an occupational disease caused by the prolonged effect on the body of a local or general vibration. A local vibration (for example, from working with pneumatic or electric hammers, rammers, vibrpackers) acts on one part of the body; a general vibration (such as from vibropacking concrete or from transport) affects the entire body.
Vibration sickness was described by the Italian physician G. Loriga in 1911, although the first attempts to describe it were made as early as the 19th century by the Russian physicians A. N. Nikitin, F. F. Erisman, and others.
Vibration sickness develops gradually and for a long time does not affect the ability to work. Fatigue, cold, and the strain caused by incorrect working posture lessen the body’s tolerance to vibration. Vibration sickness manifests itself by pains and weakness in the extremities and by increased sensitivity to chilling; subsequently, there may be cramps and whitening of the fingers (especially in the cold), sensitivity is reduced, and changes are observed in the blood vessels of the extremities. These changes appear against a background of functional disorders of the nervous system (rapid fatigue, irritability, headaches, and sometimes dizziness). As vibration sickness progresses, there appear disruptions of cardiovascular activity and of internal secretion, disturbance of metabolic processes, and so on.
Prophylaxis consists of careful occupational screening for jobs, constant supervision by physicians, and strict observance of protective measures for workers. Treatment includes vasodilators and ganglionic blocks, vitamins, physical therapy, therapeutic gymnastics, and health-resort treatment.
REFERENCESAndreeva-Galanina, E. Ts., E. A. Drogichina, and V. G. Artamonova. Vibratsionnaia bolezn’. Leningrad, 1961.
Andreeva-Galanina, E. Ts., and V. G. Artamonova. Ekspertiza trudosposobnostiprivibratsionnoibolez.nl. Leningrad, 1963.
G. IA. IUSHKO