Feasibility study: Epidemiological case control study for risk assessment of frequency dependent occupational hand arm vibrations

Project No. BGIA 1092


completed 12/2007


The medical history and etiology of vibration-induced disorders present difficulties in their assessment. In particular, the formally recognized occupational diseases (BK) 2103 (vibration-induced vascular disorders) remain inadequately defined. In order for BK 2103 and 2104 to be clearly differentiated in terms of their exposure, and for a dose-response relationsship to be defined for BK 2103, a feasibility study for a case control study was performed.


In random checks male subjects exposed to vibration and suspected of suffering from an occupational disease were compared with controls in a ration of 1:2. The symtoms were recorded in detail by means of various diagnostic methods, and the exposure of the cases measured as precisely as possible. Investigations were also performed of whether these parameters could be measured wit sufficient accuracy, and ffo whether an adequate number of personsn would be available for the study. The project was conducted by the BGIA- Institut for Occupational Safety and Health in conjunctoin with a number of individual BGs (e.g. the BG for the construction sector,, the BG fot the metals industry in North and South Germany, and the BG for the machine construction and metals industry).


The feasibility study shows that a study of this kind is possible. Recruitment of the cases and controls presents a problem, however. Cooperation with a number of different accident insurance institutions enables a sufficient large collective to be found for the planned study.

Last Update:

20 Aug 2009


Financed by:
  • Hauptverband der gewerblichen Berufsgenossenschaften (HVBG)
Research institution(s):
  • Berufsgenossenschaftliches Institut für Arbeitsschutz - BGIA
  • Berufsgenossenschaft Metall Süd

-cross sectoral-

Type of hazard:




Description, key words:

epidemiology, vibration, occupational disease (BK) 2103, BK 2104, diagnostics, exposure assessment, dose-response relationship