Tractors, infrasound and health
Type of Spiritual Experience
Mention of 'neurological effects'
A description of the experience
Appl Ergon. 2013 Mar;44(2):210-4. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2012.07.002. Epub 2012 Aug 9. Exposure to audible and infrasonic noise by modern agricultural tractors operators. Bilski B.University of Medical Sciences in Poznań, Department of Preventive Medicine, ul. Smoluchowskiego 11, 60-179 Poznań, Poland. email@example.com
The wheeled agricultural tractor is one of the most prominent sources of noise in agriculture. This paper presents the assessment of the operator's exposure to audible and infrasonic noise in 32 selected modern wheeled agricultural tractors designed and produced by world-renowned companies in normal working conditions.
The tractors have been in use for no longer than 4 years, with rated power of 51 kW to up to 228 kW (as per 97/68 EC). Audible and infrasonic noise level measurements and occupational exposure analysis to noise were performed according to ISO 9612:2009 (strategy 1 - task-based measurements). The measurements were made in different typical work conditions inside and outside of tractors cabs.
The results indicated that exposure levels to noise perceived by the operators (L(ex,Te) between 62,3 and 84,7 dB-A) and can make a small risk of potential adversely effects on hearing during tasks performed inside the closed cab. It should be remarked that uncertainty interval is wider and in some conditions can occur transgression of audible noise occupational exposure limits.
The measured audible noise levels can potentially develop the non-auditory effects.
Analysed tractors emit considerable infrasonic noise levels that tend to exceed the occupational exposure limits (both inside and outside the driver's cab). The levels of infrasound: 83,8-111,4 dB-G.
All tractors introduced for sale should be subjected to tests in terms of infrasonic noise levels. The applicable standards for low frequency noise and its measurement methods for vehicles, including agricultural tractors, should be scientifically revised. In the last years there has been a noticeable technical progress in reduction of audible noise exposure at the tractors operators workplaces with simultaneously lack of important works for limitation of exposure to infrasound.
Author discuss possible health and ergonomic consequencies of such exposure.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd and The Ergonomics Society. All rights reserved.