Date of Award

Spring 2016

Degree Type

Non-Thesis Project

Degree Name

MS Industrial Hygiene


Industrial Hygiene

Committee Chair

Terry Spear


Whole body vibration (WBV) has been linked to lower back disorders (LBD’s). The purpose of this study is to determine whether crane operators are exposed to whole body vibration (WBV). If exposure exists then, do they exceed a current consensus standard. This information will be used to determine whether WBV should become a larger discussion item when purchasing cranes and or rebuilding. This information can also be used to make the case for seat replacement or at the very least a qualification to consider when purchasing replacement seats.

While many studies exist relating WBV to LBD, I could not find information regarding the quantification of the vibration. Is there little vibration? Does it exceed a consensus standard? If it does exceed a consensus standard then it warrants greater attention when rebuilding cranes including their seats as well as purchasing new ones.

Eight different cranes were tested in this study. A variety of manufacturers were tested. Manufacturer of crane # of Samples Link Belt 6 Grove 3 Manitowac 2 2 Two primary types of cranes were tested, lattice boom crawler type and rough terrain hydraulic. Style of Crane # of Samples Collected Hydraulic, Rough Terrain 5 Lattice Boom, Crawler 6

As a result of this study we find crane operators are exposed to WBV during operations. Two of the Rough terrain cranes and one of the crawler cranes readings exceeded the Action Level set by ISO 2631.1 of 9.1 m/s2 but none exceed the Exposure Limit Value of 21 m/s2. Furthermore, When analyzing the vibration data with the exception of one lattice boom crane, the Manitowoc 16000, the Rough terrain hydraulic cranes were significantly higher almost double for the x and y axis than the lattice boom crawler style cranes. The Manitowac may be an anomaly and with such a small data set perhaps more testing should be done to see if it is a crane specific anomaly. All data is presented in Appendices A and B.


A report submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Master of Science Degree in Industrial Hygiene