Whole Body Vibration (WBV)

Whole-body vibration is mechanical vibration which is transmitted into the body when seated or standing through the supporting surface during a work activity. Regular long-term exposure to whole-body vibration can sometimes be associated with back pain and problems with posture.

The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 came into force in July 2005. The regulations apply to the exposure of workers to both hand-arm vibration and whole-body vibration.

The Regulations require the employer to assess the risk to health created by vibration at the workplace, to eliminate the exposure or where this is not reasonably practicable to reduce it to as low a level as is reasonably practicable.

In some circumstances the employer is also obliged to provide health surveillance to prevent or diagnose any health effect linked with exposure to vibration. In addition the employer is also required to provide information, instruction and training on the risks of vibration at work to their employees where there is an established risk to their health.

In order to properly assess the risk from occupational vibration a vibration risk assessment must be conducted.