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The University of Southampton

Research project: Human response to force and hand-arm vibration

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Investing the pathological effects of hand-arm vibration combined with different influencing factors, especially hand forces, on individuals.

Hand-arm vibration (HAV), which is also referred as hand-transmitted vibration, is a common phenomenon that occurs when individual holds a vibrating power tool. Prolonged occupational exposure to HAV may lead to various diseases collectively known as hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS). Patients’ finger blood circulation, nerves, muscles and joints may be permanently damaged.

The syndrome of hands caused by force and vibration varies. Although many models of muscle and bone movement have been established and many experiments have been carried out on the vascular disorder and neurological disorder from the HAV, the underlying mechanisms responsible for it arising from acute and chronic exposures to hand-transmitted vibration are not clear. Without deeper understanding of the internal mechanisms, people cannot assure the accuracy and specificity of the assessment for the hand–arm vibration syndrome. Besides, the current standards ISO13091-1 (2001) and ISO13091-2 (2003) are still not versatile. And obviously, prevention measures such as hand gloves cannot meet the requirement in achieving better performance of the operation.

This research project aims to develop a more targeted and comprehensive model with the verification of anthropometric data from HAV experiments and to study the dynamic interaction of the vibration tools with users. The research will gain and advance understanding of influencing factors and combined effects of force and vibration on the human hand to assist the diagnosis of vibration-induced dysfunction and improve the work safety and efficiency by optimizing criteria and constraints.

Associated research themes

Related research groups

Institute of Sound and Vibration Research
Dynamics Group
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