Musculoskeletal Disorders and Whole-Body Vibration From Driving: Manage the Risk to Your Workforce
We are proud to offer a free webinar for
fleet managers, health and safety managers and employers on how to
manage the risks of developing back pain and injury when exposed to
whole body vibration (WBV) whilst driving.
This hour-long event will feature HSE experts, who will
highlight current guidance and explain the ergonomic principles
that help protect workers that drive.
The webinar marks the update of HSE's Back Injury Risks in
Driving (BIRD) tool. This newly digitised tool is part of a suite
of official HSE resources, products and services designed to help
employers identify, prevent and manage the most probable cause of
musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) and injury for those operating a
vehicle. The Stationery Office (TSO) will demonstrate the tool and
explain how it can be used in practice to protect workers.
The need for action
Have you ever exited a vehicle after a long drive with aching
back or neck? Have you ever found that driving aggravated back
problems caused by other activities?
Drivers and passengers of some mobile machines, including
certain boats, tractors, fork lift trucks and quarrying or
earth-moving machinery, may be exposed to whole-body vibration and
shocks, which are associated with back pain. Other work factors
known to contribute to back problems for drivers include:
- poor driver posture
- incorrect adjustment of the seat position and hand and foot
controls, so that it is necessary to continually lean and stretch
to operate the machine
- poor use of driving aids, such as mirrors, so that drivers must
twist and bend while driving
- sitting for long periods without being able to change
- repeated manual handling and lifting of loads by the
The risks increase where the driver or operator is exposed to
these factors at the same time as travelling in a vehicle that
subjects them to excessive exposure to whole-body vibration,
particularly shocks and jolts.
Industries where there may be a particular health risk from
driving include marine, agriculture, construction, forestry, mines
and quarries. Risks may also exist where industrial trucks are used
to transport materials, for example in factories, depots,
warehouses and docks, especially where the driving surfaces are in
poor condition, the drivers use poor driving techniques or the
vehicles are driven fast on uneven surfaces.
The BIRD tool collects information that will help determine
those issues that present the greatest risk of back injury and
discomfort to drivers and provide pointers to simple improvements
that may be made to reduce those risks.Other tools in the HSE MSD
suite, such as the MAC manual handling tool, can also be applied
alongside BIRD for a detailed analysis of any specific issues
- Matt Birtles, HSE's Principal Ergonomist
welcomes you to what promises to be an informative and lively
webinar on the subjects of musculoskeletal disorders and Whole Body
Vibration (WBV). He will describe how in 2021/22 work-related back
pain was the leading cause of working days lost. Matt will also
share information on how HSE is working with industry to prevent
and manage the risks to workers.
- Simon Turner, the Campaign Manager for the
National Highways Driving for Better Business Programme will
demonstrate how the national campaign is helping employers reduce
work-related road risk, control the associated costs and improve
compliance. He will also share the resources and online tools
available as part of this free-to-access, Government-backed change
- Paul Pitts, HSE's Principal Scientist in Noise
and Vibration will introduce the Back Injury Risks in Driving
(BIRD) tool and explain how it was created as a hazard
identification resource that can be used out in the field to
- Hollie Stocks from HSE's publishing partner,
The Stationery Office (TSO) will demonstrate the new, digitised
version of the tool and show us how it generates an informative
auto-report that can be used to identify hazards.
- Questions can be submitted throughout the
webinar via the secure online platform. The expert speakers will
then hold a short Q&A panel session at the end of the
We hope you are able to join us for this important and
insightful event on 25 September 2023, 10:30 to 11:30.
Register here for free
Please note that all courses must be paid for via credit
card at the time of booking.
Some of our training courses can also be delivered
in-company, please contact us to discuss your requirements.
Telephone: +44 (0)203 028 3704
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