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Combined Effects of Noise and Hand-transmitted Vibration on Workers’ Muscle and Mental Fatigues in a Simulated Construction Operation


  • Seyed Hojat Mousavi Kordmiri
  • Mohsen Aliabadi
  • Rostam Golmohammadi
  • Massimo Bovenzi
  • Maryam Farhadian



Hand-transmitted vibration, Noise, Combined effects, Construction vibrating tools


Background: The frequent use of hand-held vibrating hand tools by construction workers exposes them to hand-transmitted vibration (HTV) and noise, which may lead to body fatigue. This study investigated the effect of combined exposure to HTV and noise on muscle and mental fatigue.

Methods: The study was conducted on 40 construction workers exposed to HTV (5 m/s2 rms with frequencies of 31.5, 63, and 125 Hz), HTV (10 m/s2  rms- 31.5 Hz), noise (90 dBA), and concurrent exposure (noise (90 dBA) + HTV (10 m/s2 rms- 31.5 Hz)) for 30 minutes in six days under the conditions of simulating work with building vibration destruction tools. Electromyography signals determined the fatigue amount in the Flexor digitorum superficialis (FDS) muscle for each worker in two pre- and post-exposure periods. The subjects also filled out the Visual Analogue Scale to evaluate Fatigue Severity (VAS-F) subjectively.

Results: The results showed that the concurrent exposure scenario showed the greatest mean differences in muscle and mental fatigue. The effect of exposure to HTV on muscle fatigue was stronger than noise. However, in combined exposure, noise has increased the main effect of HTV on muscle fatigue. The effect of noise on mental fatigue was greater than that of HTV. However, in combined exposure, vibration has increased the main effect of noise on mental fatigue. Low-frequency HTV showed a more significant effect on muscle and mental fatigue than high-frequency HTV.

Conclusion:  It is verified that simultaneous exposure to physical stimuli in the workplace, especially noise and HTV should be considered in setting the dose-response threshold limit.


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Author Biographies

Seyed Hojat Mousavi Kordmiri

Center of Excellence for Occupational Health, School of Public Health and Occupational Health & Safety Research Center, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran.

Rostam Golmohammadi

Center of Excellence for Occupational Health, School of Public Health and Research Center for Health Sciences, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran

Massimo Bovenzi

Clinical Unit of Occupational Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, University of Trieste, Italy

Maryam Farhadian

Department of Biostatistics, School of Public Health and Research Center for Health Sciences, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran.


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