Today I was asked to help someone understand what is involved with assessing Hand Arm Vibration risk. Also known as HAVS.
I wrote a detailed answer to try and help them know what was needed. I initially wanted them to know what was involved if I were to assess the work, but realised that it’s useful information for anyone who is able to do it themselves.
Lots of boring stuff about who would be considered competent, but forget about all that for now. It’s just useful information.
My response was:
“The best approach for this will be to complete a Vibration risk assessment, I would typically do this by going to the site, assessing the kit they have and the condition of said kit, confirming the exposure vibration and then expected exposure times per day, based on a points system (but of course I would simplify how this looks so as not to confuse the client). Depending on the Vibration point system will depend on the next steps:
- Low exposure (under 100 daily points), they need to keep vigilant, have training in the form of a toolbox talk and then have occupational health assessments of any staff showing signs of symptoms.
- Medium exposure (100 to 400 daily points), we would need to introduce daily logs for the staff to fill in to make sure they are aware of the levels of daily exposure. They will also need annual Occupational Health Surveillance.
- High Exposure (Over 400 daily points), we would need to implement strict rules on who uses what kit and for how long with the aim to get points below 400. This could include looking at newer replacement kit with lower vibration levels or sharing jobs between people to reduce the duration each person is exposed to. We would also need to introduce annual Occupational Health Surveillance. If any staff are identified as having vibration exposure symptoms, we may need to reduce their exposure to below 100 points”