More information on Vibration

Here's some more information on Vibration:

  • Safe Work Australia has a number of materials, including two fact sheets providing information on the health effects resulting from exposure to vibration from common sources in the workplace. Information is included on the levels of exposure which are known to cause health effects, and suggested control measures which can be put in place:
  • The UK's Health and Safety Executive has a webpage covering both hand-arm and whole body vibration. The page has resources including guidance for employers and an online "vibration exposure calculator" which will help workers work out their overall daily exposure to vibration.

    • For those interested, the HSE produces a free vibration e-Bulletin (just register).
    • Also, a useful free pocket card Hand-arm vibration - Advice for employees  with notes on good practice. It is available in English and twenty other languages (a new version, but in English only, was released in June 2014).
    • HAV exposure calculator which helps estimate and record workers’ exposures to HAV and compare them with the actions values in the regulations as part of a HAV risk assessment. While we don't have such regulations in Australia, this is a valuable tool for workers and employers where vibration is an issue. Also a document which has vibration magnitudes for common tools from HSE’s HAV database [pdf] that can be used to make cautious estimates of exposure before representative in-use data for specific tools is available. 
    • The HSE also has a section in its 'Toolbox' on Vibration.
    • Released in August, 2015: RR1060 A critical review of evidence related to hand-arm vibration syndrome and the extent of exposure to vibration. This report describes a systematic literature review on the nature of the exposure-response relationship between hand-transmitted vibration and the elements of hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS), ie the vascular, neurosensory and musculoskeletal components. This review indicates that there are a number of unknowns with regard to the exposure-response relationships for HAVS. Despite on-going research in the area of HAVS, quantitative exposure-response relationships for HAVS remain elusive and ill-defined. It has still not been possible to establish if there is a no effect level for vibration exposure, other than the somewhat obvious zero exposure level.
    • go to this page on the HSE website where there is much more information and guidance on vibration. 

  • From OSHA (US) Hand and Power Tools [pdf]

  • Australian Standards - there are several, including: 

    • AS 2670.1-2001 Evaluation of human exposure to whole-body vibration,
      Part 1: General requirements
    • AS ISO 5349.1-2013 Mechanical vibration - Measurement and evaluation of human exposure to hand-transmitted vibration, Part 1: General requirements

       (ask your union to contact VTHC, or go to the Standards Australia website to purchase)
Last amended February 2022