Hand Arm Vibration is transmitted into workers hands and arms through the use of hand-held power tools. If you are frequently exposed to Hand Arm Vibration then it can lead to permanent health issues. Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) is caused by exposure to vibration and it is entirely preventable but once the damage is there it is permanent.
Employers have the responsibility of protecting their employees against HAVS and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Measures should be put in place to reduce the risks associated with Hand Arm Vibration. By Law, employers need to measure the levels of vibration their employees are being exposed to as well as assessing the risk to their employee’s health from vibration at work.
The law requires companies to assess the risk of injury from vibratory tools in the workplace. Measuring the vibration magnitude of the operator’s tools is the most accurate method of determining operator exposure. The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 aim to protect workers from health risks due to vibration. In regards to Hand Arm Vibration, the Regulations introduce an:
If your employees frequently work with vibrating equipment and/or handle vibrating materials then it is likely that you have an issue. However, you have to take into account other factors like how long the employees are exposed to vibration and what level the vibration is at.
Health surveillance is a must for all of your employees who are likely be regularly exposed above the Exposure Action Value, despite your actions to control the risk. The purpose of health surveillance is to: