If you work in certain industries or roles, you may be at a higher risk of developing issues as a result of being exposed to high levels of vibration in your job. In some cases workers may develop Upper Limb Disorders (ULDS) or Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDS) as a result of working with hand-held power tools or vibrating equipment for long periods of time or within difficult conditions. In other occupations or roles, you may be at risk from Whole body Vibration; where the vibration is felt through the body, rather than just in the upper limbs.
All employers have a duty to prevent injury or damage as a result of exposure to vibration in the workplace. They must consider the use of machines and procedures to minimise the dangers to employees including adhering to exposure action values (0.5m/s2 A(8)) and exposure limit values (1.15m/s2 A(8)). Whereas the risk of injury for employees working at below the exposure action value is very low, controls and procedures must be put in place if the values are exceeded.
Control measures include the introduction of working methods that eliminate or reduce exposure, for example choosing work equipment that has been appropriately ergonomically designed to minimise the risk of danger.
Other key tips involve protecting employees from cold and damp. Exposure to cold can exacerbate or worsen the severity of back pain brought on through vibration. Any employees working in cold environments should be provided with appropriate warm and if needs be waterproof clothing. Ensure that workers’ schedules have suitable breaks between tasks so that muscles are given time to recover before handling heavy loads.
When looking at the risks from vehicular use, ensure that vehicles are regularly and properly maintained, including the seats and suspension, but also ensuring maintenance and upkeep of roadways and ground conditions upon which the vehicles travel. Reducing potholes and smoothing rough roadways can make a huge reduction in vibration for the drivers and other employees.
Have you suffered as a result of vibration in your workplace?
If you or someone you care for has suffered as a result of damage caused by exposure to vibration in your workplace – whether it affects the upper limbs or the whole body, you should contact one of our solicitors. We have years of experience in handling cases such as yours and will swiftly be able to tell you if you have a case, and if so, how much your claim could be worth. Contact us today and let us help you get the payout you deserve.