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Ann Occup Hyg. 2009 Aug;53(6):617-26. doi: 10.1093/annhyg/mep035. Epub 2009 May 22.

Comparing three methods for evaluating impact wrench vibration emissions.

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National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health, Health Effects Laboratory Division, 1095 Willowdale Road, Morgantown, WV 26505, USA.


To provide a means for comparing impact wrenches and similar tools, the international standard ISO 8662-7 prescribes a method for measuring the vibrations at the handles of tools during their operations against a cotton-phenolic braking device. To improve the standard, alternative loading mechanisms have been proposed; one device comprises aluminum blocks with friction brake linings, while another features plate-mounted bolts to provide the tool load. The objective of this study was to evaluate these three loading methods so that tool evaluators can select appropriate loading devices in order to obtain results that can be applied to their specific workplace operations. Six experienced tool operators used five tool models to evaluate the loading mechanisms. The results of this study indicate that different loads can yield different tool comparison results. However, any of the three devices appears to be adequate for initial tool screenings. On the other hand, vibration emissions measured in the laboratory are unlikely to be fully representative of those in the workplace. Therefore, for final tool selections and for reliably assessing workplace vibration exposures, vibration measurements should be collected under actual working conditions. Evaluators need to use appropriate numbers of tools and tool operators in their assessments; recommendations are provided.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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