Hand arm vibration

Regular and frequent exposure to hand arm vibrations from continuous use of hand held power tools or by holding materials being worked by hand fed machines can cause Vibration White Finger (VWF), also known as Hand-arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS).

Under the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations, the employer is required to:

  • Assess the vibration risk to employees
  • Make sure that risks from vibration are controlled
  • Provide information and training to employees on health risks and the actions taken to control those risks
  • Keep a record of risk assessment and control actions
  • Keep health records for employees under health surveillance
  • Review and update the risk assessments regularly.

Whole-body Vibration (WBV) is shaking or jolting of the human body through a supporting surface usually transmitted through a seat or the floor of employees who drive mobile machines or other work vehicles over rough and uneven surfaces as the main part of their job. It can cause severe back pain, often aggravating a previous problem.

Employers should take action to prevent risk from exposure to vibration and should consider whether there are other ways or machines that would eliminate the exposure to the vibration. If this isn’t possible the exposure should be reduced to as low a level as is reasonably practicable.

 

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