A Human-Based Study of Hand–Arm Vibration Exposure Limits for Construction Workers

Siu Kai Lai, Jerry Chui, Lihong Tong, Jian Qiao Sun

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Background: In many developed countries and cities, the construction industry, which is a major economic pillar, is expanding at a rapid pace. In this context, the use of construction machines and vibrating tools for various construction activities is indispensable. With the increasing use of handheld vibrating equipment, construction workers are exposed to hand-arm vibration (HAV), which is a serious occupational risk for those who work with vibrating tools and machinery that cause vibration damage to the fingers, hands and arms. Long-term and chronic exposure to HAV, it may induce hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS), resulting in vascular, neurological and musculoskeletal disorders. HAVS causes permanent and irreversible damage, leading to a high level of disability and work impairment. Method: Due to its severity, a pilot study of HAV is revisited in accordance with the existing exposure points system from the UK’s Health and Safety Executive. Two important factors are considered, namely worker’s age and local climate (e.g., temperature and humidity). A simple idea is proposed to optimize the applicability of the exposure points system to different age groups and climates. Results and Conclusion: The findings of this human-based study may be used as a practical reference for policymakers and contractors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-388
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Vibrational Engineering and Technologies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


  • Age
  • Climate effect
  • Hand–arm vibration
  • Occupational safety
  • Vibration exposure limits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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