05/07/2009

Non-binding guide on vibration

Vibration exposure is possible in many occupations where a worker comes in
contact with vibrating machinery or equipment. When a worker operates hand-held
equipment such as a chain saw or jackhammer, vibration affects hands and arms
and is called hand-arm vibration exposure. When a worker sits or stands on a
vibrating floor or seat, the exposure affects almost the entire body and is
called whole-body vibration exposure. The risk of injury depends on the
intensity and frequency of the vibration, the duration (years) of exposure and
the part of the body which receives the vibration energy.



Directive 2002/44/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the
exposure of workers to the risks arising from physical agents (vibration) seeks
to introduce, at Community level, minimum protection requirements for workers
when they are exposed, in the course of their work, to risks arising from
vibration. Directive 2002/44/EC gives exposure limit values and exposure action
values. It also specifies employers obligations with regard to determining and
assessing risks, sets out the measures to be taken to reduce or avoid exposure
and details how to provide information and training for workers.

Any employer who intends to carry out work involving risks arising from
exposure to vibration must implement a series of protection measures before and
during the work. The Directive also requires the Member States of the EU to put
in place a suitable system for monitoring the health of workers exposed to
risks arising from vibration. The evaluation and assessment of risks arising
from exposure to vibration and the implementation of protection measures can be
complicated.

This non-binding guide to good practice will facilitate the assessment of risks
from exposure to hand-arm and whole-body vibrations, the identification of
controls to eliminate or reduce exposure, and the introduction of systems to
prevent the development and progression of injury.


More information


AplusA-online.de - Source: European Agency for Safety and Health at Work