open access

Vol 65, No 2 (2014)
MARITIME MEDICINE Review articles
Published online: 2014-06-30
Submitted: 2014-06-30
Accepted: 2014-06-30
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Vibration on board and health effects

Anker Jensen, Jørgen Riis Jepsen
DOI: 10.5603/IMH.2014.0013
·
International Maritime Health 2014;65(2):58-60.

open access

Vol 65, No 2 (2014)
MARITIME MEDICINE Review articles
Published online: 2014-06-30
Submitted: 2014-06-30
Accepted: 2014-06-30

Abstract

There is only limited knowledge of the exposure to vibrations of ships’ crews and their risk of vibration-induced health effects. Exposure to hand-arm vibrations from the use of vibrating tools at sea does not differ from that in the land-based trades. However, in contrast to most other work places, seafarers are also exposed to vibrations to the feet when standing on vibrating surfaces on board. Anecdotal reports have related the development of “white feet” to local exposure to vibration, e.g. in mining, but this connection has not been investigated in the maritime setting. As known from studies of the health consequences of whole body vibrations in land-transportation, such exposure at sea may affect ships’ passengers and crews. While the relation of back disorders to high levels of whole body vibration has been demonstrated among e.g. tractor drivers, there are no reported epidemiological evidence for such relation among seafarers except for fishermen, who, however, are also exposed to additional recognised physical risk factors at work. The assessment and reduction of vibrations by naval architects relates to technical implications of this impact for the ships’ construction, but has limited value for the estimation of health risks because they express the vibration intensity differently that it is done in a medical context.

Abstract

There is only limited knowledge of the exposure to vibrations of ships’ crews and their risk of vibration-induced health effects. Exposure to hand-arm vibrations from the use of vibrating tools at sea does not differ from that in the land-based trades. However, in contrast to most other work places, seafarers are also exposed to vibrations to the feet when standing on vibrating surfaces on board. Anecdotal reports have related the development of “white feet” to local exposure to vibration, e.g. in mining, but this connection has not been investigated in the maritime setting. As known from studies of the health consequences of whole body vibrations in land-transportation, such exposure at sea may affect ships’ passengers and crews. While the relation of back disorders to high levels of whole body vibration has been demonstrated among e.g. tractor drivers, there are no reported epidemiological evidence for such relation among seafarers except for fishermen, who, however, are also exposed to additional recognised physical risk factors at work. The assessment and reduction of vibrations by naval architects relates to technical implications of this impact for the ships’ construction, but has limited value for the estimation of health risks because they express the vibration intensity differently that it is done in a medical context.
Get Citation

Keywords

hand-arm vibration, whole body vibration, ships, maritime, seafarers

About this article
Title

Vibration on board and health effects

Journal

International Maritime Health

Issue

Vol 65, No 2 (2014)

Pages

58-60

Published online

2014-06-30

DOI

10.5603/IMH.2014.0013

Bibliographic record

International Maritime Health 2014;65(2):58-60.

Keywords

hand-arm vibration
whole body vibration
ships
maritime
seafarers

Authors

Anker Jensen
Jørgen Riis Jepsen

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