Machinery vibration can be transmitted to the operator through platforms, seats and handles. It can produce long-term health effects and needs to be controlled.

Types of machinery

  • Hand-held or guided machines – hand/arm vibration transmitted through handles causes vascular damage which can lead to 'White finger disease'.
  • Self-propelled machines – vibration from working platforms and seats affects the whole body and is associated with musculoskeletal disorders.

Operator errors

  • Failure to maintain anti-vibration mountings
  • Using unbalanced or incorrect fitting of spare parts
  • Incorrect adjustment of seat suspension

Design points

  • Ensure components are well balanced.
  • Provide suspension, damping and anti-vibration mountings for handles, platforms and operator seats.
  • Ensure handles are ergonomically designed to minimise grip force.
  • Provide heating for handles on machines likely to be used in cold environments.

Operator instructions and training

Instructions for using this type of machinery must include clear guidance on:

  • Maintenance and frequency of replacement for vibration reduction components.
  • The hand/arm and whole body vibration emission levels under the expected range of operating conditions.

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