Risk assessment of vascular disorders by a supplementary hand–arm vascular weighting of hand-transmitted vibration

  • Massimo BovenziEmail author
  • Iole Pinto
  • Francesco Picciolo
Original Article



To provide an updated epidemiological validation for a supplementary method for assessing the risk of vascular disorders from hand-transmitted vibration.


The occurrence of vibration-induced white finger (VWF) in the vibration-exposed workers of the Italian cohort of the EU VIBRISKS study was related to measures of daily vibration exposure expressed in terms of r.m.s. acceleration magnitude normalised to an 8-h day, frequency weighted according to either the frequency weighting Wh defined in international standard ISO 5349-1:2001 [Ah(8) in ms− 2] or the hand–arm vascular frequency weighting Wp proposed in the ISO technical report (TR) 18570:2017 [Ap(8) in ms− 2]. To estimate a threshold value for vascular hand–arm vibration risk, the Wp-weighted vibration exposure value Ep,d (in ms− 1.5) was calculated according to the ISO/TR document. The difference in the predictions of VWF between the exposure measures calculated with the frequency weightings Wh or Wp was investigated by means of logistic modelling.


Measures of daily vibration exposure constructed with the frequency weighting Wp [Ap(8) and Ep,d], which gives more importance to intermediate- and high-frequency vibration, were better predictors of the occurrence of VWF in the vibration-exposed workers than the metric derived from the conventional ISO frequency weighting Wh [Ah(8)]. There was some epidemiological evidence for a threshold value of Ep,d for the onset of VWF in the vibration-exposed workers.


Measures of daily vibration exposure evaluated with the vascular weighting Wp performed better for the predictions of VWF than those obtained with the frequency weighting Wh recommended in ISO 5349-1.


Frequency weightings Epidemiology Hand-transmitted vibration Vascular disorders 



This research was supported by the European Commission under the Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources programme - Project No. QLK4-2002-02650 (VIBRISKS).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clinical Unit of Occupational Medicine, Department of Medical SciencesUniversity of TriesteTriesteItaly
  2. 2.Physical Agents, Public Health Lab, Local Health Authority Toscana Sud EstNHSSienaItaly
  3. 3.Department of Physical Sciences, Earth and EnvironmentUniversity of SienaSienaItaly

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