What should my employer do to reduce vibration risks?

Under the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005, your employer must prevent or reduce risks to your health and safety from exposure to vibration at work by carrying out a risk assessment for vibration, and eliminating – or where elimination is not reasonably practicable, reducing – exposure to vibration to as low a level as is reasonably practicable.

Your employer must decide if you are likely to be exposed to vibration in excess of the daily Exposure Action Value (EAV). For hand-arm vibration (HAV), this is a daily exposure of 2.5 m/s2 A(8) and for whole-body vibration (WBV), it is 0.5 m/s2 A(8). (See How is vibration measured? for more information on this.)

If this is the case your employer must introduce a programme of controls to eliminate the risk, or reduce the exposure to vibration to as low a level as is reasonably practicable.

If you are exposed to the daily Exposure Limit Value (ELV), your employer must take immediate action to reduce your exposure to below this limit. For HAV, this is a daily exposure of 0.5 m/s2 A(8) and for WBV it is 1.15 m/s2 A(8).

Your employer must also provide information and training on the health risks and the actions they are taking to control the risks, and carry out health surveillance where there is a risk to your health.

Your employer is not obliged to use equipment to continuously monitor vibration levels. In 2011, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) issued new guidance to employers advising that in most cases, continuous monitoring is unlikely to be a good use of resources. Even where your employer carries out continuous monitoring of vibration levels, this does not necessarily mean your employer is complying with the Regulations.

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.