Whole-Body Vibration Exposure in Construction: Examining Acute Effects, Guidelines, and Risk Mitigation Strategies to Prevent MSD and Injuries

Tuesday November 20, 2018 at 11:00 AM PT, 2:00 PM ET


In construction, exposure to whole body vibration (WBV) is common in daily working life. Whole body vibrations, which are the shakes, bumps, and jolts that are transmitted from the vehicle to an occupant, can be problematic if the exposure is excessive. This webinar will: (1) examine the acute effects of WBV, (2) investigate whether established occupational guidelines protect the worker from injurious short-term effects, and (3) offer considerations to mitigate adverse WBV effects in construction work.

You will learn:

  • Possible acute sensorimotor, physical, and cognitive effects of whole body vibration identified from field and laboratory-based experiments
  • Whether current whole body vibration guidelines (specifically the EU Directive) protect the worker from acute WBV effects
  • Strategies to mitigate WBV effects including seating
  • The combined effects of whole body vibration when sequentially performed with physical and mental work demands ​

Take home messages:

  • There are physical and mental effects from short-term WBV exposure
  • Current whole-body vibration (WBV) exposure guidelines exist for long-term musculoskeletal disorders and discomfort; however, it has been speculated that short-term exposure to excessive WBV may lead to increased risk of vehicle accidents and falls during egress. Current guidelines might not protect workers from acute WBV effects.
  • WBV interventions should address both vibration reduction and potential effects of prolonged sitting. Work arrangement and scheduling strategies might offer a means to mitigate the effects of WBV and other work demands.​

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Marcus Yung, PhD, CPE

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Division of General Medical Sciences, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, USA
Marcus Yung is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Division of General Medical Sciences at Washington University School of Medicine (St Louis, USA). His research interests centers around etiology of work-related musculoskeletal disorders and development of prevention strategies and interventions to mitigate injury risk. He has expertise in lab- and field-based human performance measurement and knowledge in exposure estimation using population-level data. He obtained degrees from Simon Fraser University and University of Waterloo.
Bronson Du

​Bronson Du​, MSc

Research Project Coordinator, Center of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders (CRE-MSD)
Bronson Du is a research project coordination at the Center of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders (CRE-MSD). He completed a MSc in Public Health and Health Systems, and a BSc in Kinesiology at the University of Waterloo. His master’s thesis topic was on the impacts of whole-body vibration exposure on truck drivers’ vigilance and discomfort. His current research focus is on helping inform standards to prevent and manage work disability in the paramedic sector.
Phil Bigelow

​Philip Bigelow, PhD

Associate Professor, School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo
Dr. Phil Bigelow is an associate professor in the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo and has a background in occupational epidemiology. He teaches epidemiology in the Master of Public Health (MPH) program and provides research mentorship in the Collaborative PhD Program in Work and Health, an inter-departmental program within the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences. Dr. Bigelow holds an appointment at the Institute for Work and Health where he was a specialist in program evaluation and intervention studies prior to joining the University of Waterloo. He was a faculty member in the Department of Environmental Health at Colorado State University for over 10 years where he conducted research in exposure assessment, occupational epidemiology, and construction health and safety. He held a NIOSH Mentored Research Scientist Development Award in which he studied exposures and health effects in construction painters. He led a NIOSH research project that evaluated “HomeSafe” which is a novel, residential construction safety program involving a partnership of the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Denver. His current research interests include gaining an understanding of factors that improve the safety performance of firms and improve the implementation and uptake of health and safety interventions. He also has a passion for the prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and is a Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of MSD (CRE-MSD) researcher. ​​

Presentation Partners:

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Partially funded by:

British Columbia
This program is pre-approved by the Vocational Rehabilitation Association of Canada (VRA Canada) for one hour training session.
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