Good vibrations

18 March 2008

A new European Union (EU) directive on noise and vibration in the workplace came into force in March 2007. It is designed to help implement EU Directive 2002/44/EC for protecting workers from vibrations.

According to the directive “exposure action values”for hand-arm vibrations should not exceed 2.5 m/s2 at any time during the day, while the limits for whole-body vibrations are 1.15 m/s2 horizontally and 0.8 m/s2 vertically.

Launched at the Bauma 2007 exhibition in Germany, Grammer AG's Vibration Dosimeter is attached to the operator's seat and continuously monitors vibrations, providing an early warning if they reach critical levels.

“It continuously records all vibrations that occur during the course of an eight-hour shift, calculates the exposure values, and alerts the operator if the maximum permissible levels as defined by the EU directive are reached or exceeded. The employer can then take appropriate action to prevent this from recurring,”explained a company spokesperson.

This may include calling in an authorised inspection agency to perform precise measurements, installing seats with suspension systems that reduce vibrations more effectively, smoothing the surfaces that machines are driven on, or purchasing new, less vibration-prone machines, the manufacturer explains.

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