On 8 December 2016 Sean Churchill, Regional Sales Manager, Arco, Ian Hartrick, Health & Safety Consultant HAVS, Reactec Ltd, Paul Appleby, Sales Director, Impacto gave members an overview of the legal placed on employers by the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations, 2005 and practical ways of meeting these requirements.

Sean explained how workplace vibration can have adverse effects on the human body, the legal requirements placed on employers to reduce employees’ exposure to hand arm and whole body vibration and the need to set up safe systems of work including health surveillance.

A copy of Sean’s presentation is available here: Workplace vibration awareness

Ian then concentrated the management of exposure to hand arm vibration. He identified four main requirements:

  • Elimination or control of vibration exposure
  • Risk Assessment – equipment and task (not generic).
  • Provision of information, instruction and training.
  • Health surveillance (if necessary).

He explained the concept of continuous reduction of exposure and the need for employers to have an accurate way to estimate each employees’ HAV exposure for use with HSE’s points system. He said that this was important that because the highest proportion of workplace disability claims were due to HAVs – leading to a financial impact on employers and to long term health problems for employees that also impacted on their families.

Ian discussed the problems of obtaining accurate estimates of vibration exposures when employees were working with a range of tools. He explained how new technologies have led to the development of individual HAV monitors that are programmed to download data to docking stations. The data is then sent to cloud based servers where dedicated computer programmes generate reports that can be e-mailed to specified individuals using internet enabled PCs and tablets.

A copy of Ian’s presentation is available here: Reducing workplace hand/arm vibration

Paul Appleby, Sales Director, Impacto, then showed members Viscolas, a vibration-reducing elastomer. He explained that Viscolas can be wrapped around some tool handles to provide a softer handle surface that absorbs some tool vibration and therefore helps reduce the tool user’s exposure to hand/arm vibration.

Our thanks too to Sean Churchill, Regional Sales Manager, Arco, who persuaded Ian and Paul to come and talk to our group. This was a worthwhile meeting that generated some helpful discussion about ways of managing hand/arm vibration in the workplace.

Reducing hand arm and whole body vibration in the workplace