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Symptoms of construction workers exposed to whole body vibration and local vibration.

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Department of Hygiene, Wakayama Medical College, Japan.


To study the effects of construction machinery operation on subjective symptoms, a questionnaire survey was carried out among construction machinery operators by a self-reporting method. Subjects were 184 power shovel operators, 127 bulldozer operators, 44 forklift operators as operator groups, and 44 office workers as a control. Their ages were in a range of 30-49 years. The questionnaire contained 20 symptoms referring to fatigue, digestive problems, and upper or lower limbs or back problems. The prevalence rate and symptom characteristics were examined. The dominant symptoms of the operator groups were stiff shoulder, low back pain, and stomach symptoms. The prevalence rate of low back pain was significantly different between forklift operators and controls. No significant differences were found in the symptoms of upper limbs and fingers between operator groups and controls. The prevalence of Raynaud's phenomenon was 0.5%-2.3% in the operator groups and 2.3% in the control group.

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