Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005

The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 (the Vibration Regulations), came into force on 6 July 2005 and aim to protect workers from risks to health from vibration.

The regulations introduce action and limit values for hand-arm and whole-body vibration.

Hand-arm vibration

The regulations introduce an:

  • Exposure action value of 2.5 m/s2 A(8) at which level employers should introduce technical and organisational measures to reduce exposure.
  • Exposure limit value of 5.0 m/s2 A(8) which should not be exceeded.

The regulations allowed for a transitional period from the exposure limit value for hand-arm vibration until 2010 to allow work activities, where the use of older tools and machinery cannot keep exposures below the exposure limit value, to continue in certain circumstances.

The full text of the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 can be viewed online.

Guidance providing advice on practical actions employers can take to control the risks and common sense measures to reduce exposure can be found in the following free leaflets:


Inspectors will act to prevent damage to employee's health where duty holders are failing to comply with the law.

See some examples of enforcement action taken by HSE inspectors

Background to the Vibration Regulations

The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 are based on a European Union Directive requiring similar basic laws throughout the Union on protecting workers from risks to their health and safety from vibration. The European Physical Agents (Vibration) Directive (2002/44/EC) deals with risks from vibration at work and is one of several Directives dealing with Physical Agents such as Noise and Vibration. They do not apply to members of the public exposed to vibration from non-work activities.

The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 require more specific duties compared to earlier general health and safety regulations such as the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 which still apply. If employers comply with the Vibration Regulations and follow guidance, it should be possible to eliminate any new incidence of disability from hand-arm vibration and to stop employees developing advanced stages of these diseases. There are simple, non-technical and common sense measures which can be introduced to reduce exposure to vibration.

Is this page useful?