Healthy Handling 2005: Hand-held vibrating tools
Power tools can cause hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) eg white finger, and/or hearing loss.
- HAVS is an irreversible condition affecting nerves and circulation caused by vibration
- effect is cumulative - each exposure can worsen the condition
- harm can be caused by as little as 15 minutes exposure per day for some tools
- risk can be eliminated / reduced by controlling exposure
Hand-held vibrating equipment and tools
Vibration white finger and noise induced hearing loss can be caused by use of hand held vibrating equipment and tools
HSE Inspectors will expect to find:
- information on vibration and noise levels from manufacturers and hire companies;
- risk assessments carried out using the levels to determine safe periods of exposure;
- equipment and tools kept in good condition by effective maintenance systems.
- Design-out the need for vibrating hand tools, eg for pile cap removal and scabbling
- Establish a hire and purchasing policy that gives preference to low vibration / noise emission equipment and tools
- Green, amber and red labels on power tools can indicate increasing vibration levels, and help to control / monitor exposure periods
- If people have difficulty speaking to each other at two metres apart then you may have a noise problem