Whole-Body Vibration in Automated Residential Solid Waste Collection


Drivers of residential solid waste collection trucks are exposed to a wide variety of physical and health hazards. Automated robotic arm collection methods are intended to eliminate physical and ergonomic hazards associated with manual waste collection. However, whole-body vibration (WBV) exposure is a hazard that may be significant and greater than being found in semi-automated or manual methods. WBV is measured in a pilot field study of automated waste collection trucks during normal operation for nearly eight-hour periods on two consecutive days. All four trials are run under similar route conditions. Vibrations are measured at the seat-driver interface using a tri-axial accelerometer seat pad and portable vibration monitors. Measured WBV levels are compared with prior published data from waste collection trucks and health standards. The average WBV exposure value, corresponding to 0.99 m.s-2 for frequency-weighted r.m.s. acceleration, is above the ISO 2631-1 action value of 0.50 m.s-2 and below a limit value of 1.15 m.s-2 as given in the European Parliament Directive 2002/44/EC. This exposure level suggests the presence of potential health risks.

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Paschold, H. (2015) Whole-Body Vibration in Automated Residential Solid Waste Collection. Open Journal of Safety Science and Technology, 5, 85-92. doi: 10.4236/ojsst.2015.54011.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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