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MCA Control of Vibration - Exemption Guidance

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Launched April 2012 MGN 446 ‘Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2007 ’

MGN 446 - Guidance on and the procedure for obtaining an exemption from the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations.

UK MCA Marine Guidance Notes (MGN) are official notices to all builders, owners, managers and operators of all small vessels.

Launched April 2012 MGN 446 is titled ‘Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2007 - Procedure for Seeking Exemptions’.

The Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessel (Control of Vibration at work) Regulations 2007 are intended to protect workers from the harmful effects of vibration. Specifically Regulation 12 allows for an exemption to be granted by the MCA from the following requirements of the regulations.

The employer shall ensure that workers are not exposed to mechanical vibration exceeding the daily exposure limit value. For hand-arm vibration (HAV) the daily exposure limit value standardised to an eight hour reference period is 5 m/s². For whole-body vibration (WBV) the daily exposure limit value standardised to an eight hour reference period is 1.15 m/s².

The guidance note MGN 446 states that an exemption may be granted; provided that the MCA is satisfied that the vessel is designed to the highest available standard (“state of the art”) and the specific characteristics of the ship do not make it possible to comply with the whole body exposure limit value, whatever technical and organisational measures are adopted.

In order that exemptions may be considered by the MCA, the applicant must first ensure the following conditions are met:-

a) the exposure value averaged over 40 hours is less than the exposure limit value.

b) there is evidence to show that the risks from the pattern of exposure are lower than those from exposure at the exposure limit value.

c) the worker is subject to health monitoring in accordance with regulation 9.

d) the risk is reduced to as low as is reasonably practicable.



The MCA will also need to be satisfied that the applicant has taken the necessary and appropriate steps:-

a) to consult the employer or other person having control of the matter.

b) to consult the workers or their representatives.

c) to demonstrate that the resulting risks are reduced to as low as is reasonably practicable.

d) to demonstrate health surveillance has been increased to a level considered appropriate to the MCA.

For more information see Marine Guidance Notes MGN 446

For more information see Whole Body Vibration


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