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Ind Health. 2012;50(5):370-6.

Joël's breaker: forty years of European vibration prevention.

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Institut National de Recherche et de Sécurité, Vandoeuvre Les Nancy, France.


Although the risks associated with vibration exposure have been known for a long time, the importance of risk prevention has increased in Europe since the implementation of the Machine Directives in 1989 (1989/392/EC) and the Vibration Directive in 2002 (2002/44/CE). These Directives challenged manufacturers to design low-vibration tools, and employers to manage the site-specific risks of vibration exposure. Field experience has shown that many companies using vibrating tools have never carried out a risk-management program, and that they continue to ignore their responsibilities in the Vibration Directive. Because of this, European States are now developing alternative approaches to prevention, which typically shift the balance of risk management responsibility entirely onto employers. The ongoing challenge will be to increase workplace awareness of, and attention to, the risks of vibration exposure.

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