Employers' responsibilities - legal duties

What do the Regulations require employers to do?

The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations require employers to prevent or reduce risks to health and safety from exposure to vibration at work. Employees have duties under the regulations too. The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations require you as an employer to:

  • Assess the vibration risk to your employees;
  • Take action to reduce vibration exposure that produces those risks
  • Decide if employees are likely to be exposed above the:
    • Daily exposure action value (EAV) and if they are:
      introduce a programme of controls to eliminate risk, or reduce exposure to as low a level as is reasonably practicable;
    • Daily exposure limit value (ELV) and if they are:
      take immediate action to reduce their exposure below the limit value;
  • Make sure the legal limits on vibration exposure are not exceeded;
  • Provide information and training to employees on health risks and the actions you are taking to control those risks;
  • Carry out health surveillance (regular health checks) where there is a risk to health;
  • Consult your trade union safety representative or employee representative on your proposals to control risk and to provide health surveillance
  • Keep a record of your risk assessment and control actions;
  • Keep health records for employees under health surveillance;
  • Review and update your risk assessment regularly.

Vibration Levels

What are the exposure action and limit values (EAV/ELV)?

The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 require you to take specific action when the daily vibration exposure reaches a certain action value.

The exposure action value (EAV) is a daily amount of vibration exposure above which employers are required to take action to control exposure. The greater the exposure level, the greater the risk and the more action employers will need to take to reduce the risk. For hand-arm vibration the EAV is a daily exposure of 2.5 m/s2 A(8).

The actions you need to take are described in the rest of the employers' web pages.

There is also a level of vibration exposure that must not be exceeded. This is called the exposure limit value.

The exposure limit value (ELV) is the maximum amount of vibration an employee may be exposed to on any single day. For hand-arm vibration the ELV is a daily exposure of 5 m/s2 A(8). It represents a high risk above which employees should not be exposed.

How vibration level and duration affect exposure

Figure 1 How vibration level and duration affect exposure

The Regulations allow a transitional period for the limit value until July 2010. This only applies to work equipment already in use before July 2007. The exposure limit value may be exceeded during the transitional period as long as you have complied with all the other requirements of the Regulations and taken all reasonably practicable actions to reduce exposure as much as you can.

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