Whole-body vibration: Overview of standards used to determine health risks


Wesley Killen and Tammy Eger

Key messages

  • Routine measurements of WBV exposures are necessary to establish a prevention program
  • Increased exposure duration and increased vibration intensity are associated with increased health risks; however, there is insufficient epidemiological evidence to establish a quantitative relationship between vibration exposure and health risks4 
  • ISO 2631-1 and ISO 2631-5 can be used to determine the probability of adverse health effects associated with WBV exposure
  • ISO 2631-1 uses the Health Guidance Caution Zone to assess general health risks based on a worker’s daily exposure to WBV using A(8) or VDVtotal
  • ISO 2631-5 uses stress values (MPa) and risk factor (R factor) values to suggest the risk of adverse health effects for the lumbar spine

Implications for the prevention of MSD

Long-term exposure to WBV puts workers at an increased risk for low back and spine disorders.  ISO 2631-1 or ISO 2631-5 can be used to determine the probability of adverse health effects.  A vibration management program should include regular monitoring of worker exposure to WBV to ensure daily exposure to WBV is below the upper boundary of the ISO 2631-1 HGCZ and the upper limit of the Sed and R factor values published in ISO 2631-5.

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