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A Guide to Whole-body Vibration

Dr David J. Edwards and Dr Gary D. Holt

Product Information:
A Guide to Whole-body Vibration
Item Code:  PUB-007
ISBN:  0-947974-31-8
Published:  2005
Publisher:  Off-highway Plant and Equipment Research Centre (OPERC), Loughborough University Press.
Pages:  23 (Softback)
Price:  £30.00   
(Member Price: £20.00)
Produced in association with Contractors Mechanical Plant Engineers (CMPE), Costain, Grammer AG Seating Systems and Spillard Safety Systems Ltd.

Whole-body vibration (WBV) is concerned with the transmission of vibration into the human body. This vibration normally, but not exclusively, comes from a self-propelled moving vehicle and acts upon the individual such that it contributes to, or creates, either physical and/or mental negative-health.

WBV was first identified as an environmental stressor during the 1920s and 30s. While that initial identification was concerned principally with vehicular comfort, the increasing recognition of WBV since then has been matched with ever more investigation into the subject to try and better understand the phenomenon and its negative-health effects.

Despite this momentum over the last seventy-odd years, there remain those who feel that knowledge regarding WBV is ‘incomplete’ and within the literature there has been and continues, much debate on this theme. For example, concerning the ‘cause-effect’ and ‘dose-effect’ relationships between WBV and the negative-health of vehicle operators..

However, general consensus tends to agree that there is a cause-effect relationship between exposure to WBV and negative-health, which normally manifests itself as low-back pain (LBP). In addition to LBP, many other medical symptoms are also associated with WBV exposure.

Following a European Health and Safety Directive, the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations have more recently brought WBV (and its mitigation) into UK workplace health and safety statute. (The new Regulations also cover hand-arm vibration (HAV), but HAV is beyond the scope of this guide on WBV - see OPERC publication A Guide to Hand-arm Vibration).

Against this backdrop of increased WBV awareness and more recently, its ‘formalisation’ under the umbrella of UK workplace health and safety law, this guide provides a concise overview of current WBV knowledge combined with practical advice for meeting the requirements of the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations.

If you have any queries regarding Whole Body Vibration, then please contact the OPERC Administrator. Email: [email protected]