How is vibration measured?

Your daily exposure to vibration is measured by a formula known as an A(8) value. This is the average (A) exposure over an eight-hour (8) day and takes into account the magnitude of the vibration and how long you are exposed to it. The rate of vibration of a tool or piece of machinery is measured in metres (m) per second (s) – its movement per second.

Suppliers must provide information on the vibration emission value of their equipment.

The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 specify daily exposure levels at which employers will be required to take action to control risks. These are known as Exposure Action Values (EAVs). The regulations also set out Exposure Limit Values (ELVs). Where these are reached, the employer must prevent further daily exposure.

For hand-arm vibration (HAV), the daily ELV is 5 m/s2 A(8) and the daily EAV is 2.5 m/s2 A(8).

For whole-body vibration (WBV), the daily ELV is 1.15 m/s2 A(8) and the daily EAV is 0.5 m/s2 A(8).

The Regulations contain schedules explaining how your employer should take action to limit your daily exposure to vibration.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.