Hand arm vibration awareness
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.
Where the risks are low, the actions you take may be simple and inexpensive, but where the risks are high, you should manage them using a prioritised action plan to control exposure to hand-arm vibration.
Where required, ensure that:
- Control measures to reduce vibration are properly applied; and
- You provide information, training and health surveillance.
Review what you are doing if anything changes that may affect exposures to vibration where you work.
FAQ's About Hand Arm Vibration
Hand-arm vibration is vibration transmitted from work processes into workers’ hands and arms. It can be caused by operating hand-held power tools, such as road breakers, and hand-guided equipment, such as powered lawnmowers, or by holding materials being processed by machines, such as pedestal grinders.
Regular and frequent exposure to hand-arm vibration can lead to permanent health effects. This is most likely when contact with a vibrating tool or work process is a regular part of a person’s job. Occasional exposure is unlikely to cause ill health.
Hand-arm vibration can cause a range of conditions collectively known as hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS), as well as specific diseases such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
Identifying signs and symptoms at an early stage is important. It will allow you, as the employer, to take action to prevent the health effects from becoming serious for your employee. The symptoms include any combination of:
- Tingling and numbness in the fingers;
- Not being able to feel things properly;
- Loss of strength in the hands;
- Fingers going white (blanching) and becoming red and painful on recovery (particularly in the cold and wet, and probably only in the tips at first).
For some people, symptoms may appear after only a few months of exposure, but for others they may take a few years. They are likely to get worse with continued exposure to vibration and may become permanent.
What effects do these symptoms have?
The effects on people include:
- Pain, distress and sleep disturbance;
- Inability to do fine work (eg assembling small components) or everyday tasks (eg fastening buttons);
- Reduced ability to work in cold or damp conditions (ie most outdoor work) which would trigger painful finger blanching attacks;
- Reduced grip strength, which might affect the ability to do work safely.
These effects can severely limit the jobs an affected person is able to do, as well as many family and social activities.
Why choose GR Safety Solutions to advise you about hand arm vibration awareness?
- Our professional health & safety consultants are available 24/7 to advise and support you on any health & safety issues.
- We’re highly qualified to carry out your risk assessments for you
- We can act as your competent person
- We create health & safety policies, procedures and management systems bespoke to your business
- We can help you achieve and promote a positive health & safety culture
Hand Vibration awareness
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