Researchers at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) performed a pilot study focusing on the measurement accuracy of a mobile iOS application (app) to assess whole-body vibration (WBV) and seat performance on mobile mining equipment. The major objectives of this study were to assess the accuracy of an iPod app and determine if a pair of iPods running the iPod app were suitable to measure SEAT (Seat Effective Amplitude Transmissibility) value. The goal is to recommend a simple method to determine when a vehicle seat may need to be repaired, replaced, or adjusted. The study showed that the iPod app has the potential to serve as a low-cost tool to estimate WBV exposures to operators of mobile mining equipment. The study results were similar to those obtained by Burgess-Limerick et al. for operator WBV exposures on mining equipment. In contrast, an effort to examine seat performance using the mobile app showed greater variation between the app and the precision Siemens/LMS system selected as the “gold standard.” When comparing the Siemens/LMS and iPod pair systems, SEAT values calculated using weighted-root-mean-square acceleration (aw) resulted in a mean percent difference of 8.5±7.9%, whereas those calculated using vibration dose value (VDV) resulted in a mean percent difference of 5.5±4.4%. Additional data collection is necessary to determine what factors may be associated with this variance.

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