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VINET

Vibration injury network

Research Network on Detection and Prevention of

Injuries due to Occupational Vibration Exposures

EC Biomed II project no. BMH4-CT98-3251

April 1988 to March 2001

Visit the official VINET website: http://resource.isvr.soton.ac.uk/HRV/VINET/index.htm

Objectives

The main objective of the Vibration Injury Network was to advance methods for the detection and prevention of injury due to vibration exposures at work. This is being achieved through:

1. Development of common methods for health surveillance, including the development of improved methods for the detection and diagnosis of disorders.

Standardised guides and questionnaires have been prepared for the surveillance of workers exposed to either hand-transmitted vibration or whole-body vibration. Test methods used in different laboratories to detect sensorineural symptoms of the hand-arm vibration syndrome have been compared. This assists cross-calibration of data from different instruments so as to facilitate standardisation across Europe. An international workshop was held to exchange information on the diagnosis of disorders from hand-transmitted vibration.

2. Establishment of dose-response relationships between vibration exposures and injury, through collaborative epidemiological research.

Protocols have been developed for multi-national epidemiological studies of injuries caused by exposure to hand-transmitted vibration and whole-body vibration as a foundation for future epidemiological work. Computerised databases have been developed to store data from common epidemiological studies that are being planned.

3. Investigation of the interaction between vibration and other environmental, ergonomic and individual factors, through collaborative laboratory experiments.

Collaborative experimental studies were performed on the acute effects of hand-transmitted vibration on the peripheral neurological and vascular systems with the aim of recommending improvements to the methods for evaluating hand-transmitted vibration exposures adopted in International Standard ISO 5349 and the European Standard ENV 25349.

An international workshop on modelling of biodynamic responses of the spine was organised to exchange information on current models, experimental data for the verification of models, and their application. Databases have been established for the sharing of experimental results.

4. Improvement of methods for preventing disorders, including consideration of current standard methods for hazard surveillance and for testing the protection provided by gloves and seats.

Two databases containing vibration data measured on hand-tools and off-road vehicles have been extended and made available on the Internet in the English language. These provide a resource for the estimation of vibration exposures of workers, and for reducing exposures by the selection of tools with lower vibration magnitudes.

Two informative booklets are being published for employers of workers exposed to hand-transmitted vibration and whole-body vibration. These documents are based on guidelines provided by the network partners, and are intended to provide information appropriate for most European countries.

5. International Conferences were organised on Hand-Arm Vibration in 1998 (Umea, Sweden) and Whole-body Vibration in 2000 (Siena, Italy).