The objective of this study is to identify effective engineering methods for controlling handheld workpiece vibration during grinding processes. Prolonged and intensive exposures to such vibration can cause hand-arm vibration syndrome among workers performing workpiece grinding, but how to effectively control these exposures remains an important issue. This study developed a methodology for performing their analyses and evaluations based on a model of the entire grinding machine-workpiece-hand-arm system. The model can simulate the vibration responses of a workpiece held in the worker's hands and pressed against a grinding wheel in order to shape the workpiece in the major frequency range of concern (6.3–1600 Hz). The methodology was evaluated using available experimental data. The results suggest that the methodology is acceptable for these analyses and evaluations. The results also suggest that the workpiece vibration resulting from the machine vibration generally depends on two mechanisms or pathways: (1) the direct vibration transmission from the grinding machine; and (2) the indirect transmission that depends on both the machine vibration transmission to the workpiece and the interface excitation transformation to the workpiece vibration. The methodology was applied to explore and/or analyze various engineering methods for controlling workpiece vibrations. The modeling results suggest that while these intervention methods have different advantages and limitations, some of their combinations can effectively reduce the vibration exposures of grinding workers. These findings can be used as guidance for selecting and developing more effective technologies to control handheld workpiece vibration exposures.
Keywords: Hand-arm vibration; Hand-transmitted vibration; Handheld workpiece vibration; Vibration control