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Do you have good practice in place for Hand Arm Vibration?

Hand Arm Vibration (HAV) can pose a serious health risk, and many firms are not doing enough to help prevent it. Once the damage has been caused, it is permanent, yet it can so easily be prevented. Under the Control of Vibrations at Work Regulations 2005, employers must protect workers from health risks caused by vibration. Failure for your business to have good practice in place can lead to long-term sickness or claims for compensation – potentially damaging your business.

The Health and Safety Executive has released some good practice advice in order for businesses to understand what they need to do to help prevent Hand Arm Vibration health risks. There are several different factors to consider, and ideally assessment should come from a professional Occupational Hygiene expert such as Safety First Group, in order to identify the risk factors.

HSE has identified some of the following risks and solutions to consider for Hand Arm Vibration:

Selection of work equipment – Employers should demonstrate a sound procurement policy for power tools and hand-guided machines, ensuring that the tool is suitable for the job.

Limiting daily exposure – Maximum times can be determined using the exposure points system or supplier’s “traffic lights” tool categories, but these should be derived from sound “real use” vibration emission values.

Other risk controls – Control of HAV risk by means other than reducing vibration exposure such as aids to support weight or provision of warm clothing and gloves

Information, instruction and training – Employees at risk from vibration should have received information on the risks from HAV and how to help reduce them, and arrangements for health surveillance and their duty to cooperate.

Health Surveillance – Particularly required where the exposure to arm vibration is likely to be exceeded. Employers as a minimum should use a periodic health screening questionnaire – ideally annually and for new employees. Arrangements for referral of relevant cases to an occupational health provider with HAVS expertise for diagnosis and ongoing monitoring should be made.

If your business is unsure of whether you have the sufficient protocols or monitoring in place to protect from the risk of HAV, then Safety First Group can help. Every Safety First technician is highly-qualified and experienced in assessing your workplace for HAV risks and proposing measures for eliminating or minimising these risks.

To learn more about Hand Arm Vibration, please visit . Alternatively, please call 0845 004 2133 or email .

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