The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 (the Vibration Regulations) state that employers must manage the risk of exposure to vibration levels for employees, in particular hand vibration.
The aim of these regulations is to protect workers from the risks to health from vibration, with a particular focus on hand arm vibration syndrome or HAVS for short.
Vibration white finger or hand-arm vibration syndrome or dead finger are all common names for the injuries caused by over-exposure to vibration levels at work. They are all secondary forms of Raynaud’s syndrome which can be caused by continuous use of vibrating hand-held machinery.
Protecting your people and business against hand vibration is critical, which is why we have put together some useful steps to help you manage the risk in the workplace.
Mange the risk of hand vibration
Accurate vibration measurement
Accurate measurement of vibration levels is the only way to ensure your workers are not over-exposed and therefore, not in danger of hand vibration health issues.
This may sound easier said than done but actually, with HAVSPRO, the only tool-mounted vibration monitoring system, you get accurate vibration data in real-time.
In-line with BS 5349 Part 2 188.8.131.52, the HAVSPRO sensors are firmly fixed to the vibrating surface within 100mm of the point of contact. This means there is no algorithm calculating vibration levels or a range of possible exposure values, just 100% accurate data based on that tool, at that moment, in those circumstances being exposed to that user.
Accurate vibration data allows you to make quick, confident decisions, keeping the risk of hand vibration and whole body vibration as low as practicably possible.
Alerts when EAV and ELV are reached
Accurate data is essential but if you don’t know when the data is approaching or breaching dangerous levels, it’s not that helpful in managing the risk of hand vibration.
With the HAVSPRO system, the entire business, including the users, receive accurate vibration data warnings when their exposure action value (EAV) and exposure limit value (ELV) are reached and breached. Users are alerted via the on-tool sensor, and text and email alerts are sent to Team Leaders, Managers and Directors whenever either vibration level is reached.
A significant part of managing risk comes from data analysis and being able to spot trends that alert you to any issues that could be creating an increase in vibration levels.
Common examples include users needing more training on how to use the tools differently to reduce vibration levels, or tools needing consumables replacing more frequently, or a particular device needing a service.
Being able to identify these trends relies on accurate data presented through intuitive dashboards that highlight areas for concern.
Pushing hand vibration up the agenda
Managing the risk of vibration exposure is everyone’s responsibility and using an IoT system such as HAVSPRO allows the issue to be part of a wider conversation. Users are given there own, allocated sensors which they must take from tool to tool making their exposure a real-time priority.
The intuitive dashboard of data sending weekly reports to Directors regarding vibration levels, tool rotation, action points and so much more, making the conversation wider than the Health and Safety Manager and the foreman.
Data-driven decision making
Measuring and monitoring vibration levels isn’t the same as managing the risk they pose.
Managing risk means constantly assessing the data coming in and taking actions based on that data to reduce the risk wherever possible.
The only way you can do this is with accurate data and real-time alerts making HAVSPRO the only solution that gives you data-driven decision-making capabilities when managing the risk of hand vibration.
Manage the risk of hand vibration in the workplace can be time-consuming and disruptive to productivity but it doesn’t have to be. The regulations state that you must;
- make sure that risks from vibration are controlled;
- provide information, instruction and training to employees on the risk and the actions being taken to control risk; and
- provide suitable health surveillance.
All of this is not only possible with HAVSPRO but easy and convenient to do! With actions and health assessments stored in the system, you can sail through your HSE assessment with confidence that you are more than complying with the regulations, you are proactively protecting your people and your business from the risks of vibration exposure.