Exposure to Vibration

Hand-arm vibration Hand-arm vibration comes from the use of hand-held power tools and is a significant cause of ill health (painful and disabling disorders of the blood vessels, nerves and joints). As expected those most at risk will be anyone working in and around construction, who use machines such as:

  • concrete breakers, concrete pokers;
  • sanders, grinders, disc cutters
  • hammer drills
  • chipping hammers
  • laboratory animals
  • chainsaws, brush cutters, hedge trimmers
  • powered mowers
  • scabblers or needle guns

Excessive use of high-vibration tools can result in Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS, which can cause tingling and numbness in fingers, loss of strength in your hands and the tips of fingers going white instead of red. Left untreated these issues can become permanent.

Whole body vibration Whole-body vibration (WBV) is transmitted through the seat of feet of employees who drive mobile machinery, or other work vehicles, over rough and uneven terrain. Exposure to WBV and shocks can result in back issues, unfortunately in most cases it will be unlike that the main risks can be resolved but there are way to reduce the likelihood of staff developing problems. These range from:

  • adapting the work for the individual, the choice of equipment or work method
  • considering the choice of seat and/or tyres
  • providing suitable and sufficient information and training to employees
  • limiting the duration and magnitude of exposure
  • regular maintenance of vehicles (including seats and suspension)

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