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Estimating Exposure

Vibration data may be available in equipment handbooks or from equipment suppliers. The table below gives examples of vibration levels measured on typical equipment in use. There are also databases on the Internet which may have suitable vibration data.

tableofexposures

If the manufacturer’s vibration data is used a check should be made that it equates with the way the equipment is actually used in practice - some data may underestimate workplace vibration levels substantially.

A check also needs to be made, by observation, how long employees are actually exposed to the vibration i.e. the total daily ‘trigger time’ with the equipment operating and in contact with the employee’s hand(s). If the employee is exposed to vibration from more than one tool or work process during a typical day, the ‘trigger time’ for each one must be measured.

Once relevant vibration data and exposure time data is collected an ‘exposure points’ system can be used to assess daily exposure.

tableofexposures2

Specific vibration measurements for individual tools can be made but this requires a competent person using specialised equipment. Your H&S Adviser should be consulted about this.