A recent NIOSH health hazard evaluation (HHE) report examined vibration exposure among internment technicians working at a cemetery. NIOSH personnel found that workers were exposed to whole body vibration while operating a 10-ton power tip dumper and a backhoe, but that vibration exposure was higher while employees operated the dumper. The evaluation showed that higher driving speed increased whole body vibration exposure. In addition, NIOSH reported that the unpaved access roadways to the soil shed and the soil shed area itself, which was not well graded, contributed to vibration exposures.
The agency made several recommendations to reduce vibration exposure, including engineering controls such as installing a governor device to restrict driving speed for the equipment and ensuring that operators are able to sit properly while using the equipment, with their feet on the operating controls and foot rest surfaces and their back against the backrest. This can be achieved by reducing the distance between the seat pan and the floor of the equipment. NIOSH also recommended some administrative controls to help mitigate vibration hazards, which include rotating employees between equipment more than once per week, maintaining roadways and areas in which equipment is used, and training employees on the use of seat adjustment.