What should my employer do to prevent whole-body vibration?

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) outlines the following measures to control whole-body vibration (WBV) risks:

  • Minimise the transport of goods or materials, or replace person-operated machines with non-person-operated machines such as remotely controlled conveyors.
  • Choose work equipment of appropriate ergonomic design. The choice of vehicle can be an important means of reducing exposure to vibration.
  • Consider the choice of seat (including suspension seats) and the choice of tyres.
  • Regularly maintain vehicles (including their seats and suspension) and maintain unmade roads and ground conditions throughout sites to suit the machines that use them in order to reduce shocks and jolts.
  • Design the layout of workplace sites to reduce the need to transport materials, and so reduce the WBV exposure of drivers/operators.
  • Ensure work schedules have adequate rest periods. Ensure short breaks are taken between operating mobile machinery and manual handling of materials in order to give tired muscles time to recover before handling heavy loads.
  • Protect workers from cold and damp. The HSE says that cold can accelerate the onset or worsen the severity of back pain. It is good practice to ensure that those working in the cold are provided with warm, and (if necessary) waterproof, clothing.
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.