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Gathering intelligence from referrals to HSL for hand-arm vibration syndrome

This report details three separate pieces of work, which are linked by the fact that they involve surveying individuals assessed for hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) at the Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL), or the customers responsible for referring them. The first part of the work involved surveying customers who had referred individuals to HSL over the preceding year to obtain more information regarding the prevalence and incidence of HAVS in the workforces from which the referrals are drawn. The second part of the work surveyed individuals who had attended the HAVS centre since around the time of the implementation of the Control of Vibration at Work regulations (2005), to establish what had happened to them in terms of their employment status and medical referral. The final part constituted a longitudinal follow-up study of individuals who had previously taken part in a study investigating upper limb disability and quality of life in HAVS referrals in 2003. These individuals were surveyed again in 2009 (mean followup time 5.5 years), following the implementation of the new regulations, to establish if there had been any change in their disability or quality of life status.

This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

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Updated 2010-07-28