HL Deb 08 October 2001 vol 627 cc67-8WA
Lord Willoughby de Broke

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What success they have had in dealing with the issue of vibration and tractor seats, as set out in the Physical Agents (Vibration) Directive. [HL705]

Lord Whitty

The EU Employment and Social Policy Council has agreed a common position on the proposed Physical Agents (Vibration) Directive. Among other provisions, this would set a mandatory limit for exposure to whole body vibration of 1.15 metres per second squared (a measure of acceleration) averaged over an eight-hour period. The proposed directive would not directly regulate tractor seats, but modifying seats will in some cases be a way of reducing exposure to vibration. The overall impact of the measure will depend on a number of factors, including other aspects of tractor design and the terrain the tractor is being driven on. Under the transition arrangements proposed agriculture would not be required to comply with the whole body vibration limit until 2013.

The directive has yet to be agreed and is currently before the European Parliament for its Second Reading.