What is Whole Body Vibration?

What is Whole Body Vibration and what are it’s effects?

Whole Body Vibration is transmitted through the feet or seat of employees who drive machinery over rough and uneven surfaces as their jobs main role. Large jolts and shocks could cause serious health issues, and, because of this, measures should be put in place to try and prevent it. By law, employers have to measure the levels of vibration their employees are being exposed to and then assess the risk to their employee’s health from vibration at work.

What is the Law on Whole Body Vibration?

The law requires companies to assess the risk of injury from vibration in the workplace. The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 aim to protect workers from health risks due to vibration. In regards to Whole Body Vibration, the Regulations introduce an:

  • Exposure Action Value of 0.5 m/s2 A(8) at which employers should introduce measures in order to reduce exposure.
  • Exposure Limit Value of 1.15 m/s2 A(8) which should not be exceeded.

What are the Employer’s responsibilities?

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Employers are responsible for preventing their employees risk from exposure to vibration. Some of their responsibilities could include:

  • Introducing control measures if their employees daily exposure to vibration is likely to exceed the exposure action value.
  • Not exposing your employees above the exposure limit value.

You should take particular care with employees who are particularly sensitive and try to keep their exposure to a minimum.

How can an Employer prevent Whole Body Vibration?

There are several ways an employer can control employee’s exposure to Whole Body Vibration, for example:
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  • Monitoring exposure times
  • Controlling employee’s daily usage of certain equipment where necessary
  • Introducing anti-vibration technologies to reduce the level of vibration emitted
  • Choosing appropriate working equipment
  • Regularly maintaining machinery, including vehicles

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