Hand Arm Vibration Risk Assessment
Safeguarding your workers from the problems that comes with Vibration
Working with Vibration can quite easily become a real pain for you and your workers. Investing in getting the problems fixed will put your workers at ease from any symptoms that could become a problem, but also help you answer any criticism you may be facing from staff or authorities.
HAVS is Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome – Workers that use powered tools mostly WBV is Whole Body Vibration – Workers on a fixed or mobile plant that vibrates
HAVS is the medical term for those who have been exposed to high vibration levels, typically powered tools, that causes damage to the fingers, hands and arms.
Typical symptoms include Numbness, Tingling, Parts of the fingers turning white, Pain, Loss of grip and Motor Skill and Weakness. There is another term called Reynaud`s disease which is sometimes diagnosed.
First you need to now if you have a problem. This link to the HSE question set is a useful start. If you have answered yes to any of these, you may need to do something to manage Vibration at Work.
The next step is to assess the severity and scale of the problem. Of course, you could do this yourself and we are happy to offer free advice to help you along the way.
Alternatively, we can come to assess and complete a full Vibration assessment and subsequently report on the findings and work with you to implement whats needed.
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You will be redirected to our services Pricelist and one of our senior consultants will be in touch very soon to talk through your challenges.
We have helped so many companies and individuals with HAVS and WBV . Please get in touch if you think we can help.
Since the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations were introduced in 2005, there have been some landmark cases and fines imposed including:
- The first prosecution was of Peugeot in 2006 and resulted in a £10k fine.
- In June 2018 Balfour Beatty were fined £500K for failing to adequately control the risks and for failing to report cases of Vibration White Finger (VWF) as required by RIDDOR .
- In August 2018, Nordam Europe were fined £400K when 100 employees were found to have been exposed to Vibration
- In October 2018 British Airways Engineering were fined £80k for failing to adequately assess the risk from the use of vibrating tools.
- Since 2016 fines for Vibration-related prosecutions have totalled in excess of £2.3m
As with any workforce, it is possible that an employee may come to you with the un-diagnosed symptoms of HAVs, caused by other activities or previous employment. If so, this will need to be very closely assessed to ensure everything is in place and full justification is established as to if the case will be reported under RIDDOR.
Unfortunately, we see this sometimes leads to an investigation by the HSE and whilst the harm may have been caused whilst working for a previous employer, any failure to manage the risks identified at your workplace may cause you headaches.
- To identify if you have any vibrating tools in the workplace
- To carry out an assessment
- To eliminate the risk or reduce exposure so far as is reasonably practicable
- To provide training to employees on the risks
- To implement health surveillance
- To record exposure.
- Eliminate vibration exposure by changing the work processes
- Reduce exposure by mechanistic
- Reduce exposure by good process control
- Avoid high-vibration tools, machines and accessories
- Maintain machines and accessories
- Reduce the transmission of vibration into the hand
- Reduce the duration of exposure (including job rotation)
- Keep warm and dry