Whole Body Vibration (WBV) programme comes into effect in July.

Good vibrations for merchants

Published:  28 April, 2009

BEDFORD: Millbrook, the commercial test and validation centre for the automotive and transport trades, launched a Whole Body Vibration (WBV) programme.

Under 2005's Control of Vibration at Work Regulations, WBV relates to vibration from industrial machines and vehicles and comes into effect in the UK from July 2010.

Responsibility for WBV compliance lies with employers - and companies in the construction sector must act now in order to ensure adherence to the regulations in just over a year's time. Millbrook is able to offer a complete programme, from initial analysis to final reports for local authorities, sub-contractors and other organisations seeking a total WBV solution. The development site has already been working with organisations, including Irish and British agencies, to minimise the effects of the issue.

It has also compiled a WBV manual, for managers and operatives, to aid in the process of minimising vibration utilising existing machinery. The directive seeks to introduce minimum levels of WBV protection for employees. It covers evaluation of the risk, removal or reduction of exposure and ongoing health surveillance.

Implications of WBV on the body can be significant, with studies showing evidence of increased health risks with regard to the neck, shoulders and back, as well as reported effects on digestive systems and female reproductive organs.

Bruce Lornie, Millbrook's business development manager, commented: "The legislation is a positive step forward, as it will seek to minimise the possible long-term implications of WBV, including back and neck disorders for individuals.

"As part of the employer's duty of care, a risk assessment must be carried out on all equipment that creates WBV. Once tests are done, remedial work can be carried out on a vehicle to ensure its compliance, or working practices altered for personnel," said Mr Lornie.

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