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Human Vibration Monitoring

Human vibration monitoring includes the measurement of Hand-Arm Vibration and Whole-Body Vibration. Vibration can cause permanent and painful damage to the body and the use of vibrating tools and machinery should be limited as a consequence.

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Human vibration monitoring involves assessing the exposure of individuals to mechanical vibrations transmitted through various sources, such as vehicles, machinery, tools, and equipment. These vibrations can affect the health, comfort, and safety of individuals, particularly those who are regularly exposed to high levels of vibration in their workplace or daily activities.

Why do we need to conduct human vibration monitoring?
Hand-Arm Vibration and Whole-body vibration are two types of mechanical vibration that can cause a range of health issues in workers who are exposed to them for prolonged periods. Here are some key issues associated with each:

The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 requires employers to assess the risk of injury from vibratory tools in the workplace by completing a HAVS assessment. The two main elements you must monitor are vibration exposure level and vibration exposure time.

According to the HSE:

  1. Vibration Exposure Level is the vibration magnitude level emitted from the equipment your workers use and therefore is the level that your workers are exposed to.
  2. Exposure Time is the length of time that workers are exposed to vibration.

 

Only when you are aware of the two elements above are you able to assess and control the level of vibration exposure to your workers. The vibration regulations implement Action and Limit Values for you to work to. For Hand-Arm Vibration these are:

  • Exposure Action Value of 2.5 m/s2 A(8) at which employers should introduce measures in order to reduce exposure
  • Exposure Limit Value of 5.0 m/s2 A(8) which should not be exceeded.

 

The HSE provides information on the impacts of vibration on humans and how you should manage it: 8 Questions about vibration exposure monitoring.

  1. Low back pain: Whole-body vibration can cause low back pain, which is a leading cause of disability in the workplace.
  2. Degenerative spine conditions: Prolonged exposure to whole-body vibration can lead to degenerative spine conditions such as herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and osteoarthritis.
  3. Digestive issues: Whole-body vibration has been linked to digestive issues such as nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.

 

Overall, both types of vibration can cause a range of health issues and can impact a worker’s ability to perform their job. It’s important for employers to take steps to minimise workers’ exposure to vibration, such as using vibration-dampening equipment and providing adequate rest breaks.

We Recommend

Human Vibration Monitoring

Choose Our Recommended Instruments for Human Vibration Monitoring
Human Vibration Meter
Hand-Arm Vibration Kit

The Revo Hand-Arm Vibration Meter is a powerful human vibration meter that gives you all of the data you need to complete your vibration assessments.

Hand-Arm measurements in accordance with ISO 2631
FFT display for identification of dominant frequencies
Four independent measurement channels
Vector sum, A(8), interval RMS and vibration dose
Human Vibration Meter
Whole-Body Vibration Kit

The Revo Whole-Body Vibration Meter is a powerful meter that gives you all of the data you need to complete your vibration assessments.

Whole-Body measurements in accordance with ISO 2631
FFT display for identification of dominant frequencies
Four independent measurement channels
Vector sum A(8) for analysis of vibration exposure
Human Vibration Meter
Hand-Arm & Whole-Body Kit

The Revo Hand-Arm and Whole-Body Vibration Kit that gives you all the data to complete your vibration assessments.

Hand-Arm measurements in accordance with ISO 2631
FFT display for identification of dominant frequencies
Whole-Body measurements in accordance with ISO 2631
Switch between hand-arm and whole-body readings
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Further reading related to human vibration monitoring

eBooks

4 Biggest Vibration at Work Mistakes (and how to fix them)

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Noise & Vibration

The importance of measuring vibration at work

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Noise & Vibration

The effects of noise and vibration: risks faced by tree surgeons

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