This guideline provides information on reducing back pain, including optimal reduction of whole body vibration (WBV) and shocks. WBV is caused by machinery vibration passing through the buttocks or feet. It is considered to be a key factor in the occurrence of back pain.
Workers driving tractors or other vehicles are especially at risk of being exposed to WBV. You as an employer have the responsibility to prevent or reduce the risk of WBV for your workers.
The guideline provides useful information for employers and workers on how to decrease back pain susceptibility through proper use of the right equipment. It helps place WBV in the right perspective, while taking other factors into account.
The kind of action you need to take varies with the degree of risk.
- WBV unlikely to be a risk: Low-cost vibration-reduction measures and management of WBV will reduce maintenance and the likelihood of back pain.
- WBV is likely to be a small risk for back pain: You must have low-cost vibration-reduction and management measures in place, but costly or difficult measures are unlikely to be reasonably practicable.
- WBV is likely to be a risk for back pain: You must have effective engineering and management controls. Health monitoring is recommended to confirm that the risk from WBV is under control.
- WBV is a risk for back pain: To comply with the exposure limit value (1.15 m/s² A(8)) you must restrict how long workers are exposed to WBV.