Hand Arm VibrationHealth and Safety Advice for Stonemasons Stonemasonry Department 2011
What is Hand-Arm Vibration?Hand-arm vibration is vibration transmittedfrom work processes into workers handsand arms. It can be caused by operatinghand-held power tools such as grinders,drills, pneumatic hammers etc or byholding materials being processed bymachines.Regular and frequent exposure to hand-arm vibration can lead to permanenthealth effects. This is most likely whencontact with a vibrating tool or workprocess is a regular part of a persons job.Occasional exposure is unlikely to cause illhealth.Can you think of any activities that youcarry out at work which cause hand-armvibration?
Health EffectsProlonged exposure to hand-arm vibration can leadto hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS). HAVSaffects the nerves, blood vessels, muscles andjoints of the hands, wrists and arms and canbecome severely disabling if ignored.HAVS includes vibration white finger which cancause severe pain in the affected fingers.Carpal tunnel syndrome is a nerve disorder whichmay involve pain, tingling, numbness andweakness in parts of the hand, and can be causedby, among other things, exposure to vibration.
Early Warning SignsWhat are the early signs and symptoms to look out for?Tingling and numbness in the fingersNot being able to feel things with your fingersLoss of strength in your handsIn the cold and wet, the tips of your fingers going white then red and being verypainful 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 feelthings at all.You will have difficulty picking up small objects such as screws or nailsThe vibration white finger could happen more frequently and affect more of yourfingers.
Statistics Instances of Injury (UK) caused by Hand Arm Vibration 1998-2008 9000 8000 7000 6000 5000 4000 3000 2000 1000 0 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 Vibration White Finger Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Recent statistics from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) suggest that theinstances 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
Legislation The legislation which covers hand arm vibration is The Control of Vibration at WorkRegulations 2005. The contents of this legislation can be downloaded free of charge at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1992/2793/contents/made
Employers ResponsibilitiesThe Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 require employers to:assess the vibrations risk to employeesdecide 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 reduceexposure to as low a level as is reasonably practicable and provide healthsurveillance (regular health checks) to those employees who continue to beregularly exposed above the action value or otherwise continue to be at riskDecide 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 youare taking to control those risksKeep a record of your risk assessment and control actions and review regularlyKeep health records for employees under health surveillance
Your ResponsibilitiesThe Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 recommend you:ask to use suitable low vibration toolsAlways use the right tool for each job and check tools before use to make sure theyhave been properly maintained and repaired to avoid increased vibration caused byfaults or general wear.Make sure cutting tools are kept sharp so that they remain efficientReduce the amount of time you use a tool in one go by doing other jobs in betweenAvoid gripping or forcing a tool or workpiece more than you have toStore tools so that they do not have very cold handles when next used.Encourage good circulation by keeping warm and dry (when necessary weargloves, a hat, waterproofs and heating pads if available).Give up or cut down smoking as it affects blood circulation and massage or exerciseyour fingers during work breaks.
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.
HAV Equipment ExposureThe vibration magnitude for a specific tool orequipment is normally found in the operatingmanual but most reputable manufacturers nowmake the data available on their websites. Vibration magnitude: 10m/sThe images on this slide show commonly usedtools in the construction industry and averagevibration magnitudes.Remember every piece of equipment you usewill have a different vibration magnitude Vibration magnitude: 5.5m/sdepending on its condition and use. e.g.different grinders will have different vibrationmagnitudes.When multiple tools are used throughout theday, their exposure values are added togetherusing the table on the previous slide. Vibration magnitude: 19m/s
Calculating ExposureCathy is a stonemason on a construction project in Motherwell. She has beentasked with indenting a number of stones which requires removing the existingstones (with a grinder), cutting new stones (with a grinder), inserting supportingdowels (with a drill) and building the new stones in position. The table below showsthe vibration magnitude of each piece of equipment Cathy used and how long sheused it for. Nine inch grinder Hammer action drill Vibration magnitude: 5.5m/s Vibration magnitude: 10m/s Total period of use: 2 hours Total period of use: 1 hour 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.
Activity Use the exposure calculator to determine whether the following activities are above or below the ELV. Activity 1 Nine inch grinder Polisher Vibration magnitude: 5.5m/s Vibration magnitude: 4.5m/s Total period of use: 2 hours Total period of use: 1 hour Activity 2 Hammer action drill Pneumatic hammer Vibration magnitude: 10m/s Vibration magnitude: 19m/s Total period of use: 2 hours Total period of use: 2 hour Activity 3 Vibrating Poker Vibrating plate compactor Vibration magnitude: 8m/s Vibration magnitude: 16m/s Total period of use: 2 hours Total period of use: 1 hour
Protection MeasuresUse the exposure calculator to determine whether the following activities are aboveor below the ELV.
ReferencesThe information in this presentation has been sourced from:Hand-arm Vibration Advice for employees: HSE PublicationsControl the risks from hand-arm vibration: HSE Publicationshttp://www.hse.gov.uk/vibration/
Developed by The Stonemasonry Department City of Glasgow College 2011