Vibration exposure of fork lift truck drivers

Project No. BIA 4048


completed 03/1990


Fork lift trucks count among those vehicles whose operation - as a permanent, long-term activity - is likely to cause a discopathy (recognised occupational disease). To assess the actual risk, it is necessary to quantify the occurring vibration exposure. If the latter is known, it is possible to distinguish workplaces with and without vibration-related health risks and recommend preventive measures, as for instance the use of suitable driver's seats with vibration control.


Vibration measurements were conducted on several fork lift trucks under typical operating conditions. Measurements were taken at the points of vibration transmission, viz. seat mounting/seat base and driver's seat/driver. The measurements were aimed to determine the extent of vibration exposure on the driver's seat and the definition of suitable vibration spectra for seat testing in the laboratory. The project was initiated by the institution for statutory accident insurance and prevention in the wholesale trade and warehousing industry and the institution for staturory accident insurance and prevention in the mechanical engineering and metalworking industry.


Efficient prevention is achieved by using suitable vibration- reduced driver's seats which can be selected on the basis of the frequency data obtained in the project.

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Financed by:
  • Hauptverband der gewerblichen Berufsgenossenschaften (HVBG)
Research institution(s):
  • Berufsgenossenschaftliches Institut für Arbeitssicherheit - BIA

wholesale industry

Type of hazard:



Belastung, Transport und Verkehr, Vibration

Description, key words:

whole body vibration, transhipment, driver's seat