Exposure to vibration can cause several types of damages to the human body. There predefined levels by the legislation regarding the exposure values to vibration to ensure safety and wellbeing of employees at workplace. There values are exposure action value (EAV) and exposure limit value (ELV). There are typically two types of exposure to vibrations at workplaces:
If the HAV exposure exceeds the safe levels it can cause a dangerous syndrome, commonly known as vibration white finger, which is a type of repetitive stress injury that can result in permanent damage to your fingers, hands, and lower arms. A vibration monitoring and assessment is required to evaluate the situation and determine the exposure values and in case of exceeding action level or limit level proper actions and mitigation strategies shall be provided. In general vibration monitoring and measurements for this type of vibration is fairly straight forwards and with proper equipment can be performed on site and would require reasonable amount of time and resources.
Over a prolonged period of time, WBV type of exposure takes a toll on the body. Exposure to these vibrations can cause serious physical problems ranging from chronic back pain to nerve or organ damages. WBV introduces many challenges due to the fact that the actual vibration if transmitted through body may be amplified and also the posture and physics of the employee would be influencing the effects. WBV measurements are very complicated and costly. If proper control measures are in place and the systems design and installation follows good engineering practices the likelihood of WBV risk would be fairly low.
Vibration survey is done through measurement of vibrations (high accuracy vibration with three axis measurements) using accelerometers and reading the values through a signal that is delivered from the accelerometer to the actual receiver and analysing the results into a spectrum of frequency of vibrations. The measurements for HAV are quiet simple and can be done with normal measurements techniques. However WBV require high precision three axis measurements and highly technical and details analysis for further evaluation and assessment.
The main relevant legislation covering the control of vibration in the workplace is the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007, Chapter 2: Control of Vibration at Work. Under these regulations, where employees are or are likely to be exposed to risks to their safety or health arising from exposure to mechanical vibration during their work, employer is obliged to make a suitable and appropriate assessment of the risk arising from such exposure.
CMSE Consultancy is a leading provider of Workplace Vibration Survey and Assessments to clients for many years. Our specific deliverables in this area include Vibration monitoring and survey, vibration risk assessments, measurement and reporting. Our specialist consultants have many years of practical experience and expertise in assessing your needs in terms of current vibration Legislation.
At CMSE Consultancy we pride ourselves on the quality and value of the services that we provide our clients. Our Vibration Consultants will identify and assess the risks posed by vibration in your workplace and environment in accordance with all current Irish vibration legislation and current best practices. We have provided occupational and environmental vibration consultancy services to clients for many years now. We have assisted large clients with regulatory compliance right through to supporting clients with specific issues or areas that require measurement and advice.
Vibration risk assessment and measurement (Whole Body and Hand-Arm) are also areas where we have provided an increasing amount of support to clients over the last number of years. We can provide cost effective solutions for both occupational and environmental vibration surveys. If you have any questions about this topic or would like to discuss the area with our specialists please contact us here and we will revert to you.