Whole Body Vibration
Whole-body vibration is transmitted through the seat or feet of employees who drive mobile machines or other work vehicles over uneven surfaces. This can cause musculoskeletal disorders.
Furthermore, these Work-related musculoskeletal disorders caused the loss of almost seven million working days in 2018/2019. Also, Back disorders accounted for nearly 3 million of those days lost.
Regular exposure to whole-body vibration over many years can lead to health problems. Problems such as back pain or other musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Furthermore, the longer exposure is to a high level of whole-body vibration, the greater the chance of back injury.
However, lower back pain and disorders of the back, neck and shoulders are not specifically related to vibration exposure. There are other contributory factors to consider such as the driver’s posture and whether they do any heavy lifting.
The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 aims to protect workers from the risks to health from vibration. Moreover, they place a duty on employers to assess the risks to their employees from whole-body vibration, and to take action to reduce the exposure that produces those risks.
The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations sets a daily exposure action value of 0.5 m/s2. If an employee’s exposure exceeds this, an employer must take action to control exposure and reduce risk.
The Regulations also set a daily exposure limit value of 1.5m/s2. Exposure should not exceed this value as it is the maximum amount of exposure for a worker.
All instrumentation used to undertake the assessments is fully calibrated. Likewise, the procedures for measurements are all by the Regulations, Health and Safety Executive Guidance L141 Whole–Body Vibration, and The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005.
The consultant measures exposure using a tri-axial accelerometer fitted into a seat pad beneath the operator on the seat of the vehicle.
The consultant carries out monitoring over a representative time period. This is generally on operators and vehicles where the vibration magnitudes are likely to be high or variable and exposure can be over a long duration.
Further Information is available below