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A novel device for assessing the health risk caused by hand-arm vibrations in olives harvesting

  • Autori: Aiello, G; Catania, P; La Scalia, G; Pipitone, F; Vallone, M
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2012
  • Tipologia: Proceedings (TIPOLOGIA NON ATTIVA)
  • OA Link:


The mechanization of olive harvesting is very important both to reduce the costs of production and to assure the oil quality because the manual harvest does not allow to operate at the right time and also need a long period to be completed. The use of portable shakers, that are spreading more than others typologies, can give a solution to the problem. However, the use of such equipment may involve risk of exposure to hand-transmitted vibration. The aim of this study was to assess the level of exposure to hand-arm vibration of the operators using portable shakers (reference standards UNI EN ISO 5349-1:2004, Italian Low Decree 81/2008). The research presented here concerns the definition of a test bench for the execution of laboratory tests and the experimental tests in the open field under real operating, in both cases by applying the hardware components and the related software development activities previously realized by the authors. The experimental tests were performed with shakers commonly used in olives harvesting in order to collect and characterize vibration data in terms of intensity. These information were afterwards used to real time monitor vibrations and consequently evaluate health risks. Total vibration values measured in the laboratory using the test bench and measured in the field were not statistically significant different. This allows to state that the test bench realized by the authors can be applied to measure the vibrations transmitted by handheld shakers to the hand-arm operator’s system as a "standard system" for eventual certification of this type of machines for the defence of agricultural workers' health.