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Vibration at Work

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Vibrations occur in many work settings, often without anyone giving it much thought. In most cases the vibrations are caused by handheld tools or machines developed to facilitate the work or increase the productivity.

For many people, this has led to an excessive exposure to vibration in their daily work. However, the human body is not built to withstand such strain, which means that vibration injuries are a very real risk if preventive measures are not taken.

The problem with vibrating tools and machinery and subsequent vibration damages has received attention at the EU level, which resulted in EU directive 2002/44/EC: This directive (Physical Agent) took effect throughout the EU in July 2005.

The directive sets out strict requirements on all employers in the EU with vibration-exposed workplaces. Today, it is estimated that there are more than 25 million affected workers in the EU, or more correctly put, protected by this directive.

A positive effect of the directive has been (as was the idea) that many tool and machine manufacturers have made efforts to develop new products that emit less vibration. EU is now at the forefront of research when it comes to vibration, both in the medical field and in terms of occupational safety.