Exposure of drivers of rigid and articulated trucks to vibration

Project No. IFA 4162


completed 01/2014


In order for a risk assessment to be performed for truck drivers, their exposure to vibration on the driver's seat must be known. This knowledge enables workplaces that present a health hazard owing to whole-body vibration to be differentiated from those that do not, and preventive measures to be identified, such as the selection of suitable vibration-attenuating seats. For this purpose, knowledge of the frequency-weighted accelerations at the seat mounting point and on the seat are important, as is the distribution of the vibration exposure values over the excitation frequency.


The German Social Accident Insurance Institution for the trade and distribution industry was recruited as a further partner in the course of the project. In consultation with the accident insurance institutions involved, measurements were focused upon vehicles with a total weight (including trailer) of between 20 and 40 tons. Altogether, the vibration exposure during driving was measured on 15 articulated and 34 rigid trucks at a total of 22 companies. The vehicles differed in marque and body type. Besides the exposure of the driver and co-driver on the seat surface, vibration excitation at the mounting points of the driver's and passenger's seats was also measured, and random measurements performed of the drivers' postures during the exposure to vibration.

The companies involved were informed by their accident insurance institutions of the vibration to which their drivers were exposed, enabling them to use this information for the purpose of risk assessment.


During journeys lasting up to eight hours, exposure on both the driver's and co-driver's seats lay below the action value of the German OSH Ordinance on noise and vibration protection. Scenarios are therefore conceivable in which the driver and co-driver exchange places and are exposed to vibration for longer than eight hours without further measures being necessary under this legislation.

Following publication, the results will also be made available for standardization work in the area of damping tests for drivers' seats.

Last Update:

8 Dec 2014


Financed by:
  • Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung e. V. (DGUV)
Research institution(s):
  • Institut für Arbeitsschutz der Deutschen Gesetzlichen Unfallversicherung (IFA)
  • Berufsgenossenschaft Handel und Warendistribution (BGHW)


Type of hazard:



load, transport and traffic, vibration

Description, key words:

whole-body vibration, transhipment, truck, articulated truck, driver, typical workplace exposure, driver's seat