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DO YOU KNOW YOUR DUTIES UNDER THE CONTROL OF VIBRATION AT WORK REGULATIONS 2005?



The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 (the Vibration Regulations), came into force on 6 July 2005 and aim to protect workers from risks to health from vibration. The regulations introduce action and limit values for hand-arm and whole-body vibration.


Hand-arm vibration

Hand-arm vibration (HAV) can be caused by:

· operating hand-held power tools, such as road breakers

· operating hand-guided equipment, such as powered lawnmowers

· holding materials being processed by hand-fed machines, such as pedestal grinders


Regular exposure to hand-arm vibration can lead to two forms of permanent ill health known as hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) and carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). HAVS is preventable, but once the damage is done it is permanent. It is serious and disabling, and nearly 2 million people are at risk. Damage from HAVS can include the inability to do fine work and cold can trigger painful finger blanching attacks.


The regulations introduce an:

· exposure action value of 2.5 m/s2 A(8) at which level employers should introduce technical and organisational measures to reduce exposure

· exposure limit value of 5.0 m/s2 A(8) which should not be exceeded


Whole-body vibration

Whole-body vibration (WBV) is transmitted through the seat or feet of employees who drive mobile machines, or other work vehicles, over rough and uneven surfaces as a main part of their job. Large shocks and jolts may cause health risks including back-pain.


Whole-body vibration (WBV) mainly affects drivers of vehicles used off-road, such as:

· dumpers

· excavators

· agricultural tractors


However, it can also affect drivers of some vehicles:

· used on paved surfaces, such as lift trucks

· on rails, such as gantry cranes


The regulations introduce an:

· Exposure action value of 0.5 m/s2 A(8) at which level employers should introduce technical and organisational measures to reduce exposure

· Exposure limit value of 1.15 m/s2 A(8) which should not be exceeded


Why dealing with vibration is important

Hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS)

HAVS is a painful and disabling condition that affects the nerves, blood vessels, muscles and joints of the hands and arms. It causes tingling and numbness in the fingers, reduces grip strength and the sense of touch, and affects the blood circulation (vibration white finger, also known as VWF).


Whole-body vibration (WBV)

WBV is associated mostly with low back pain. However, back pain can also be caused by other factors, such as manual handling and postural strains, and while exposure to vibration and shocks may be painful for people with back problems, it will not necessarily be the cause of the problem.


What you have to do

You must:

· assess the vibration risk to your employees to identify if there is a problem

· put in place appropriate control measures to counter the risks

· provide health surveillance where risk remains (HAVS only)

· provide information and training to employees on health risks and the actions being taken to control those risks

· report cases of HAVS and CTS under RIDDOR


How can logic assist?

With the help of our trained and experienced consultants at Logic, businesses can determine if they have a problem in their workplace and what they can do to minimise the risks to their workforce. We can provide training and support to suit your needs.


For more technical information, contact technical@logicshesolutions.co.uk.

For more training information, contact training@logicshesolutions.co.uk.

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