Health & Safety Alert: Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS)
By law, employers must assess and identify measures to eliminate or reduce risks from exposures to harmful vibration, and where required, to provide appropriate training and health surveillance.
Hand-arm vibration comes from the use of hand-held power tools and is the cause of significant ill health (painful and disabling disorders of the blood vessels, nerves and joints).
- HAVS is preventable, but once the damage is done it is permanent
- HAVS is serious and disabling, and nearly 2 million people are at risk
- Damage from HAVS can include the inability to do fine work and cold can trigger painful finger blanching attacks
Hand arm vibration can be a significant health risk wherever powered hand tools are used for significant lengths of time, but there are solutions to help you manage risks in your workplace.
HSE have recently updated their guidance L140 - Hand-Arm Vibration: The Control Of Vibration At Work Regulations 2005 in keeping with changes to related legislation, technical advances and experience. It outlines what an employer’s duties are under the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 as they relate specifically to HAV (HSE publication L141 deals with whole-body vibration).
The guidebook looks at the employer’s legal obligations to control risks to employees’ health and safety from exposure to HAV and to prevent HAV-related diseases such as hand-arm vibration syndrome and carpal tunnel syndrome. It covers the management and control of the risks from HAV and how to protect employees, with practical guidance on risk assessments, controlling vibration exposure and arranging health surveillance.
If you suspect there may be room for improvement, take a look at these offered by HSE.
to visit HSE’s Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome homepage that features advice, good practice solutions and additional resources.
The RMI offers an affordable Health & Safety service to ensure members fully comply with the many complex legislative demands placed upon the modern garage. Fore more information, please call the IGA Direct Member Helpline or 0845 305 4230.