Vibration exposure at workplaces: an overview

Project No. BGIA 4116


completed 08/2005


In order to provide a general overview of the potential health hazards resulting from exposure to whole-body and hand-arm vibration, the exposure ranges for numerous types of equipment and vehicles stored in the VIBEX database maintained at the BG Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BGIA) were to be evaluated and compiled in a table.


The items of equipment and machinery generating vibration were grouped representatively according to their frequency of use. Typical field values for the exposure impact upon the human body were compiled from the VIBEX database. The axes of vibration x (back-chest), y (shoulder-shoulder) and z (spinal column) were considered for whole-body vibration. For hand-arm vibrations, the total vibration value relevant to prevention considerations is formed in accordance with the requirements of the standard from the values in the three axes x, y and z. The identified areas of exposure were presented in fields reflecting the possible scale of exposure.


For whole-body vibration impact, the ranges of the frequency-weighted acceleration values and for the weighted vibration values commonly used in the past are shown in a graph for the measurement points on the seat mounting and seat surface in the vertical and the two horizontal axes of vibration for 45 groups of vehicles and mobile machines. The number of individual vehicles/machines in each group is also indicated. The groups are indicated by pictograms. The mean seat transmission factors are indicated in tables. For hand-arm vibration exposure, a graph shows the range of the total vibration value for 78 groups of hand-held and manually guided devices, together with the number of representative devices from each group and the associated pictogram.

Last Update:

2 May 2016


Financed by:
  • Hauptverband der gewerblichen Berufsgenossenschaften (HVBG)

-cross sectoral-

Type of hazard:

work-related health hazards, noise/vibrations


load, risk assessment, vibration

Description, key words:

exposure to vibration, hand-arm vibration, whole-body vibration, hand-held equipment, manually guided equipment, vehicles, mobile machinery