What is Hand Arm Vibration?

Hand Arm Vibration

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._MG_5959

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.

What is the Law on Hand Arm Vibration?

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:

  • Exposure Action Value of 2.5 m/s2 A(8) at which employers should introduce measures in order to reduce exposure
  • Exposure Limit Value of 5.0 m/s2 A(8) which should not be exceeded

Is there a Hand Arm Vibration issue in your workplace?

man on jack hammer 2 smallerIf 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

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:

  • Identify anyone exposed or about to be exposed to hand-arm vibration who may be at particular risk
  • Identify any issues early in employees regularly exposed to hand-arm vibration
  • Check the effectiveness of your vibration control measures

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