This news article featured in issue no. 11 in CHSP’s February 2022 newsletter.
Do you have a suitable risk assessment for vibration exposure to workers?
In February 2011, 11 workers at Wrexham County Council were diagnosed with a combination of Hand Arm Vibration or carpal tunnel.
Hand arm vibration is a long term, life changing condition where the nerves have been permanently damaged, there is a lack of blood flow to the fingers and numbness in cold temperatures. It prevents people from being able to grip and carry objects and pain is experienced when the blood flow returns.
The Councils risk assessment for vibrating tools had not considered the duration of exposure, effects on at risk workers and specific working conditions such as low temperatures and contained vague statements such as “avoid prolonged exposure” and “use the right tool” as opposed to specifying controls such as time limits of exposure.
What can you do?
The Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 requires exposure to be controlled.
¨ Refer to HSE guidance L140 for further information,
¨ Implement a suitable risk assessment,
¨ create a tool inventory with records of tool maintenance,
¨ Implement a health surveillance and occupational health check programme,
¨ monitor workers vibration exposure and provide training on HAV’s monitoring and controls see
¨ use lower vibration tools, eradicate use of high vibration tools and use effective engineering controls to reduce vibration exposure such as chisel sleeves see Retrofit anti-vibration devices: a study of their effectiveness and influence on hand-arm vibration exposure (HSE2013) for more guidance
¨ encourage 2 way communication, job rotation and for workers hands to be kept warm and dry.
Do not ignore the potential risk of hand arm vibration within the workplace this can prove costly in the end. For further assistance on vibration monitoring, get in contact at email@example.com