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Advanced Guide : Hand arm vibration vs whole body vibration

Difference between hand arm vibration and whole body vibration

Mainly the vibration is classified into two types, if you are looking to improve your knowledge regards vibration safety it’s highly appreciable, which the most successful safety practitioner will do!

Two types of vibration are,

  • Hand arm vibration (HAV)
  • Whole body vibration (WBV)

Meaning of hand arm vibration:

The Exact meaning of  hand arm vibration is, any activity or a task in which the employee is exposed to an vibration, that passes through their hand and arms

For Example: Where the operator using portable drilling tool, subjected to vibration and here the vibration passes through their hands where they grips the equipment.

Meaning of whole body vibration:

The Exact meaning of whole body vibration is that,

Any activity or task where the workers are exposed to vibration during their occupation, and which passes either through their “feet” or “buttocks” or both.

For Example:

The operator of an agricultural tractor, subjected to a whole body vibration while they are travelling in an uneven ground with excessive speed.

Simple & Live time examples for an vibration is that,

The person travelling in a bike, is subjected to both types of vibration,
  • To whole body vibration through their “buttocks”
  • To hand arm vibration through hands while they are holding a handle


1. Do only the drivers affected to whole body vibration?


Nope, any operator or worker involved with the equipment’s in a sitting or standing position is subjected to whole body vibration.

2. Do the hand arm vibration exists only in Powered tools ?


 Nope , even the workers using hand tools such as hammer is subjected to an hand arm vibration.

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