Analysis and prevention of extreme vibration in high speed craft - A research framework

Paul, Gunther & Groothoff, Beno (2015) Analysis and prevention of extreme vibration in high speed craft - A research framework. In Defence Human Sciences Symposium, 23-24 November 2015, Melbourne, VIC.


Extreme vibration has been reported for small, high speed craft in the maritime sector, with performance and health threatening effects on boat operators and crew. Musculoskeletal injuries are an enduring problem for high speed craft passengers. Spinal or joint injuries and neurological disorders may occur from repetitive pounding over rough water, continued vibration and single impact events.

The risk from whole body vibration (WBV) induced through the small vessels mainly depends on time spent on the craft, which can’t be changed in a military scenario; as well as the number of shocks and jolts, and their magnitude and frequency. In the European Union for example, physical agents directives require all employers to control exposure to a number of physical agents including noise and vibration. The EC Vibration Directive 2002/44/EC then sets out regulations for the control of health and safety risks from the exposure of workers to hand arm vibration (HAV) and WBV in the workplace.

Australia has exposure standards relating to WBV, AS 2670.1-2001 – Evaluation of human exposure to whole body vibration. This standard is identical to the ISO 2631-1:1997, Mechanical vibration and shock – Evaluation of human exposure to whole-body vibration. Currently, none of the jurisdictions in Australia have specific regulations for vibration exposures in workplaces. However vibration is mentioned to varying degrees in their general regulations, codes of practice and guidance material.

WBV on high speed craft is normally caused by “continuous 'hammering' from short steep seas or wind against tide conditions. Shock on High Speed Craft is usually caused by random impacts.

Military organisations need the knowledge to make informed decisions regarding their marine operations, compliance with legislation and potentially harmful health effects, and develop and implement appropriate counter-measures. Marine case studies in the UK such as published MAIB (Marine Accident Investigation Branch) reports show injuries that have occurred in operation, and subsequent MCA (Maritime Coastguard Agency) guidance is provided (MGN 436 (M+F), WHOLE-BODY VIBRATION: Guidance on Mitigating Against the Effects of Shocks and Impacts on Small Vessels. MCA, 2011).

This paper proposes a research framework to study the origin, impact and pathways for prevention of WBV in small, high speed craft in a maritime environment.

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ID Code: 92670
Item Type: Conference Item (Poster)
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Human vibration, High Speed Craft, WBV, Vibration exposure, Occupational Hygiene
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (111705)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 04 Feb 2016 23:28
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2017 14:43

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