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Workplace exposure to vibration in Europe: an expert review.

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Presentation on theme: "Workplace exposure to vibration in Europe: an expert review."— Presentation transcript:

1 Workplace exposure to vibration in Europe: an expert review

2 Vibration directive (2002/44/EC) Directive 2002/44/EC on the minimum health and safety requirements regarding the exposure of workers to the risks arising from physical agents (vibration) Came into force across Europe on 6 th July 2005 National measures transposing the directive have been taken by all 27 Member States Sets exposure action values and exposure limit values for hand-arm vibration (HAV) and for whole- body vibration (WBV)

3 One in three workers in Europe is exposed to vibration at least a quarter of the time Number of affected workers has not changed since 1996 Older workers are more likely to be exposed to vibration in agriculture than in construction In manufacturing, workers are twice as likely to be exposed to vibration if they are self employed Sources and extent of exposure

4 Workplace exposure to vibration in Europe: Sources and extent of exposure

5 Exposure above the directives limit value for whole body vibration is likely in several types of mobile machine: e.g. some scrapers, finishers, dozers, loaders and fork-lift trucks Exposure above the directives action level for hand- arm vibration is likely in operators of most main percussive and roto-percussive tools: e.g. chipping hammer, demolition hammer, rock drill, breaker, impact drill, scabbler, rammer, vibratory rammer), of main rotative tools (e.g. grinder, impact wrench, sander) and main alternative tools (e.g. jigsaw, file) Likely exposures above limit value and action level

6 Exposure for main types of off-road machine

7 Variations in national provisions Following the directive, all national legislation takes the daily dose as the starting criterion However, some countries have set stricter requirements than those of the directive: Finland and Poland have fixed short-term exposure limit values Germany has an exposure limit value of 0.8 m/s² for vertical axis whole-body vibration Many complementary methods for controlling exposure to vibration are found in national legislation e.g. maintenance requirements and limitation of exposure duration

8 Management of vibration risks Need to adopt a strategy based on the evaluation of risks Directive requires employers to assess vibration magnitude In practice, very few employers actually take measurements and many do not even evaluate the risk Evaluation is usually based on: data provided by the equipment manufacturer or obtained from online databases In order to assist employers with their risk evaluation: Some countries have trained laboratories to carry out vibration measurement (e.g. Poland, Spain) Other countries have favoured management of risks by users themselves (Belgium) Overall, the number of accredited organisations in the field of vibration assessment is still small whatever the country

9 Control strategy Eradication of vibration syndrome needs action at several different levels: introduction of low-vibration tools, organisation of work, medical surveillance, etc. Technical solutions are well known, but under-used Key success factors to controlling vibration exposure: Integrated step-by-step approach, Effective guidance, Implementation of a purchasing policy, Collaboration with manufacturers, Implementation of a range of measures, Information and awareness-raising.

10 Effects of the vibration directive Uptake of technical solutions varies between countries High in Finland, Germany and Poland, but relatively low in Belgium, France and Spain Differences in extent of uptake may be due to General lack of awareness, High costs, Purchasers ignorance of how to select adequate equipment Low OSH awareness among manufacturers and distributors Vibration directive will lead to Implementation of technical measures and adaptation of equipment Insurers, social partners, research organisations and manufacturers Will provide good practice guides for risk assessment and health surveillance, but may also encourage development of low-cost dosimeters and of online calculators

11 Overview of research in EU-27 Vibration directive has encouraged research in countries previously not very active in this field There are still insufficient data concerning Exposure to vibration in different sectors, Use of machinery under various working conditions, Effects of maintenance and age of machinery Further field study measurements are required WBV: need joint scientific efforts to clarify the prerequisite for an adequate risk assessment Evaluation methods for health risks, comfort and performance in ISO 2631-1 and -5 (frequency weighting, multiplying factors) and used in application of the EU directive, are under critical discussion HAV: need to develop standardised, reproducible measurement methods for several classes of machines and working conditions, including the use of anti-vibration gloves

12 More information available at: Publication: _exposure _exposure European Risk Observatory European Agency for Safety and Health at Work Workplace exposure to vibration in Europe: an expert review

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