Hand Arm Vibration (HAV)

Gully Howard Technical can provide advice on the risk assessment and control of Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS). Measurement of individual hand held or guided tools can be undertaken during their normal workplace usage. Daily vibration exposures will be calculated and, if necessary, control measures recommended to minimise operators’ daily exposure.

Hand Arm Vibration (HAV)

Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS)

HAVS describes a series of permanent, but preventable, conditions which damage the nerves, blood vessels or joints of the hand, wrist and arm. The conditions can be disabling and painful, such as Vibration White Finger (VWF) which limits a person’s ability to do fine work and causes excruciating finger blanching attacks.

It is associated with the regular use of hand-held or hand-guided power tools that produce significant vibration exposure to the operator. Nearly two million workers in the UK use some kind of hand held/guided tool.

Exposure is a combination of the vibration magnitude of the tool and the exposure duration. For instance, a high vibrating tool may not produce a risk of harm to health if is only used for a short duration (e.g. a few minutes) where as a lower vibrating tool may produce a more significant daily exposure if it is used for a long duration (e.g. many hours). When determining exposure duration, the ‘finger on the trigger’ time is used.

Some operators may use a range of hand tools, so their daily exposure is a combination of all their different tool vibration exposures.

Daily vibration exposures are compared with the legal limits set down in the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations. If the Exposure Action Value (EAV) is exceeded then actions are required to reduce daily exposure. The Exposure Limit Value (ELV) is the maximum daily vibration exposure an operator is allowed to receive.

The vibration magnitude of a tool is normally supplied by the manufacturer. However, as a tool ages and parts wear the levels indicated by the manufacturer may not be accurate for ‘real world’ conditions.

Find Out More

Please contact us to discuss your requirements at: Enquiries@ghtechnical.com / 023 9272 8040.

Hand arm vibration at work – HSE