The Directive 2002/44/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council seeks to introduce minimum protection requirements for workers exposed to vibration.
It also specifies employers' obligations with regard to determining and assessing risks, and sets out the measures to be taken to reduce or avoid exposure. Furthermore, the directive details how to provide information and training to workers.
Each member state is responsible for adopting its own regulations that comply with the directive, and for conducting surveillance of employers. However, the requirements set out in the directive are quite precise and leave little room for local interpretations.
The VibroSense Meter is specially designed to be a useful tool for the assessment and health surveillance required by the directive. Below is a summary of the responsibilities defined in Directive 2002/44/EC.
On the minimum health and safety requirements regarding the exposure of workers to the risks arising from physical agents (vibration) (sixteenth individual Directive within the meaning of Article 16(1) of Directive 89/391/EEC)
- “The requirements of this Directive … shall apply to activities in which workers are or are likely to be exposed to risks from mechanical vibration during their work”;
- The employer shall carry out the risk assessment regarding “any effects concerning the health and safety of workers at particularly sensitive risk”;
- “The daily exposure limit value standardised to an eight-hour reference period shall be 5 m/s2”;
- “The daily exposure action value standardised to an eight-hour reference period shall be 2,5 m/s2”;
- Hand-arm vibration is defined as “the mechanical vibration that, when transmitted to the human hand-arm system, entails risks to the health and safety of workers, in particular vascular, bone or joint, neurological or muscular disorders”;
- The employer “shall arrange continued health surveillance and provide for a review of the health status” of all workers exposed to vibration;
- “The Member States shall bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive no later than 6 July 2005”.