April 2020
Volume 72    Issue 4

Investigation of correlation of excavator operators’ hand-arm vibration exposure with produced rock physical-mechanical properties

Aritan, Ali Ekrem


In this study, the vibration exposure of excavator operators working regularly in 25 different natural-stone quarries was measured. In addition, the relationship between vibration exposure and rock properties was investigated. Gloved and ungloved vibration measurements were performed and revealed that antivibration gloves reduce excavator operators’ vibration exposure by 7.10 to 25.95 percent. Samples from each quarry were characterized with rock mechanics tests. The correlations between the hand-arm vibration measurements and the natural stone’s physical-mechanical properties, such as uniaxial compressive strength, Shore hardness, Knoop hardness, apparent density and total porosity were determined to be more than 70 percent. One finding of the study was that the health risk in excavators cannot be reduced sufficiently by the sole use of antivibration gloves. Furthermore, the excavation of any rock with a Knoop hardness above 121 is associated with an 81 percent risk of hand-arm vibration. To increase awareness of the danger of vibration exposure for natural-stone miners, training programs should be provided, and technical and operational changes should be implemented.


Full-text paper:
Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (2020) 37:231–238, https://doi.org/10.1007/s42461-019-00159-8


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