WHAT IS HAND-ARM VIBRATION?

Hand-arm vibration is vibration transmitted into workers’ hands and arms. This can come from use of hand-held power tools, hand-guided equipment such as powered lawnmowers or by holding materials being worked by hand-fed machines such as pedestal grinders.

Regular and frequent exposure to hand-arm vibration can lead to two forms of permanent ill health known as hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) and carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).

Symptoms and effects of HAVS include tingling and numbness in the fingers which can result in an inability to do fine work, loss of strength in the hands which might affect the ability to do work safely and the fingers going white and becoming red and painful on recovery, reducing ability to work in cold or damp conditions. Symptoms and effects of CTS can also occur and include tingling, numbness, pain and weakness in the hand which can interfere with work and everyday tasks and might affect the ability to do work safely. Symptoms of both may come and go, but with continued exposure to vibration they may become prolonged or permanent and cause pain, distress and sleep disturbance. This can happen after only a few months of exposure, but in most cases it will happen over a few years.

 

What the law says

The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 require you to make sure that risks from vibration are controlled and you provide information, instruction and training to employees on the risk and the actions being taken to control risk and to provide suitable health surveillance.

The Vibration Regulations include an exposure action value (EAV) and an exposure limit value (ELV) based on a combination of the vibration at the grip point(s) on the equipment or work-piece and the time spent gripping it.

 

HOW CAN WE HELP?

TE Compliance Limited has a wealth of experience in measuring hand-arm vibration in a wide range of industrial environments. The results of these measurements can provide regulators, managers and employees with data to evaluate vibration exposure or ‘trigger’ times, suggest practical vibration control strategies and provide hand arm vibration awareness training for employees.

TE Compliance Limited are able to offer a complete range of monitoring strategies to identify, assess and control risks to workers health. All hand arm vibration monitoring is carried out using HSE validated methods.

For further information please contact us on 0151 257 9302 or via email at info@tecompliance.co.uk