type:article
Date:1992
Institution: Nederlands Instituut voor Praeventieve Gezondheidszorg TNO
Source:Clinical Biomechanics, 3, 7, 185-186
Identifier: 231918
doi: doi:10.1016/0268-0033(92)90035-3
Keywords: Workplace · Biomechanics · Musculoskeletal Systems · Risk Studies · Occupational Risks · Vibrations-Effects · Epidemiological Studies · Intervertebral Disc Disorders · Occupational Back Disorders · Occupational Vibration Sickness · Whole-Body Vibration Exposure · Occupational Diseases · Backache · Human · Major clinical study · Occupational disease · Occupational exposure · Vibration · Vibration disease

Abstract

Occupational exposure to whole-body vibration (WBV) is widespread and may cause back trouble. Several epidemiological studies of the relationship between WBV exposure and back trouble were carried out at the Coronel Laboratory of the University of Amsterdam. This project comprised studies of disability and long-term sick leave due to back disorders among drivers of agricultural tractors, cranes, trucks and buses. In addition, self-reported back pain was studied among helicopter pilots and drivers of forklift trucks, wheel-loaders and agricultural tractors. In each study data on back trouble of the exposed group were compared to a nonexposed reference group, after adjustment for other risk factors for back trouble. From measurements of current vibration levels and questionnaire data on current and historical exposure, a total vibration dose was estimated. Significantly more disability pensioning and long-term sick leave due to intervertebral disc disorders and more (low) back pain in drivers and helicopter pilots was observed compared to their nonexposed colleagues.