Understand and minimise the effects of vibration
Exposure to vibration could have a negative effect on the health of your employees. It could damage joints, muscles, circulation and sensory nerves.
This could lead to considerable pain, time off or even disability.
Use the links below to find information on how to assess the risks, calculate vibration levels in your workplace and precautions you can take.
You must assess the risk faced by employees that use vibration tools and equipment. This includes vehicles or heavy plant. To be able to do this you need to calculate the amount of vibration that your employees are exposed to. You should establish the vibration level for the duration that employees are exposed while using
To establish the amount of time employees are exposed to vibration you should observe and measure the time they use the equipment. You can measure it over a short period of time, and use this figure to estimate the exposure time for the full work day.
Manufactures need to provide details of how much vibration a tool or piece of equipment produces, either on tools themselves or in handbooks.
Vibration levels are useful when choosing tools that produce less vibration. However there are other factors when using equipment that will influence risks, such as
You can find examples of levels for a range of typical tools in use on the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) site.
Visit the HSE site for examples of vibration levels
When levels and exposure times have been established, each employee's daily exposure needs to be calculated.
You can do this for both hand arm vibration (HAV) and whole body vibration (WBV) on the HSE website.
Visit the HSE site to use the HAV exposure calculator
Visit the HSE site to use the WBV calculator
Based on the results you may need to take action to reduce exposure if your employees are exposed to levels above those stated in legislation.
If your employee is likely to be exposed to levels above the exposure action values (EAV) you need to bring them down to the lowest level reasonably practicable.
EAV for HAV is 2.5m/s² A (8). This can be expressed as an exposure points value of 100 points.
EAV for WBV is 0.5m/s² A (8).
Legislation requires you to
Your employees can't be exposed to levels higher than the exposure limit values (ELV).
ELV for HAV is 5.0m/s² A (8). This can be expressed as an exposure points value of 400 points.
ELV for WBV is 1.15m/s² A(8).
For information on workplace health, safety and wellbeing, contact your local health board team