Hand-arm vibration affects thousands of UK workers each year and comes from the use of hand-held power tools and causes both short and long-term medical problems, such as carpal tunnel syndrome and vibration white finger.
According to the HSE, there are up to 5 million workers using hand-held or hand-guided power tools in the UK, with 2 million of these exposed to levels of vibration that could result in ill-health.
To put the seriousness of hand-arm vibration into perspective, an engineering firm has recently been fined £120k for failing to control the risk to employees using hand help power tools from Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome.
HSE inspector Helen Jones said:
“This is the case of the company failing to protect workers using vibrating tools. Exposure to hand-arm vibration is a well-known risk which the company failed to adequately control.”
The organisation also failed to ensure its employees were given sufficient information, instruction and training on the effects of working with vibrating hand tools.
By law, as an employer, you must assess and identify measures to eliminate or reduce risks from exposure to hand-arm vibration so that you can protect your employees from risks to their health.
Before any hand-arm vibration is undertaken, as with any manual work, a risk assessment must be performed by a competent person. Questions such as; Does this work need to be done, what equipment will be required, what are the hazards etc. needing to be answered.
Safety Media have over 125 Health, Safety & Compliance & Soft Skills e-Learning courses to choose from; including Hand-Arm Vibration.
At the end of the 30 minute RoSPA approved interactive course employees will be able to:
» Define Hand-Arm Vibration
» State when and how Hand-Arm Vibration may occur
» Recognise the signs and symptoms of HAVS and CTS
» State the legal requirements in relation to Hand-Arm Vibration
» Understand what types of work and / or tools may pose a risk
» Take appropriate action to protect yourself from Hand-Arm Vibration
» Take appropriate action to control and reduce the risks.