Directive 2002/44/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the exposure of workers to the risks arising from physical agents (vibration) seeks to introduce, at Community level, minimum protection requirements for workers when they are exposed, in the course of their work, to risks arising from vibration. Following the adoption of the Directive 2002/44/EC in Europe, each member country has implemented it in its legislative system (I.e. The 2005-746 decree of 07/04/2005 in France). The ‘Exposure action values’ and ‘exposure limit values’ not to be exceeded are set out therein. This directive requires the evaluation and measurement of exposure to vibration, the installation of protective equipment, the provision of information and training of workers on vibration risk and reinforced medical surveillance.
As the risk of occurrence of pathologies depends on the dose of vibrations over a working day, the minimum safety requirements are as follows:
- ELV (Exposure Limit Value): 5 m/s² for ‘hand-arm’ vibration, and 1.15 m/s² for ‘whole-body’ vibration.
- EAV (Exposure Action Value): 2.5 m/s² for ‘hand-arm’ vibration and 0.5 m/s² for ‘wholebody’ vibration during an 8-hour day.
If the EAV is exceeded, the employer must implement a program of technical and/or organizational measures.
Data from suppliers of vibrating or percussive tools or machines is useful for obtaining information on the risks, but insufficient because the vibration measurement must be carried out under real conditions of use and precisely taken between the source of vibration and the human body.
The [email protected] range of vibration meters developed in partnership with the French research institute for safety (INRS) offer a convenient and affordable means of measuring the vibration exposure of workers in accordance with standards.
Their implementation can be carried out both by non-specialists in vibration for a first assessment and by experts for a more detailed interpretation of the results and advice to reduce the exposure of workers.