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Vibrations may be detrimental to safety and health

The term vibrations refers to mechanical oscillations that objects transfer to the human body via so-called contact points. If the vibration enters the body via feet, back, or bottom, this is called whole-body vibration. If the vibration enters the body via the hand, this is called hand-arm vibration.

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Depending on duration, intensity, and frequency of Exposition, whole-body vibrations may cause back pain and even damage the spinal column in the long run. Possible long-term consequences of hand-arm vibrations include both regenerative and degenerative symptoms, such as bone and joint damage, respectively, circulatory disorders, or neurological diseases.

Ordinance to protect workers from risks arising from vibrations at work

The European Directive 2002/44/EC on the minimum health and safety requirements regarding the exposure of workers to the risks arising from vibrations was implemented into German law in 2007 by the Noise and Vibrations Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance (LärmVibrationsArbSchV).
Technical Rules (TRLV) specify this ordinance regarding the risk assessment, the measurement of vibrations, as well as the derivation of suitable protective measures. When applying the TRLV, compliance with the provisions of the Noise and Vibrations Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance (LärmVibrationsArbSchV) can be assumed.
Manuals for whole-body and hand-arm vibrations provide persons concerned with practical guidance.

Manuals whole-body and hand-arm vibrations (in German)

European OSH Directive 2002/44/EC on vibrations

Noise and Vibrations Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance (LärmVibrationsArbSchV) (PDF, 152 KB)


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