Exposure to hand-arm vibration at workplaces in the construction industry

Project No. BIA 4072


completed 06/2002


As a result of the introduction of new products and working methods, the data used by the German Institutions for Statutory Accident Insurance and Prevention in the building trade to evaluate health risks at building site workplaces are no longer up-to-date. The project was aimed to fill the existing gaps and to increase the efficiency of prevention by enhancing the risk source analysis. In addition it was planned to prepare the available data material such that an investigation of the exposure assessment, i.e. an anamnesis within the adjudication process for occupational diseases would be possible.


The competent task force of the concerned Berufsgenossenschaften suggested the following groups of machinery to be investigated: rammers, vibrating plat compactors, vibratory rollers, rotary levellers, stirrers, wall chasing cutters, core drills, cutter-off machines. Vibration measurements will be conducted at some selected machines considered to be representative of the entire machinery group in terms of power class and operating conditions. A thorough selection of the machines will make sure that the range of exposure levels of a certain machinery group is covered. To get an overview of the progress made in the field of vibration reduction technology, the measurements on compactors will not only concentrate on older machinery but will also include the latest types.


The vibration exposure of the hand-arm system was measured on 33 manually guided and hand-held portable power tools under typical field conditions. The results of measurements were assessed in accordance with the new VDI standard 2057-2 governing human exposure to mechanical vibrations - hand-arm vibration and with EN ISO 5349, "Mechanical vibration - Measurement and evaluation of human exposure to hand-transmitted vibration", Parts 1 and 2. The results are being processed and made available for the Berufsgenossenschaften responsible for the building trade, for the register of appliances. In addition, the data records are accessible through the VIBEX database for assessment of workplace-related requirements during investigation of formally recognized occupational diseases (BK procedure). The data can also be evaluated for future implementation of the European Directive governing the area of hazard assessment.

Further informations:

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

construction industry

Type of hazard:

Lärm/Vibrationen, Arbeitsbedingte Erkrankungen


Vibration, Belastung, Gefährdungsbeurteilung

Description, key words:

hand-arm vibration, vibration exposure, construction industry