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Keynote Presentation - European Legislation And Standardisation For The Control Of Risks From Vibration At Work - Introduction; Proceedings Of The First American Conference On Human Vibration
  • Published Date:
    6/1/2006
Filetype[PDF - 122.05 KB]


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  • Description:
    Two pieces of European Union (EU) legislation together establish requirements for protection against risks from vibration at work. The vibration directive1 specifies duties of employers to protect workers from risks from exposure to vibration; the machinery directive2, specifies duties of manufacturers and suppliers regarding the safety of machinery marketed in the EU. This paper discusses both directives and the standardisation programmes that support them. It also addresses the implementation of these requirements in Great Britain. Employers duties: the vibration directive This directive requires employers to assess and control risks to health and safety arising from hand-arm vibration (HAV) and whole-body vibration (WBV). Member States were required to implement the directive in national legislation by 6 July 2005. Employers are required to eliminate vibration risk at source, or reduced to a minimum. The duties include: assessing risk and exposure; planning and implementing the necessary risk control measures; providing and maintaining suitable work equipment; providing workers with information and training on risks and their control; and monitoring and reviewing the effectiveness of the risk control programme. Daily exposure exceeding a specified action value triggers a requirement for a programme of technical and organisational measures to minimise vibration exposures and the resulting risk, and the provision of health surveillance. Exposures above a specified limit value are prohibited. When conducting their risk assessments, employers are required to assess and, if necessary, measure the vibration exposure of workers, for comparison with the action and limit values. Vibration measurement in the workplace is not expected in all cases and the use of vibration information from equipment manufacturers is specifically mentioned. This provides a link with the machinery directive (see below). Manufacturers and suppliers duties: The machinery directive The machinery directive, first introduced in 1989, is intended to remove barriers to trade. It puts duties on manufacturers and suppliers who place machinery on the European market to design their products to eliminate or reduce risks to health and safety and to warn the user of any residual risks, providing information required for safe use (for example, operator training, maintenance and selection of consumables). There are specific requirements for minimising risk from vibration in the design and construction of the machine and, in the case of hand-held, hand-

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