This proposed intervention study to reduce significant vibratory exposures from power tools involves a team of extramural and NIOSH intramural investigators. It presumes that anti-vibration tool design coupled to certain absorbent materials, available as gloving, can in combination provide frequency specific filtering and cancellation that will likely eliminate clinical and some sub-clinical sequalae of tool-specific vibratory exposure. The proposed structured intervention, coupled to intensive laboratory assessment, advances two hypotheses: 1) that matching the transmission spectra of gloves and tools can radically reduce energy transfer to the hand- arm system;and 2) that the real time, full-shift, logging of exposure through specialized sensors and the measurement of cross-shift physiological responses can accurately quantify exposure reduction. In order to reach study aims, the following will be required: 1. Field settings where transmissibility of vibration to the hand can be assessed over a full working day, while accounting for variation in grip and posture, work patterns, recovery, and multiple tools. 2. An applied laboratory where tools and gloves can be evaluated with skilled human subjects to quantify the most promising tools and materials. 3. A basic sciences laboratory equipped with laser vibrometry and a tri-axial stimulus generator for producing 3-D replica in the time and force domains of tools measured in the field. 4. An electronics laboratory equipped to make appropriate revisions to data loggers and sensors for field testing, and tactometers for detecting rapid cross-shift changes in hand function. A major national manufacturer has joined this project. This study is designed to provide a practical solution to hand-arm vibration protection with important public health consequences for several million American workers. Public Health Relevance: The adverse effects on the hands from industrial exposure to vibration have been recognized for almost a century. We propose an intervention study featuring the use of available anti-vibration (AV) power tools and gloves in order to reduce vibration exposure. We suggest that by pairing laboratory-based optimization of glove-tool combinations for specific tools together with a field study to verify performance we can successfully lower exposures to a level where symptomatic disease can ultimately be prevented.

Public Health Relevance

The adverse effects on the hands from industrial exposure to vibration have been recognized for almost a century. We propose an intervention study featuring the use of available anti-vibration (AV) power tools and gloves in order to reduce vibration exposure. We suggest that by pairing laboratory-based optimization of glove-tool combinations for specific tools together with a field study to verify performance we can successfully lower exposures to a level where symptomatic disease can ultimately be prevented.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01OH008997-04
Application #
8300731
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZOH1-EEO (51))
Program Officer
Frederick, Linda J
Project Start
2009-09-01
Project End
2014-08-31
Budget Start
2012-09-01
Budget End
2014-08-31
Support Year
4
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$538,854
Indirect Cost
$188,949
Name
University of Connecticut
Department
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
022254226
City
Farmington
State
CT
Country
United States
Zip Code
06030