Information and training to give to employees
You should provide your employees with information on:
- The health effects of hand-arm vibration;
- Sources of hand-arm vibration;
- Whether they are at risk, and if so whether the risk is high (above the ELV), medium (above the EAV) or low;
- The risk factors (eg the levels of vibration, daily exposure duration, regularity of exposure over weeks, months and years);
- How to recognise and report symptoms;
- The need for health surveillance, how it can help them remain fit for work, how you plan to provide it, how you plan to use the results and the confidentiality of the results;
- Ways to minimise risk including:
- Changes to working practices to reduce vibration exposure;
- Correct selection, use and maintenance of equipment;
- Correct techniques for equipment use, how to reduce grip force etc;
- Maintenance of good blood circulation at work by keeping warm and massaging fingers and, if possible, cutting down on smoking.
Make sure you give information in a way the employee can be expected to understand (for example you might need to make special arrangements if the employee does not understand English or cannot read).
Employee and safety representatives
Consulting with trade union appointed safety representatives or other employee representatives is a legal requirement. Working with safety representatives and employees representatives is a very useful means of communicating health and safety matters in your workplace. For example consult them over your proposals for training and information and your health surveillance programme.
Remember: involving your employees in decisions can help improve working relationships, make your employees more receptive to new ideas and help you control exposure to hand-arm vibration.