Associations Between Whole-Body Vibration Exposure and Occupational and Personal Factors in Drill Operators in Indian Iron Ore Mines

  • Dhanjee Kumar Chaudhary
  • Ashis BhattacherjeeEmail author
  • Aditya Kumar Patra
  • Rahul Upadhyay
  • Nearkasen Chau


Heavy earth-moving machineries used in open-pit mines intensively expose the drill operators to whole-body vibration and shocks and thus to musculoskeletal disorders. The roles of an individual, machine, and rock-related factors in their exposure remain poorly understood. This cross-sectional study investigated their role among 39 drill operators from Indian iron ore mines. It shows that 70% of the operators were exposed to high levels of vibration, above the limit values recommended by ISO 2631-1. Multiple linear regression models showed that the whole-body vibration and shock exposures were strongly associated with operator’s age, drill machine model, rock’s hardness, uniaxial compressive strength, and density. The role of body mass index was close to significance (p = 0.08). Univariate analyses found that drill’s age, seat pad thickness, and seat backrest height were also strong predictors. These results help in identifying risky operators, materials and occupational situations, and in implementing appropriate prevention and intervention to reduce and monitor the exposures and health risk.


Whole-body vibration exposure Drill operators Predictors Frequency-weighted RMS acceleration VDV 



Daily root mean square acceleration exposure


Regression coefficient


Body mass index


Crest factor


Confidence interval


Health guidance caution zone


International Organization for Standardization


International society for rock mechanics


Mega pascal


Root mean square acceleration


Level of significance


Variance explained by a regression model


Standard deviation


Standard error


Uniaxial compressive strength


Vibration dose value


Whole-body vibration



The authors wish to acknowledge the support received from the management, staff, and workers of the case study mines.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mining EngineeringIndian Institute of TechnologyKharagpurIndia
  2. 2.National Institute for Health and Medical Research (Inserm)Paris cedex 14France
  3. 3.University Paris-Sud and University Paris DescartesParisFrance

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