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Vibration 8. RISK FACTORS IN THE WORKING ENVIRONMENT According to the Ordinance by the Council of State on the protection of workers from risks caused by vibrations the employer is required to assess the workers’ exposure to vibration. The risk caused by vibration needs to be eliminated at the source or reduced to a minimum exposure level. Vibration is categorized in two types: hand-arm vibration and whole-body vibration. In the hand-arm vibration, vibration is transmitted to the human-arm system. In the whole-body vibration, vibration is transmitted from the floor or the seat to the body. Vibration causes health risk. Typical symptoms caused by the hand-arm vibration are fingers getting white, loss of sensation, and reduced strength of grip. The potential risk associated with expo- sure to vibration may be assessed by observing work practices and using equipment vibration values for the actual work, including values supplied by equipment manufactures. The exposure of workers to hand-arm vibration can be reduced by keeping equipment in good working condition, and choosing working methods that require less exposure to hand-arm vibration, by the design and layout of workplaces and work stations and by limitation of the duration and intensity of exposure to vibration. When it comes to whole-body vibration it is important to follow appropriate maintenance programs to keep equipment in good working order. Additionally, the seats for machinery should be such that the worker can adjust them for his weight. The driveways should be as even as possible. Lighting Poor lighting of a work place increases the risk of accident and makes it more difficult to work. Make sure your work place has enough light. If needed, ask your supervisor to provide more light. In structural blocks and ships under construction lighting is mainly supplied by portable electric lamps. Each worker in a ship should carry their own flash light in case of blackouts. In case of a fire, an electric blackout is possible, and you need to have your own flashlight on you to make sure you can safely exit the dark ship. Gases In many work places different types of hazardous gases are used as inert gases for flame cutting and welding. Gases, such as Argon, that are heavier than air will displace oxygen causing a choking risk when they collect in tanks and foxholes. Valves must be closed and gas hoses removed from tanks during breaks and after the working day. 23


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