Hand Arm Vibration


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Hand Arm Vibration

  1. 1. Hand Arm Vibration Health and Safety Advice
  2. 2. What is 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 grinders, drills, pneumatic hammers etc or by holding materials being processed by machines. 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 persons job. Occasional exposure is unlikely to cause ill health. Can you think of any activities that you carry out at work which cause hand-arm vibration?
  3. 3. Health Effects Prolonged exposure to hand-arm vibration can lead to hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS). HAVS affects the nerves, blood vessels, muscles and joints of the hands, wrists and arms and can become severely disabling if ignored. HAVS includes vibration white finger which can cause severe pain in the affected fingers. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a nerve disorder which may involve pain, tingling, numbness and weakness in parts of the hand, and can be caused by, among other things, exposure to vibration.
  4. 4. Early Warning Signs What are the early signs and symptoms to look out for? Tingling and numbness in the fingers Not being able to feel things with your fingers Loss of strength in your hands In the cold and wet, the tips of your fingers going white then red and being very painful on recovery (vibration white finger). What will happen if I ignore the early symptoms? The numbness in your hands could become permanent and you wont be able to feel things at all. You will have difficulty picking up small objects such as screws or nails The vibration white finger could happen more frequently and affect more of your fingers.
  5. 5. Statistics 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 8000 9000 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 Vibration White Finger Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Instances of Injury (UK) caused by Hand Arm Vibration 1998-2008 Recent statistics from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) suggest that the instances of injury caused by hand arm vibration has risen gradually since 1998. This is most likely to be due to a combination of improvements in medical diagnosis and increased reliance on power tools. Source of data: DWP 2011
  6. 6. The legislation which covers hand arm vibration is The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005. The contents of this legislation can be downloaded free of charge at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1992/2793/contents/made Legislation
  7. 7. Employers Responsibilities The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 require employers to: assess the vibrations risk to employees decide if they are likely to be exposed above the daily exposure action value (EAV) and if they are; introduce a programme of controls to eliminate risk, or reduce exposure to as low a level as is reasonably practicable and provide health surveillance (regular health checks) to those employees who continue to be regularly exposed above the action value or otherwise continue to be at risk Decide if they are likely to be exposed above the daily exposure limit value (ELV) and if they are take immediate action to reduce their exposure below the limit value. Provide information and training to employees on health risks and the actions you are taking to control those risks Keep a record of your risk assessment and control actions and review regularly Keep health records for employees under health surveillance
  8. 8. Your Responsibilities The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 recommend you: ask to use suitable low vibration tools Always use the right tool for each job and check tools before use to make sure they have been properly maintained and repaired to avoid increased vibration caused by faults or general wear. Make sure cutting tools are kept sharp so that they remain efficient Reduce the amount of time you use a tool in one go by doing other jobs in between Avoid gripping or forcing a tool or workpiece more than you have to Store tools so that they do not have very cold handles when next used. Encourage good circulation by keeping warm and dry (when necessary wear gloves, a hat, waterproofs and heating pads if available). Give up or cut down smoking as it affects blood circulation and massage or exercise your fingers during work breaks.
  9. 9. HAV Exposure Calculator The table on this slide can be used to calculate an operatives level of exposure to hand-arm vibration. The exposure level is calculated by considering the vibration magnitude of the equipment being used and the length of time it is used per day. The exposure action value (EAV) is set at 100 points per day. The exposure limit value (ELV) is set at 400 points per day. This should not be exceeded.
  10. 10. HAV Equipment Exposure Vibration magnitude: 10m/s Vibration magnitude: 5.5m/s Vibration magnitude: 19m/s The vibration magnitude for a specific tool or equipment is normally found in the operating manual but most reputable manufacturers now make the data available on their websites. The images on this slide show commonly used tools in the construction industry and average vibration magnitudes. Remember every piece of equipment you use will have a different vibration magnitude depending on its condition and use. e.g. different grinders will have different vibration magnitudes. When multiple tools are used throughout the day, their exposure values are added together using the table on the previous slide.
  11. 11. Calculating Exposure Hammer action drill Vibration magnitude: 10m/s Total period of use: 1 hour Nine inch grinder Vibration magnitude: 5.5m/s Total period of use: 2 hours Cathy is a stonemason on a construction project in Motherwell. She has been tasked with indenting a number of stones which requires removing the existing stones (with a grinder), cutting new stones (with a grinder), inserting supporting dowels (with a drill) and building the new stones in position. The table below shows the vibration magnitude of each piece of equipment Cathy used and how long she used it for. Using the exposure calculator we can see that using the grinder for 2 hours at a VM of 5.5m/s would give a value of 120 and using the drill at a VM of 10m/s for 1 hour would give a value of 200. If we add the values together we get a total exposure value of 320 which is below the ELV but above the EAV. This means we need to consider a range of protection measures for Cathy.
  12. 12. Use the exposure calculator to determine whether the following activities are above or below the ELV. Activity 1 Activity 2 Activity 3 Activity Polisher Vibration magnitude: 4.5m/s Total period of use: 1 hour Nine inch grinder Vibration magnitude: 5.5m/s Total period of use: 2 hours Pneumatic hammer Vibration magnitude: 19m/s Total period of use: 2 hour Hammer action drill Vibration magnitude: 10m/s Total period of use: 2 hours Vibrating plate compactor Vibration magnitude: 16m/s Total period of use: 1 hour Vibrating Poker Vibration magnitude: 8m/s Total period of use: 2 hours
  13. 13. The information in this presentation has been sourced from: Hand-arm Vibration Advice for employees: HSE Publications Control the risks from hand-arm vibration: HSE Publications http://www.hse.gov.uk/vibration/ References
  14. 14. Developed by The Stonemasonry Department City of Glasgow College 2011