Industrial Noise
& Vibration Centre

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Whole Body Vibration – WBV

Whole Body Vibration assessment and control

We provide a comprehensive Whole Body Vibration (WBV) assessment service against the requirements of the regulations. This can also be extended to include design and development work plus engineering recommendations to reduce the levels of vibration. We can also provide WBV assessment and management training up to full competency level.

whole body vibration wbv assessment - trains, boats, helicopters, trucks, rollers






Past Whole Body Vibration measurement projects under the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations include:-

  • fork lift truck driver vibration
  • staff exposure on ships – Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Control of Vibration at Work) Regulations 2007
  • train driver vibration – London Underground tube lines
  • large industrial plant
  • construction plant
  • cranes
  • truck drivers
  • off-road vehicles
  • high speed ribs…

Whole Body Vibration and Back Pain

The evidence of a link between the Action Values, back pain and Whole Body Vibration is poor under most circumstances – WBV comes a long way down the list of likely causes. The following is the hierarchy for investigation of potential issues:-

  1. poor design/adjustment of seating or controls
  2. poor driver posture and long periods in the seat
  3. manual handling and awkward access/jumping down from cab
  4. WBV – especially jolts and shocks
  5. non-occupational causes

In practice, the more serious potential vibration issues only tend to arise for off-road vehicles, high speed boats (e.g. ribs), some helicopters and a few other high vibration activities.


The standards involved are ISO 2631 (parts 1 and 2); BS 6841 (similar to ISO2631 part 1); BS 6472 (equivalent to ISO2631 part 2) – this also recommends vibration dose values (VDV) for impulsive vibration rather than weighted acceleration.