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Body vibration not as risky as thought

PLANT

THE HEALTH and Safety Executive's research into whole-body vibration will show that the risks to operators are not as high as first thought.

Research being carried out by Southampton University into a variety of machines and applications has come up with lower figures than expected, HSE vibration policy advisor Brian Coles told the Construction Equipment Association.

He said: 'People aren't driving for as long as we thought, and so the aggregate figures are lower.As a result quite a lot of the figures for vibration exposure are below what we expected.'

Mr Coles sought to assuage concern on site over whole-body vibration, saying it was not considered such a priority as handarm vibration, because the direct health risks were not so clear.

Instead, the HSE will be bringing out specific guidance for the sector, advising on good practice such as keeping roadways well maintained and not driving at excessive speeds.

'Hand-arm vibration will be tackled very vigorously but we don't want sites to get too worked up about whole-body vibration.

'The message is to avoid long periods without a break and to have regular, informal checks on back pain generally, 'said Mr Coles.