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Hand-Arm and Whole Body Vibration

The European Physical Agents (Vibration) Directive covers both Hand Arm Vibration and Whole Body Vibration and was implemented in the UK as the Control of Vibration Regulations (2005). The Regulations require that every employer must assess the vibration risks to their employees and determine whether they are likely to be exposed above the daily exposure action value (EAV).

Hand Arm Vibration

Hand Arm Vibration (HAV) is vibration transmitted from work processes into workers hands and arms. It can be caused by operating hand held power tools and hand-guided machinery, or by holding materials being processed by machines. Regular and frequent exposure to hand arm vibration can lead to permanent health effects such as carpel tunnel syndrome. Long term effects can severely limit the jobs a person can do - due to intense pain, reduced grip strength or an inability to do fine work, particularly in cold or damp conditions. For tools or processes that are used infrequently, a visual inspection and assessment of risk may suffice. For all other cases, it is recommended that physical measurements are collected for a more detailed exposure assessment.

How we can help

Huw Wilkins Associates Limited can help employers where there are problems with or potential exposure to Hand Arm Vibration (HAV) at work in order to ensure that worker health is protected and that regulatory compliance is achieved. We can advise on limits, vibration levels, exposure periods, transitional periods and control measures. Where our measurements indicate exposures are above an EAV (Exposure Action Value), we can help employers develop and implement strategies to reduce vibration levels and exposures. We measure vibration, undertake risk assessments and advise on controlling vibration exposure.

Whole Body Vibration

Whole body vibration (WBV) is the shaking or jolting of the human body through a supporting surface, usually a seat or the floor. There may be increased risk for road transport drivers if vehicle suspension, or seating, is damaged, or the vehicles are driven either off road or over poor surfaces. Driving too fast over cracked or uneven roads could lead to higher exposures. Exposure to Whole body vibration is unlikely on its own to cause back pain. It can however aggravate a back problem caused by another activity.

How we can help

Huw Wilkins Associates Limited can assist employers where there are problems with or potential exposure to whole body vibration at work. We are able to conduct measurements in order to obtain greater certainty on exposure levels. In addition, measurements may be collected to avoid inadvertently instructing an operator with back problems to use equipment that poses a greater vibration risk and reduce the likelihood of lost time due to back pain, and minimise the potential for personal injury claims.

Contact Huw Wilkins Associates today to arrange an assessment.


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