Industrial Noise & Vibration Centre

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Whole-Body Vibration - WBV

Whole Body Vibration (WBV) assessment and control

Comprehensive Whole Body Vibration (WBV) assessment service (Control of Vibration at Work regulations) plus innovative risk reduction recommendations.

Our engineering exp[ertise means that this can also be extended to include the provision of detailed risk reduction measures. These can include design and development work plus engineering recommendations for modifications that will reduce the levels of vibration.

We can also provide WBV training in assessment and management up to full competency level.

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Past Whole Body Vibration measurement projects under the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations include:-

  • forklift truck driver vibration
  • staff exposure on ships – Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Control of Vibration at Work) Regulations 2007
  • train driver vibration – London Underground tube lines
  • large industrial plant
  • construction plant
  • cranes
  • truck driver vibration
  • off-road vehicles
  • high-speed ribs…

Whole Body Vibration and Back Pain

The evidence of a link between the Action Values, back pain and Whole Body Vibration is poor under most circumstances – WBV comes a long way down the list of likely causes. The following is the hierarchy for investigation of potential issues:-

  • poor design/adjustment of seating or controls
  • poor driver posture and long periods in the seat
  • manual handling and awkward access/jumping down from cab
  • WBV – especially jolts and shocks
  • non-occupational causes

In practice, the more serious potential vibration issues only tend to arise for off-road vehicles, high speed boats (e.g. ribs), some helicopters and a few other high vibration activities.

Whole Body Vibration Standards

The standards involved are ISO 2631 (parts 1 and 2); BS 6841 (similar to ISO2631 part 1); BS 6472 (equivalent to ISO2631 part 2) – this also recommends vibration dose values (VDV) for impulsive vibration rather than weighted acceleration.