Dover District Council Case Study

Dover District Council have always put the safety of their workers first, especially when it comes to managing the risk of hand arm vibration levels.

Dover DC identified, several years ago, that they had a needed to protect their workforce and the authority, in order to effectively do this it was recognised that they needed greater clarity of the vibration levels being emitted by their power tools, especially in their parks and open spaces.

With the use of vibrating machinery increasing through tools and equipment such as mowers (hand and ride on), leaf blowers, strimmer’s, chain saws and other horticultural equipment, Dover District Council wanted to measure vibration levels and manage the risk of over-exposure to ensure their workers were safe and fully protected.

Darran Solley, Parks & Open Spaces Manager at Dover District Council, said “We have had experience with other devices in this field and HAVSPRO meets our needs.”

Having previously used vibration monitoring tools, Dover District Council were still searching for a complete system. When they were introduced to HAVSPRO, it became clear from the beginning that the entire system met all their needs.

The accurate vibration recordings provided for both Hand Arm and Whole Body Vibration, from sensors firmly fixed to the vibrating surface, combined with the ability to create both HSE limits and bespoke Exposure Action Value (EAV) and ELV Exposure Limit Value (ELV) limits for individuals and live email / text alerts when these limits are reached or breached, HAVSPRO was the perfect fit.

“The HAVSPRO enables us to easily monitor operator exposure to vibration on a daily, tool by tool basis and better places us to introduce new control measures to reduce exposure to our staff.”

“We have found the devices not only assist us in reviewing performance but can provide us with information on specific pieces of equipment, the actual vibration being produced by different equipment which, is not always as the manufacturer has specified, inform us on how we can tool rotate, or whether a piece of equipment is defective and producing excessive vibration which, again results in how we complete tasks.”  Darran Solley

It quickly became clear that a significant benefit of the HAVSPRO system for Dover District Council came from the in-depth reporting suite. The reporting dashboard has made it easy and convenient for Darran and his team to manage more than just the vibration risks. Whilst the system can be programmed with individual EAV and ELV to keep ‘at risk’ workers safe, it also shows which tools are most frequently used, how they are being used and how the tool and consumables are performing, it can also be used to identify training needs.

“The reports are a great quick reference to ensure staff are operating within the guidelines and parameters set by the authority and the HSE. The summaries have also supported our annual staffs HAVS monitoring surveys and provide useful data to our medical provider undertaking the survey assessments.” – Darran Solley

This easy-to-access data, which can be viewed on hand held devices as well as laptops etc, has enabled Dover District Council to present evidenced business cases when procuring new equipment that reduces the risk of exposure for their workers.

“The HAVSPRO is a great tool to support managers and employers to protect their staff to vibration exposure. It has helped support business cases to procure new equipment that either reduces or removes exposure to staff.” Darran Solley

The most important element in the successful adoption of any new system is the reaction from users, so how did the workers at Dover District Council get on with the HAVSPRO system?

Darran explains, “The operatives are very supportive of the HAVSPRO. The sensors are seen as an additional piece of PPE that is there to protect the staff and the authority.”

So, with a successful implementation and an obvious benefit to workers and authority alike, Dover District Council forge ahead with their commitment to managing the risk of vibration exposure and protecting their staff as rigorously as possible.