Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Public Health

Major Professor

Thomas E. Bernard, Ph.D.


Hand-arm vibration, Needle gun, Needle scaler, Percussive tool, Vibration white finger


United States (U.S.) Navy sailors are exposed to a very large number of hazards, both chemical and physical. Occupational vibration from pneumatic air tools is one of the potential exposure hazards. There are very limited data as to the exposures to one type of tool, a needle gun or needle scaler, used by the sailors.The purpose of this study was to characterize the vibration levels generated by a needle gun used in the U.S. Navy. The design of the study evaluated the difference pressure had on the acceleration levels generated from the needle scaler. Five subjects were used in the evaluation of the tool. Each subject was required to hold the tool for twenty seconds activated without contact and activated on a surface and at two different pressures, 60 and 80 pound per square inch (psi). Each subject repeated each of the conditions three times for a total of 12 measurements. Each subject was also required to hold the tool in hand without the tool activated. The measurements were collected from an accelerometer on the needle gun following ISO 5349-1:2001 and ISO 5349-2:2001 methods. Significant differences were observed individually in pressure (p<0.0001), contact (p<0.0001)), and subjects (p<0.001). In addition, there was a significant interaction between contact and pressure (p<0.001). It was concluded that U.S. Navy sailors are not likely at significant risk to Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome for lifetime exposures to hand transmitted vibration.