1. Safety Management System arrangement details
3. Hand Arm Vibration (HAV)
4. Health Surveillance
5. Exposure Levels
6. Assessing Exposure Levels
7. Reducing Exposure to Hand Arm Vibration
8. Process Flowchart
9. Record of Exposure
10. Risk Assessment
12. Suggested low-vibration alternatives
SECTION 1. SAFETY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (SMS) ARRANGEMENT DETAILS
Policy & Objectives
To ensure that risks associated with exposure to hand arm vibration are managed effectively. Scope
This arrangement applies to:
JGL employees including apprentices;
Contractors and sub-contractors employed by/ undertaking work on behalf of JGL;
Specific Requirements All activities which may expose employees or others to hand arm vibration are appropriately risk assessed. Employees who use tools/equipment that may expose them to hand arm vibration are subject to health surveillance both pre-employment and annually. Exposure levels to hand arm vibration are kept as low as reasonably practicable, and must not exceed the Exposure Limit Value. Tools and equipment that may give rise to hand arm vibration are assessed and tagged to indicate the level of vibration associated with their use (including employees’ own tools used for work purposes). Individuals’ exposure to hand arm vibration must be monitored and recorded using vibration logs. Managers/Supervisors review the vibration logs. Employees must notify their supervisor / line manager if they experience any symptoms associated with hand arm vibration syndrome. Tools and equipment are subject to a planned maintenance regime (including employees’ own tools used for work purposes).
SECTION 2: BACKGROUND
The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 places duties upon employers with regard to both Whole Body Vibration and Hand Arm Vibration. This compliance note deals with the requirements for Hand Arm Vibration only.
SECTION 3: HAND ARM VIBRATION (HAV)
Hand arm vibration is vibration transmitted from work processes into workers’ hands and arms. It is associated with use of hand held power tools, hand guided equipment and by holding materials being processed by machines.
There are numerous types of hand held power tools and equipment which can expose the worker to hand arm vibration; examples of which include:
• Concrete breakers/road breakers
• Stone/Road saws
• Hammer drills
• Hand –held grinders
• Impact wrenches
• Pedestal grinders
• Power hammers and chisels
• Powered lawn mowers
• Powered sanders
Regular and frequent exposure to vibration can lead to permanent health effects resulting from damage caused to the tissues within the hands and arms. There is a range of symptoms which may result from such damage: Numbness and tingling in the fingers, and a reduced sense of touch and temperature, due to damage to the nerves in the hand. This damage can make it difficult to feel, and to work with small objects.
Periodic attacks during which the blood circulation in the fingers is impaired and parts of the fingers become white (blanched). This is sometimes known as ‘vibration white finger’ or ‘dead hand’. During these attacks the fingers feel numb. As blood circulation returns to normal, either by itself or after rewarming the fingers, they are typically throbbing, red and painful. Although vibration causes the condition, it does not bring on the attacks. The main trigger for these symptoms is exposure to the cold, e.g. being outdoors early on a winter’s morning, or by localised or general body cooling in otherwise warm environments. Rarely in very advanced cases, blood circulation may be permanently affected.
Joint pain and stiffness in the hand and arm. Grip strength can be reduced due to nerve and muscle damage. (HSE)
These symptoms are collectively known under the umbrella term of HAVS – Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome. Other conditions/ diseases may occur as a result of