Vibration and noise caused by lawn maintenance machines in association with risk to healt
Tallinn University of Technology, Ehitajate 5, EE19086 Tallinn, Estonia;
The aim of this study was to compare vibration and noise characteristics caused by different types of lawn maintenance machines in association with the risk factors to workers’ health. In the present study, the method connecting vibration hazard, health damages and risk levels is presented. Three types of agriculture machines were investigated: all-terrain vehicles (ATV), simple lawn-mowers, ride-on mowers. These machines are used not only in occupational settings, but also by the inhabitants for cutting grass. The gardeners and maintenance workers of the municipal authorities use them daily, sometimes 8 hours a day. The protective equipment against noise is used in occupational settings, but hardly by the public. Noise was evaluated using a Sound Level Meter (TES 1358) following the standard ISO 9612:2009. Vibration was determined as acceleration, velocity and amplitude – measured using a Vibration Dosimeter & Analyser (SV 100) following the standards ISO 2631-4, EVS-EN 5349-2. The risk to the health is assessed by the original flexible risk assessment method worked out in TTU. On the basis of this flexible model the scheme for connecting the local and whole-body vibration hazards and possible health damages was worked out. The results showed that there are differences in the noise and vibration generated by the ATV, lawn-mowers and ride-on mowers. The safest was ride-on mower (local vibration below 1.15 m (s2 ) -1). Lawnmowers gave high vibration levels (over 3 m (s2 ) -1). The personal protective equipment (PPE) has to be worn by all users of the investigated machines. The noise spectral content by these three types of machines is presented and it is different. This enables to choose the right type of ear-muffs by the frequency of noise. The PPE against vibration is also available.